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stand over here, where I'm pointing...that way it'll be much easier for me to kick you in the face...

PG-13

Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Summer Glau, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin

Zoë: So… trap?
Mal: Trap.
Zoë: We goin’ in?
Mal: Well, it ain’t but a few hours out.
Wash: Yeah, but… remember the part where it’s a trap?
Mal: If that’s the case, then Inara’s already caught in it.  She wouldn’t set us up willin’.  Might be we get a shot at seeing who’s turning these wheels.  We go in.
Kaylee: But how can you be sure Inara don’t just want to see you?  Sometimes people have feelings.  I’m referring here to people…
Mal: Y’all were watching I take it?
Kaylee: Yes…
Mal: Did you see us fight?
Kaylee: No.
Mal: Trap.

River Tam (Glau) is being hunted by the Alliance, the governing body in the human-inhabited universe.  She and her brother, Simon (Maher), have been passengers on board the Serenity, a smuggling spaceship captained by Mal Reynolds (Fillion).  River holds an important secret in her mind that the Alliance will do anything to keep from getting out.

A great movie to cap off a great TV series.  Sadly, the series, Firefly, didn’t last very long on television, but you can find it on DVD (and I highly recommend it).

It’s hard for me to say if this movie would stand on its own if you haven’t seen the series before watching it, but I’ve seen some reviews that seemed to say just that.  It doesn’t leave newcomers out in the cold, but it also doesn’t bore long time fans with a lot of back story that they already know.

In the series and the movie, there’s an odd combination of action, humor, romance, science fiction, and old western themes that seems like it shouldn’t work (and probably doesn’t for some people), but it works well for me.  I like the characters a lot, and really enjoy the fact that there aren’t a bunch of aliens involved like you’d see in most other sci-fi these days.  It’s in the future, and humans have populated other planetary systems, but they’ve yet to encounter any humanoid creatures with varying amounts of bumps on their foreheads.  There are, however, Reavers.  Reavers are just humans that have gone insane and will brutally kill (and eat) anybody who’s not a Reaver.  They are not to be messed with.

The special effects were never a real strong point in the series, and they’re a little lacking at times here, but that’s okay when you’ve got a compelling story.  The secret that River carries is a dark one, and that seriousness brings a lot of weight to the movie.  It’s an important mission that Mal and his crew decide to take on, and not all of them are going to make it through it (don’t worry, I won’t say who lives and who dies).

It’s got to be hard balancing such seriousness with the humor that is injected into the script, but they always managed to do it well in the series, and they do it well again here.  I credit the writers to some extent, but I think the actors are probably a big reason it succeeds.  Nathan Fillion in particular is great at going from goofy to serious in a heartbeat.

The worst thing about watching the series or the movie is that it will just leave you wishing there was more than 14 episodes and 1 movie.  You can tell that the cast and crew had a good time making it, and it is my opinion that you’ll have a good time watching it.

If you’re going to be employed as a person who hunts down and kills other people, be sure to invest in full body armor.

10 – .4 for a few lackluster special effects – .9 for a few scenes that seem a little extraneous and slow = 8.7