Arts & Entertainment

‘Serenity’ drives viewers on an unpredictable cruise

The ocean breeze, feeling the soft sand between your toes, and the sound of crashing waves on the shoreline are what we look forward to on a little trip to the beach. There is nothing wrong with getting away for a while to enjoy the sweeter, more natural aspects of life — or making the effort to start a com­pletely new one. The film “Serenity” shows viewers that while everything may seem better on a beautiful remote island, life can find a way to catch up quick through a mysterious twist of romance and drama.

“Serenity” tells the tale of fisherman Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey), scraping by on remote Plymouth Island as he tries to catch tuna. However, the quiet life he has built for himself is inter­rupted by his ex-wife, Karen (Anne Hathaway), when she surprises him by requesting he stage a fatal accident to get rid of her current abusive husband Frank (Jason Clarke) on a fishing trip. Despite the reunion between the two, Dill soon finds out that there is more to this request than he originally thought after various interactions with the townsfolk and unexpected plot twists that play throughout the story.

During each character’s first spoken sentences, the dialogue and scene execu­tion can be seen as somewhat rocky, which may have audiences feel as though the all-star cast’s abilities were under­utilized. Luckily, this is quickly re­deemed by the remainder of the films interactions. Audiences will be pleas­antly surprised by the convincing per­formances delivered by each actor and their respective character.

Although there is the redemption of the characters, the story shows various signs of rushed execution, as there is more than one instance where a problem is introduced and its resolution is hast­ily found. This leaves a kind of unfor­tunate, unfulfilled wanting by the audi­ences for just a little more storytelling to how these conflicts are resolved. Similarly, the film tries much too hard to work in a surprise twist that is just as surprising as it is confusing. This twist sadly yields an atmosphere that is tough to comprehend, which tries to negate the first half of the film and rush in a new narrative to the story.

Of the film’s few issues, one that stands out is the unnecessary use of sex and nudity. Many of the scenes depicting this — and there are quite a few — leave the viewers thinking that the movie may have benefited from using time to display McCo­naughey’s posterior for an alternative purpose rather than to advance the storyline. The film’s use of sexual ma­terial seems excessive for its nature. There are very few instances where the films use of these scenes actually helps display the rise in tension or emotional build-up when they are otherwise purposeless.

The primary factors keeping the film afloat include the fantastic performanc­es of a wonderful all-star cast, as well as scenery that immerses the viewer in the atmosphere presented. Nonetheless, the amount of nudity and sexual content, combined with the Olympic level long jumps to conflict resolutions, severely limit the potential of the film. “Serenity” is a film that takes viewers on a much needed trip to the beach that is soon interrupted by a plot rainstorm.