When I writing my review of the Firefly series, I checked IMDb to see what other productions some actors might be in. I noticed the title “Serenity”, the title of the ship in the series. That is odd. When I clicked on the title the film proved to be a scifi and I soon noticed that other actors of the series are in the film as well. Somehow, a few years after the withdrawal of the series (14 episodes have been filmed, 11 broadcasted and the DVD box has a sudden end, so episode 14 might not have been the planned last one) a film was made. With a bigger budget too it seems. Perhaps because of the success of “Buffy” that Whedon made in the meantime?
All major characters/actors of the series are in the film. The ship Serenity got a make-over, the Western elements are skipped and the title song replaced, but for the rest the film is mostly an episode of the series. More even, when the viewer does not know the series, (s)he might be puzzled by some characters and situations in the movie. The film watches like an episode after the last one (or perhaps the pre-last one?) of the series. Perhaps the director got the means to wrap up the story that he actually wanted to tell with his series? This is not entirely true either, because the film has a very open end.
The story then. It starts with a flashback explaining the story about River. That thread, which is not that ‘red’ in the series, makes up the basis for the film. We also learn more about “The Alliance” and some new twists are added to the story. The film is largely like the series. The relationships between the different characters, the sense of humour, it even has references to things that happened in the series.
I find both the series and the film a bit overrated on IMDb, but both make amusing views. The film is of the same ‘level’ as the series and might just as well have been added to it as an extended episode.