Serenity is one of the worst movies of 2019. Serenity is also batshit crazy. Serenity contains a twist ending that elevates all the other shitty twist endings ever attempted in the history of cinema to stunning works of intellect. The Village? Genius! Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes? A higher plain of exquisite twistdom! It is difficult to describe just how bad this movie is. Words fail me!
Oh, and the tuna’s name isn’t really “Charlie.” Writer/director Steven Knight, fearing the film isn’t quite pretentious enough, has Baker Dill name the tuna fish “Justice.”
Let it be known that I would like “THE TUNA’S NAME WAS JUSTICE” carved onto my tombstone.
Dill is dating an amorous widow named Constance (Diane Lane). Many nights he can be found in her sweaty embrace. Dill is angry because he can’t catch the giant tuna and never has any money. Constance is angry because she keeps loaning Dill money and because she is an Oscar-nominated actress who is given nothing to do but look longingly out of windows.
This is just the first ten minutes!
So, does the good man go astray when the femme fatale shows up with promises of money and sex? Will the awful man be done in through a combination of malfeasance and circumstance? Will the film test the audience’s collective patience with a screenplay and performances that are absolutely bonkers?
Unfortunately, Serenity is not a film noir; I would hard-pressed to even come up with a genre for it, though I can think of some adjectives that describe it: risible, corny, unbelievable, runny-nosed, up-its-own-ass, and moronic. What we have here is a motion picture that, based on the evidence onscreen, was reverse-engineered from its crazy twist. Yet the twist does not make sense and, the more one ponders said twist, the less sense it makes—so the reverse engineering is for naught. This movie simply does not work as narrative, as entertainment, as any known entity on our planet.
Glass: both are so balls-out nutty that they seem designed to somehow let the movies themselves off the hook (sorry) for all the dumbness that transpires before the twist.
In answer to what you’re wondering…. NO. No, I’m NOT going to spoil the twist. I am urging you to SEE this incredible film before it leaves theaters. We, as film lovers, are spoiled by the professional and entertaining products that Hollywood studios release on a weekly basis. When is the last time you saw something really bad… fascinatingly bad? I thought so.
Plus, the scenery and locations are stunning. Serenity is like taking a two-hour vacation in the middle of winter. The day I saw it, the temperature outside was 1 degree.
I saw Serenity at an early matinee screening frequented by senior citizens. As soon as the end credits began to roll, I fine-tuned my Spidey-sense because I desperately wanted to overhear what these seasoned filmgoers thought about the shit soufflé they had just been served.
The first thing I heard was an elderly gentleman loudly exclaim, “Bah!” I suddenly realized that, though I had certainly read it in books and heard it in movies, I had never in my life heard a real, live human make that noise. “Bah,” as it turns out, may be one of the most keenly observed reviews of this film.
The final old couple out of the theater paused briefly at the exit. The husband snorted, “fucking ridiculous” and disappeared into the restroom. Mic drop.
It was all I could do to restrain myself from trying to organize an impromptu discussion group in the lobby.
Later that night, Adam Riske saw it and we briefly texted about how magnificently bad it was. His screening just over, Riske could only manage the following text: “Dude… dude… Serenity.” When he had at last gathered his wits, he jokingly asked for MORE Baker Dill movies to be made. I suggested that “Dill… Baker Dill” could be the James Bond for the new millenium. We spent the rest of the evening suggesting possible titles: Fishfinger, From Plymouth with Love, Thunderboat, Tuna is Forever, For My Son Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Tuna Fishing Charter, Albacore Royale, MoonBaker, and Live and Let Cliff Dive. My wife suggested that Baker Dill would drive an Aston Marlin. The whole conversation made me really glad that I had seen Serenity.
Should you see Serenity? Remember—the tuna’s name is Justice! I think that’s all you need to know to make this important life decision… for yourselves.