Mark Steyn on Serenity

First Scotty, now this! That makes two Mark Steyn commentaries on sci-fi TV shows that became movies in one day!

Be warned, if you haven’t seen Serenity yet, there may be one or two soft spoilers here. But I think I can quote this bit:

By now you’re probably wondering, yeah, so you liked the rough’n’ready sets and TV dialogue and reaction shots, but is it about anything? Well, it claims to be. The tag line on the posters in the US was ‘Because the future is worth fighting for.’ And, if it doesn’t quite live up to that billing, it’s got more going on than the Star Wars Zen-by-numbers colouring book. Having won the war, the Alliance begins mind-washing its citizens to make them more content and placid. Unfortunately, as a side-effect, folks also lose the desire to go to work, to breed, and ultimately to live — except for a very small minority whom the mind-washing backfires on and turns into feral predators who destroy everything they come near. Hmm. Aside from anything else, Serenity is also an excellent allegory for the next ten years of the European Union.

That’s certainly one of the more daring interpretations I’ve seen!

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • Matthew Francis

    Peter, I thought Chewitel Ejiofor was excellent in “Dirty Pretty Things.” Have you reviewed that?

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Reviewed, no. I agree that his performance was excellent, though.

  • Trent

    Thanks for the spoiler heads-up. I have here and there came across far too much info about this movie that I didn’t want to know. Like that earlier website you pointed me to….

    And no, I still haven’t seen it. Was at the door of a movie theatre that was showing it, but screening didn’t start until 7, and I had to leave town by 6.

    Gah. Flightplan is showing in Dawson this week. Maybe Serenity next week?

    Peter: be forewarned. Kids change your viewing habits. Esp. if your wife forbids you to see a movie without her. Of course, as someone whose job it is to see movies, you’ll probably have an easier time of coming up with good (sounding) excuses…

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Peter: be forewarned. Kids change your viewing habits. Esp. if your wife forbids you to see a movie without her. Of course, as someone whose job it is to see movies, you’ll probably have an easier time of coming up with good (sounding) excuses…

    Yes, Deanna likes it when I do things that earn me money, and she has been very good about letting me see movies without her. (She says she always used to “wait for the video” before she met me, and in most cases she’s fine with doing that still, if she has to.)

    The trick, I think, will be not so much getting to the films, as it will be trying to find time to write the reviews. I have a hard enough time writing when Deanna’s home as it is, and not because she does anything to distract me, but simply because I need to feel a little isolated; so who knows what that will be like when I’ve got a couple of toddlers putzing about.

  • Geosomin

    Pete, we didn’t need children to disrupt our viewing…we actually had to take a road trip with friends to Prince Albert (about 1 1/2 hours) to see the movie in a theatre….I admit I got a lot of crazy looks from people I work with but I had been looking forwar to the movie for too long to wait! Why it was there and not here – who knows? With a while to think on it I must say, I loved it but I had to actually wait a few days before I could talk about it with friends… I’d say more, but I don’t want to give away anything for Trent if he still hasn’t seen it.
    I was very happy with the movie…I admit to cheering out loud when Serenity had it’s first flyby on the big screen (Yes if you’re wondering I plan to have the work “geek” tatood on my forhead sometime next week..!). I think the 4 of us who went were a little more vocal than maybe we should have been in the theatre, but we were all so excited that we kept laughing, cheering or gasping out loud…