In Theatres: 
Jan 25, 2019
Running Time: 
106 minutes

My live commentary while watching Serenity went something like, “What? No. They can’t be…Wow. What!?” The film features a twist that not even M. Night Shyamalan could see coming. It takes the film from what’s supposed to be a neo-noir thriller to one of the most ridiculous stories I’ve ever watched on the big screen. It’s been days since I’ve seen the film, and I’m still baffled at how this got made.


Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is the captain of a small fishing boat named Serenity on Plymouth Island, and for as long as he can remember he’s been chasing this one mammoth tuna he’s nicknamed ‘Justice.’ But all that begins to change when his former lover comes back into the picture. She (Anne Hathaway) informs him that her husband is abusing her and her son, who also happens to be Baker’s son from their previous relationship, and she’s come to the island for a fishing trip with the promise of $10 million if Baker can make him “disappear” while out on the boat. Now Baker must decide whether to take the money or follow his morals.


Right from the start, Serenity gives off an awkward vibe that something isn’t quite right. Throughout the film there’s this strange man in a suit (Jeremy Strong) trying to speak with Baker but always arrives a few seconds too late. The fact that he always seems to know where Baker will be or his adherence to what he calls the “rules” makes wonder about what secrets the film is hiding. As the story progresses and we start to see strange behavior from some of the other people on the island, I could definitely tell that there was a twist coming.


You kinda get the feeling of where things are going, but you never expect the film to actually go there because it’s so ridiculous. I’m not going to spoil the big reveal in my review, and you’re welcome to read about it elsewhere. There will no doubt be plenty of articles explaining everything and what it all means.


The movie becomes laughably absurd where nothing makes sense anymore. It tries to steer the story towards abuse and the impact it has using various metaphors, but nothing catches. The problem is that two-thirds of the film is spent building everything up and then the final third tears it all down for it’s big moment of realization. It just doesn’t quite work.


I know it’s only January, but I honestly don’t expect to see a wilder film than Serenity. Despite not liking it overall, I couldn’t help but be captivated and intrigued by its story. Good or bad, it’s a film I won’t be soon forgetting.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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