Serenity (2019) Review: Did Shyamalan Write This?

I’m sorry…I thought I watched an M. Night Shyamalan film last week? Perhaps I didn’t pay too much attention to the trailer for Serenity because I don’t remember it being sold as the complete clusterf**k that it turned into. A film that was pushed back TWICE from its original September 2018 release date looks like it was pushed for a reason. Serenity is a film that is so bad, it almost becomes a marvel but then it solidifies itself as trash and all of the blames falls on writer and director Steven Knight.

Aviron Pictures

Serenity begins as a story about a small-time fisherman named Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) whose life is obsessed with catching a big tuna in the ocean, so much so that he is willing to pull a knife out on paying customers to be the person to reel him in. Baker does what (and who) he can to make ends meet. One day, his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) comes to his location and offers him an insane deal, kill her husband for 10 million dollars. As Baker mulls the offer and he begins to be chased by this odd stranger and it is then that he realizes that NOTHING on the island is what it appears to be.

If you thought that Glass was hard to follow, Serenity managed to out-Shyamalan, Shyamalan. The 1st act is full of an insane amount of terrible dialogue and drawn out exposition. It’s extremely difficult to pin down the narrative of this film or what it is supposed to be. Matthew McConaughey confusingly goes from this too cool for school drunkard to becoming Mark Walberg in The Happening trying to figure out the rules of his universe. If you don’t know the big twist, halfway during the film, Baker discovers that his entire reality is a simulation-like video game which is being controlled by his son because in real life, Baker is dead and his son has created a game to deal with his mother’s abusive new husband.

Aviron Pictures

The genre of this story changes so much, by the time you actually get interested in what the film could be, they already skip to the next genre and that is the problem. Serenity doesn’t know what the hell it wants to be. Is it a thriller? Is it a drama? Is it a Sci-fi? There are a few times in the 2nd act where the craziness dies down and you start to get interested in where the movie is going but you later realize the film is not going in the direction you wanted and by the time the film ends you have completely given up. There are so many ways this film could have been saved or even interesting with better writing but Serenity is an all in all dud.

Aviron Pictures


To the guy in my screening who decided to clap when the movie ended…I hope you felt bad and went to sleep ashamed of your life decisions.




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