It is hard to find anything redeeming about Steven Knight’s new film Serenity. The director, who also wrote and produced the film, delivers a movie completely lacking any self-awareness with a shaky premise, woeful one-liners, and a baffling plot. It should have been telling that a film with this much star power would see its release date pushed back twice.
On the isolated island of Plymouth, where everyone knows each other’s business, army veteran Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) makes his living as a fisherman. As he struggles to pay the bills and is haunted by an elusive tuna named Justice, his ex-wife Karen Zariakas (Anne Hathaway), who is the mother of his son, shows up on the island with a proposition to kill her abusive husband. The next half of the film follows Dill in his perpetual drunken haze as he tries to decide whether to catch Justice or off Karen’s husband.
This review has left out a lot of the jarring and unexpected twists this film takes for those who appreciate a so-bad-it’s-good sit down at the movies. The only thing more perplexing than the story is how McConaughey and Hathaway would come to be a part of something like this. McConaughey reaches Shakespearean levels of hamminess with his portrayal of the alcoholic Dill, appropriately matched by Hathaway’s performance which can only be described as an oblivious caricature of a noir femme fatale. If you’re looking for something even remotely close to the duos’ work on Interstellar this film is definitely not it.
Jose Ramirez is an English major minoring in Psychology and working towards a Film Studies Certificate.