Find Your Film Spotlight On ‘Serenity’ (Spoiler Episode!)

Is Serenity, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, an underappreciated movie? The Find Your Film guys, joined by guest Aaron Kesller, dole out their opinions!

Serenity currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 20% (its audience score is 29%), and I understand the low marks. That said, the guys at Find Your Film rewatched Serenity and found a healthy share of positive things to say. Check out our spoiler filled episode of the Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway flick!

Constance (Diane Lane) lures Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) into temptation in SERENITY. Photo credit Graham Bartholomew-Aviron Pictures.

Serenity centers on Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey), a fishing boat captain who is living in a remote island called Plymouth. Though he’s basically living off the grid, his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) tracks him down and asks him to kill her current hubby (Jason Clarke).

If he murders Karen’s lover, Baker gets $10 million. It’s enough money to finance his never ending quest to catch a big tuna and also help his friend (and fellow ship mate) Duke (Djimon Hounsou).

Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) gazes into the horizon as he sails the mysterious waters of Plymouth Island in SERENITY. Photo credit Graham Bartholomew-Aviron Pictures

Directed and penned by Steven Knight (Locke, Peaky Blinders), Serenity was released January 25, 2019 to mainly negative reviews. I absolutely disliked the movie and thought I wasted my money in the theater. That said, upon a second viewing Serenity won me over and I’m an unabashed fan of the feature.

As Find Your Film co-host Eric Holmes accurately states, Serenity is hard to talk about and review without discussing the twist. Thus, along with special guest and friend of the show Aaron Kesller, we discuss the ins and outs of the film!

This is Aaron’s first viewing, and this is a second watch for Eric Holmes, Bruce Purkey and myself. The idea for a Serenity spoiler episode came out of Bruce and I urging Eric to see the movie, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video and I also available on Blu-ray. I thought Eric would detest the flick, but in the end he absolutely enjoyed it!

Would love to hear your thoughts on Serenity, and if you don’t want any more spoilers, please stop here!!! The podcast and show breakdown are below!

Serenity Spoiler Episode Breakdown

0:00 – Intro

1:02 – “You can’t talk about the movie without the twist.” – Eric Holmes

1:50Night of the Creeps, Yojimbo, and Bela Lugosi adorn the wall of special guest of Aaron Kesller. I should have asked him a little bit more about his love for those films and Lugosi.

3:10Bruce Purkey calls the movie, which was in his Top 20 in 2019, an “arguably terrible” film but he found it entertaining.

4:29 – Speaking of Yojimbo, our next Find Your Film spotlight will be Walter Hill as we will cover Last Man Standing (a semi-remake of Yojimbo) and Southern Comfort.

5:10 – Aaron went into Serenity with fresh eyes, expecting a film noir. While he appreciated the message, he didn’t think it was well executed.

7:31 – The first time I saw this movie, I felt like I was “swimming in vomit.”

9:40 – Bruce Purkey enjoyed watching Serenity by drinking The Velvet Devil merlot. This is not a sponsored ad!!!

10:30 – Eric Holmes gives his reactions on his second watch. He briefly mentions the twist in the movie.

14:40 – I read Anne Hathaway’s Instagram in response to the divided reviews the movie received.

15:57 – “It’s trying to be clever, and it’s not.” – Aaron Kesller

17:20 – Eric Holmes defends Steven Knight’s screenplay, saying that Knight was writing in the POV of a kid creating a video game, hence the awkward dialogue. Holmes talks about the free will theme in the film.

18:36 – Aaron gives props to Jason Clarke’s performance.

19:20 – Bruce Purkey has an interesting take on Diane Lane’s character in Serenity is an homage to her character in Unfaithful. Lane played a woman named “Constance” in both films.

21:20 The twist: Serenity is a video game!!! And btw, I loved it upon second viewing!

27:00 – Aaron and Bruce details the video game aspects of Serenity

28:49 – I’m surprised by the lack of support of Serenity, and Eric Holmes also doesn’t get it! He also talks about how the twist changed his perception of the film.

30:20 – How many rum drinks are imbibed in this film???

30:50 – Bruce gives the movie three stars. 

33:20 – Aaron gives an interesting theory on what the twist would be. He also discusses a plot/game mechanic in the film that I never noticed!

36:00 – We discuss Jeremy Strong’s character Reid Miller in the film. 

39:40 – Eric Holmes gives his pitch for a Serenity sequel!

40:48 – Bruce Purkey wondered if someone actually made a Plymouth Island videogame and he went on Steam to investigate!

42:50 – Aaron’s final thoughts on Serenity. He gives the film two stars. 

43:17 – Bruce sees Serenity as a fun and entertaining movie.

45:39 – Aaron recommends the HBO series Perry Mason.

45:50 – Next week for the director’s spotlight, we are covering director Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing and Southern Comfort.

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