The film has a great lineup of actors, but is not that great of a film itself. “Serenity” is directed by Steven Knight. Knight directed “Locke” (2013), and that film was better than “Serenity” and it only had one person throughout the whole movie (however that person communicates with people throughout the movie on his bluetooth device in his vehicle). “Serenity” is fairly boring, disorganized, and there is suspense and such, but the the film itself as a whole drags. The main reason why it grabbed my attention was because of this movie being the second time that Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway doing a movie together since “Interstellar” (2014). “Interstellar” was better than “Serenity.”
The somewhat captivating plot takes place in Mauritius on Plymouth Island. Baker (McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain with a quiet life. He is someone that enjoys his solitude. His ex-wife Karen (Hathaway) comes to him for help in terms of her safety for her son and her. Karen is in an abusive relationship with her new husband Frank (Jason Clarke). Karen wants to Baker to take Frank out on the boat and kill him by causing him be attacked by sharks out at sea. For Baker, this task turns his world upside down. His negative past starts to come back to haunt him as a majority of his life has been negative actions.
Now with “Serenity” I am not saying it is terrible, but there are a variety of times in the film where it is not very focused. Once Karen presents the task to Baker, the plot does not gear in that direction all that much. The film basically hops around flashbacks and painful memories for Baker instead of focusing on his plan to eliminate Frank. Therefore, I felt I was rolling my eyes a few times because I was not sure what to have my attention on as I was watching the movie. Now with Knight’s “Locke” viewers see the suspense through the character’s phone conversations, in “Serenity” it is hard to figure out what the suspense really is. I was not sure if it was the fact that Jim is going to be attacked by Baker, or if it is the haunting past for Baker.
I do still have faith in Knight as a director. I know he can one day make a brilliant film, because he has a decent amount of writing credits for TV series and films that have been successful. They range from Netflix’s “Peaky Blinders” (2013-2017), FX’s “Taboo” (2017), “Pawn Sacrifice” (2014), “Eastern Promises” (2006), “Burnt” (2015) and more. I am a fan of the dialogue and the setups in the three films listed above, and I believe that Knight is getting better, just directing is still fairly new for him. “Serenity” just was not his best. I believe with this one he geared too much on the emotions of the actors more than the setup for the conflict. I will say I am giving this one just two stars.