City Paper declares 'Serenity' one of 'the year's sharpest political movies.' Sam Adams praises the BDM for not serving up its message "on a silver nitrate platter" like so much of the year's overtly "important" Oscar bait.
"Joss Whedon called it 'political but not partisan,' but Buffy-watchers know how to read between the lines. A future in which a well-meaning conglomerate government has been seized by fundamentalist zealots who want to sedate their own populace into comatose complacency? Gee, what could that be about?
"Mal Reynolds, Nathan Fillion's disillusioned ex-revolutionary, was the soul of every whipped-dog leftist crushed by the country's tumble into trembling credulity and made-for-TV factionalism, his journey back from the darkness a reminder that secularists need faith, too.
"Mal's face-off with Chewitel Ejiofor's Rovian operative housed the year's most chilling exchange: When a disgusted Mal spits, 'I don't murder children,' the operative coolly responds, 'I do—when I have to.' In that instant, the moral fabric of the universe warps like Harry Potter's guts on a Floo-powder jaunt, and the audience comes face to face with a fanatical ideologue who will betray every one of his principles for a shot at victory. Next to him, Joe McCarthy looks like Marvin the Martian."
December 31 2005
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