PRO Sublime shit

Bad movie lovers, rejoice! Serenity is here, and it’s a ridiculously entertaining, completely deranged headtrip of a thriller. It’s difficult to talk about without giving away its already-infamous twist, a revelation so breathtakingly stupid/amazing that even the least discerning filmgoer will yell “Are you fucking kidding me?”. Matthew Mc- Conaughey, channelling his inner Nicolas Cage, plays Baker Dill, a grumpy deep sea fisherman and part-time prostitute obsessed with catching a massive CGI tuna named Justice (seriously). Soon, ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway, giving an enjoyably hammy performance) reappears, offering Dill a cool $10 million to rub out her abusive husband Frank (Jason Clarke). What starts out as a moody neo-noir quickly evolves into something truly jaw-dropping, with the mid-film reveal destined to go down as one of the biggest swings-and-misses ever committed to celluloid. As such, it’s a true delight for lovers of high camp and WTF-cinema. — JA

CON Serious shit

Don’t be fooled by the McConaughey-Hathaway pairing, or the possibility that Serenity may be some soon-to-be cult film. Or even by the fact that it’s the brainchild of Steven Knight, who wrote the screenplay for David Cronenberg’s riveting gangster flick Eastern Promises, and directed the audaciously original one-man drama Locke. Knight follows that Tom Hardystarring gem with a sub-Body Heat tropical crime thriller which proves that a bold high-concept idea isn’t always enough to sustain an entire film. He utilises noir staples to no effect and caps off the proceedings with a twist so catastrophically ridiculous that it’s almost, but not quite, worth sticking around to witness the stupidity. Some may find satisfaction in the mannered acting, the puerile psychobabble and that demented narrative swerve, but it’s all so flatly self-serious that “so-bad-it’s-good” status remains completely out of reach.— DM

Serenity | Directed by Steven Knight (US 2019) with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway Starts May 2.

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