I'm spinning this off into a new thread from the TV show thread. [MINOR SPOILERS] I was very pleased with it. The spirit of the show remains intact, and the political message comes through much stronger than it did on the show. Happily, it's not a left wing message--it's a LIBERTARIAN message. The Alliance isn't the Empire of "Star Wars." It's much closer to the governing elite of our own world--of all political stripes. The Alliance wants to make people better. And if they don't comply, there are punishments. As Mal says, it's a mistake to try to make people better. It only leads to greater evil. Folks should just be LEFT ALONE. Wow. Not a very typical message from Sillywood. The plot is somewhat uneven. It's very, very tight in places but there are some TV-like slow spots. Whedon is still trying to find his big screen footing. The film would have benefitted from another edit, I suspect. Lisa Lassek is listed as the editor, and her IMDB sure enough shows she's one of Whedon's people from "Firefly." A better move might have been to team Lassek up with an editor with more big screen, high concept experience. But for a first time effort she did a good job. The script was great, but you can see the seams. By that I mean you can see all the various episodes of "Firefly" that were planned in Whedon's mind but never got made. The "Mr. Universe" hacker character would have had his own episode or two. The Operative would have chased them around for a season, and the ultimate Big Secret in the film would have taken a year or two to get to. The cast continues the top-grade job they did on TV. Baldwin and Fillion make the jump to big screen well. Ron Glass also does well, though he doesn't have much screen time. Jewel Staite and Gina Torres don't get that much screen time. Though I suspect if you timed it Baldwin isn't getting any more lines or time than Torres. On the big screen, though Baldwin is totally at home. He has twenty five years of extensive film experience and the difference between his ownership of the screen and the more timid approach from other actors is interesting, though not distracting. Fillion claimed to be trying to channel Harrison Ford through the whole thing, but I'm happy to report he FAILS in that effort. He's not Han Solo--not by a longshot. His character is darker and more scarred than Solo ever was. Chiwetel Ejiofor does a good job reprising the heartless bounty hunter role of Richard Brooks' Jubal Early from the final episode of Firefly. Only this time he's an unnamed operative from the Alliance. The only quibble I have about the character is that he only has a limited amount of time to flesh out and in the end his development seems rushed. It seems like Whedon had a lot of plans for this character or one close to it. The action is a bit of a let-down, though still good quality and well worth watching. Whedon uses a lot of trendy quick cuts, though in the end again this is something that the editor needs to watch. There's entirely too much fishtailing and whirling about and too little solid combat. This goes for both the high atmo space battle and the hand-to-hand fights with reavers. Part of the problem may be the fact that they're trying to sell the notion that a 90 lb. girl can kick all kinds of hiney. If you slow that down it doesn't always work well. Still, I think in more experienced hands it could have been done better. Admittedly, doing it right would also have earned them an "R." The firearms are still cool, though they got a special effects upgrade for the film and a lot of the western elements are replaced with more high-tech autos and lasers. But there's still some cool stuff including mare's laig leverguns, modified trench guns, an AR-18 with weird stuff on it, and some neat sidearms. All things considered, it's an excellent start. Though the film makes little internal reference to a sequel, the door is not closed and I hope it does well enough to get the Serenity back up into space. The unexpected political undertones of the film coupled with the fresh writing and dynamic energy make it worth catching. The guns make it a must-see for folks on this forum.