People think living the island life is idyllic, but it’s just the same as anywhere else with secrets, conspiracies, the same pool of locals who happen to know your secrets. It can be the same as living in any sprawling metropolis, even the same murders. This is exactly what Captain Dill discovered while avoiding his troubles on the remote Plymouth Island, in the 2019 moral caper, Serenity.
Life couldn’t be simpler for boat captain Baker Dill, constant sunshine, and more than friendly locals. Except for a fish nicknamed “Justice” that evades his grasp, he’s got nothing to complain about. His problems are, however, exacerbated expotentially when his ex tracks him down. She wants him to arrange a boat trip with her new abusive husband, one that she hopes that Dill will engineer so that her husband will not return from. Now Dill must contemplate the rules and ideals he values and the consequences of going against them for the woman he loved.
It is surprising of how much of this film from the trailers reminded me of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segment Master & Cadaver, both deal with murders on ships… It turns out that there’s a lot more meat on the bone compared to the trailers, But it’s not just the trailer that feels reminiscent. The plot also picks from a wide pallet of murder noir plots, and even some science fiction parables are thrown in for good measure. It is the way that Serenity manages to blend and mix these plot points to create a fun and compelling story, much like using the same Lego blocks to produce an entirely different structure.
The film’s experienced leads of McConaughey and Hathaway manage to carry the weight of the dripping in a noir-like ethical conundrum. McConaughey especially is a delight to watch once certain secrets are revealed that break his sense of right and wrong. With Hathaway trying to goad him into doing the unspeakable (like a more vulnerable Lady Macbeth). Along with Jason Clarke playing the most despicable new husband, begging the audience to question why Dill would have any qualms over ending his life. The locals of Plymouth Island all feel lively and The Island of Plymouth Rock itself is an excellent set with a lot of glorious locales, whatever the weather.
Serenity borrows from a library of other films to produce this vibrant collage that’s both serious and fun at the same time. With a beautiful setting and a strong cast and the aforementioned story makes Serenity a film that manages to feel fresh, and ultimately exciting much like the latest catch of the day.
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