Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, David Krumholtz, Chiwetel Ejiofor
For years, fans were enraptured by writer/director Joss Whedon's droll, genre-twisting TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and spin-off "Angel." His subsequent show "Firefly" was cancelled before the end of its initial 14-episode network run, but the series sold so well on DVD that it spawned the feature film "Serenity."
Echoing classic sci-fi and Western motifs, "Firefly" joined a band of space-faring mercenaries and outcasts on the frontiers of a galactic civilization overseen by an oppressive government, the Alliance. Capt. Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and first mate Zoë (Gina Torres), on the losing side of a civil war against the Alliance, guided the transport ship Serenity through legit jobs and shady capers. Their crew: an ace pilot (Alan Tudyk) married to Zoë, a guileless female mechanic (Jewel Staite), and a self-serving lunk (Adam Baldwin). Tagging along: an aristocratic prostitute (Morena Baccarin), a pastor (Ron Glass), and siblings Simon (Sean Maher) and River Tam (Summer Glau). The Tams were on the run, because physicist Simon freed River from Alliance scientists who tampered with her mind.
After a prologue to establish milieu, "Serenity" introduces an Alliance operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who's pursuing River to quash a shocking secret she harbors. Mal's crew is caught in the crossfire.
The returning cast members easily inhabit their characters. Whedon throws in heists, romance, cannibals, upper-atmosphere dogfights, political allegory, relativism, and quip-sprinkled dialogue that shifts from grandiose to down-home at the drop of a consonant. "Serenity" should please those already fond of "Firefly," and appeal to newbies who love sharp action flicks and comic-book derring-do.