SPOILERS: I GIVE AWAY THE PLOT
These Are Good People
Matthew McConaughey’s turnaround from those moronic romcoms from the 2000s to Oscar-winning serious actor is pure Jungian dragon-slaying, an inspiration to all humankind.
I mean that.
Nothing is static. Reality is plastic and anything is possible.
All it takes is a few good roles and you can begin life anew with a fresh identity.
So always keep rolling, player.
I also love Anne Hathaway. She’s the girl in one of my favorite movies. She is Catwoman. End of discussion. Michelle Pfeiffer might look a little better when poured into spandex but Anne is the jewel thief with a heart of… well… with a heart somewhere. She’s self-righteous, scheming, smug, sarcastic and, in the end, genuinely loyal.
Matt and Anne also team up for one of the greatest scenes in recent movie history.
Stephen Knight is a really good director. His Tom Hardy vehicle Locke is one of the best movies of the last decade.
But They Did Something Very Bad
Serenity, McConaughey and Hathaway’s collaboration with Knight, is something that should have never made it past the fever-dream stage, let alone have been written, greenlit, financed, produced and distributed.
As our friend, Lord Garth would say, “It fucking sucks.”
Now everyone involved is trying to distance themselves from this career-ending event.
According to the Deadline, co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are reportedly furious with Aviron, the distributor of the biggest bomb of their careers, the laughably misguided aforementioned movie.
Apparently, Aviron had tentatively agreed to spend an amount on advertising that would be in line with expectations for 2,500 screen release. Both McConaughey and Hathaway were scheduled to do a promotional tour that included a junket and a full-court press on all the TV talk shows.
Then the reviews came in: 22% and 4.1/10 on Rotten Tomatoes.
From the Deadline article:
Sources said they believe maybe only nine spots aired in obscure locales and not in any time slots that would have helped create awareness for the film. And sources said it wasn’t until the night before McConaughey and Hathaway got on a plane for the Los Angeles junket that Aviron execs finally leveled and told them that there would be no P&A spend.
Sources also claimed that only nine TV adverts had aired at the time and only in time slots that would not have helped create any buzz for the film.
Nine TV ads. For a 2,500 screen release.
Wait a minute…
“And sources said it wasn’t until the night before McConaughey and Hathaway got on a plane for the Los Angeles junket…”
And Aviron has now issued a statement:
“We had the best intentions for Serenity. We were excited for the opportunity to release this uniquely original movie and work with such a stellar cast and talented filmmakers.
As much as we love this film and still hope it finds its audience, we tested and retested the film — with audiences and critics alike — and sadly, the data demonstrated that the film was not going to be able to perform at our initial expectations, so we adjusted our budget and marketing tactics accordingly.
Regardless of the spend, it’s next to impossible for an adult-skewing drama to overcome a 23% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a D+ CinemaScore.
To have spent more would have been irresponsible to our capital partners and wouldn’t have made prudent business sense for an independent distributor.
We have enormous respect and admiration for the talent and all the hard work they put into the film and wish the box office results were better.”
When your distributor is quoting low RT ratings your movie, your career, maybe your life is pretty much over.
The Idea Was Wrong From Inception
So this is the spoilers review.
We start out with sweaty, burnt out Matthew McConaughey on a boat hunting the perfect fish, the monster fish, in the waters off of some Caribbean island.
Of course, he is assisted by the wise and noble Djimon Hounsou.
They both live on a boozy, sex-drenched island that time forgot. It’s pretty fun.
Some actors’ only method is to not shave and drink straight liquor and go bitter and broken but with someone as self-aware as McConaughey it just adds another layer to his pastiche.
Half-Drunk, Nihilistic Angler bangs hot widows and tries to catch a giant fish.
Cool. Stop it there.
Tell that story. I could watch MM be fatalistic and self-destructive all day.
Except Anne Hathaway shows up as Nihilistic Angler’s Former Flame.
Former Flame has a Gangster Husband who wants nothing more than to abuse poor Anne, bugger underage girls and perhaps kill her son from a previous relationship.
The Step-Son is, of course, the child of Nihilistic Angler.
She wants Nihilistic Angler to kill her husband in exchange for $10 million.
Cool. Finish it there.
Bring in a few more characters, throw in some noir tropes and make that movie. It’s Body Heat meets… well, it’s just Body Heat. And Body Heat is awesome.
Except… no, no… get this… here’s the twist:
None of it is real.
It’s all just a video game created by the Step-Son to give himself permission to kill his abusive step-father!
Really. All of it is a video game. The island, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, the giant fish, even Djimon Hounsou is inside a game.
Isn’t That Fucked Up?!?!?
Nihilistic Angler is not only not real, but his real-world self also was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Jesus, that looks stupid on my screen: “his real-world self.”
This is a direct-to-video from the 1980s. This is 1990s Sci-Fi channel.
It’s not worthy of discussion. It’s stupid and embarrassing.
I can find no excuse for this movie to exist. Maybe some people shouldn’t do hard drugs?
Keep rolling though, Steven. I know whatever you do next will be amazing.