REVIEW: Serenity is a beautiful, intricate mess

Revenge thriller Serenity is a sun-soaked, picturesque film that relishes in diving into the seedy underbelly of its characters.

No one is as they seem in this well-acted, taut thriller, and trying to figure out where the next bit of intrigue is going to come from is part of the fun.

But it’s also part of the perplexity of this intricate drama, where a second-act twist will either make the film for you or anchor it, kicking and screaming, to the lowest depths of the ocean.

Fishing boat captain Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is living a new life, hiding from a past that refuses to loosen its grip on the tortured man’s very soul.

He struggles to get by, and when a mysterious woman (Anne Hathaway) from his past offers him $10,000,000 to commit murder, he must wrestle his conscious to find the right answer.

Serenity plays like a trashy Wild Things mixed with the acting prowess of films like Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky.

But if the revelations the film pulls the curtain open on are too much for the viewer, then they’ll be lost for the entire third act.

Directed by Eastern Promises writer Steven Knight, it’s a delectable slice of film heaven, when it works, and seeing A-listers McConaughey and Hathaway depict abhorrent people is a whole lot of fun.

Watch for a vicious turn from Jason Clarke, in his best role since Lawless.

It took me three days to come up with a rating for Serenity, and the sheer ingenuity won me over in the end.

Keep in mind, results may vary.

4/5 Stars

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