On paper, a mysterious psychological thriller written and directed by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, starring Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles with support from Oscar nominees Diane Lane and Djimon Honsou, is enough to pique your curiosity.
Throw in a plot that follows a fishing boat captain who finds his life turned upside down when his ex-wife shows up on the scene desperate for help, asking him to murder her abusive new husband to protect her and the son they share, and Serenity sounds like the sort of promising adult-skewing genre film that Hollywood doesn’t really tend to make anymore.
Unfortunately, the infamous dud is one of the stupidest movies to have come along in the last few years, with a twist that’s so unexpectedly baffling, nonsensical and preposterous that it had critics and audiences laughing in the aisles, which wasn’t the intention, so don’t read any further if you want to save the surprise for later.
As it turns out, the twisting tale of sex, death, lies and deceit takes place entirely within a video game created by the son of McConaughey and Hathaway’s characters, which the youngster created after his real-world dad was killed in Iraq. The game was initially designed as a coping mechanism to help the kid deal with the trauma of losing his old man, but he refitted it from a fishing simulator into murder mystery where his AI old man has to end the in-game stepdad’s life.
McConaughey evntually becomes aware of this inside the digitally-created world for unexplainable reasons, emboldening his offspring to stab his real stepdad through the heart, where he’s promptly arrested for murder. It’s nuts, and not in a good way, but Serenity has nonetheless cracked HBO Max’s Top 10 most-watched list to currently reside in eighth place, as per FlixPatrol.