This alleged neo-noir thriller is beyond disappointing.
Chain-smoking, Iraq War vet Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain, catering to tourists while obsessively pursuing an elusive, giant tuna, dubbed “Justice,” off a Caribbean-like island called Plymouth, described as “the most beautiful island in this damn dirty world.”
Drinking rum from a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, Dill lives alone, so you know he has family issues, although he’s dallying-for-dollars with Constance (Diane Lane), a hot-to-trot divorcee.
Suddenly his sultry ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) – a beautiful blonde femme fatale, clad in white – struts into the only bar on the island.
Karen offers Dill $10 million to take her obscenely rich, but mean, sadistic new husband, Frank Zariakas (Jason Clarke), fishing on his twin-engine cutter, dubbed Serenity, and throw him overboard, feeding him to the sharks.
Of course, Dill demurs – at first – until he realizes exactly how abusive Frank is, not only to Karen but to Dill’s teenage son Patrick (Rafael Sayegh).
While Dill’s dutiful first-mate (Djimon Hounsou) tries to steer him from temptation, there’s also the appearance of Reid Miller (Jeremy Strong), a nerdy fishing-supplies sales rep on a mission, proclaiming, ”Plymouth Island is a game.”
Then there’s this surreal, mind-bending twist.
Thanks to foreign financing, British writer/director Steven Knight (“Locke”) filmed in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean – and he gives Matthew McConaughey has more cheesy nude scenes than either of his female co-stars.
FYI: This is the second collaboration between Mathew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway; hey previously co-starred in “Interstellar” (2014). Reid Miller’s employer, Fontaine Fishing Company, is perhaps a reference to Fontaine Industries from the video game Bioshock. And Uma Thurman was originally cast as Constance and was replaced by Diane Lane.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Serenity” sinks to a sleazy, sweaty, unsatisfying 3, a waterlogged potboiler.