SERENITY – Review by Susan Granger

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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.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.