Not exactly a binge, just an extra two hours of viewing time on top of watching the TV series. Serenity is the movie version of the Firefly TV series. The budget was USD39 million for 2 hours, so around USD19million per hour, versus about USD2million per hour of the TV series, so roughly 10 times as much to produce. For so much less, in dramatic terms. The TV series was more like theater, with most action taking place in one large set, the ship. The movie was heavy on computer graphics, with a staff of hundreds listed in the credits for CGI. The movie loses most of the steampunk/space Western affect, it kills off the preacher in a brief cameo, it kills off the pilot, turns the Waif into a killing machine, and, worst of all, replaces the brilliant performance and beautifully written dialogue of Richard Brooks as Jubal Early, the Bounty Hunter of Episode 14 of the TV show, with the wooden, shallow and repetitive performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative, basically the same character with the same purpose. The only thing of interest in the movie is the origin story for the Reavers. Although it doesn’t explain how the Reavers could calm down long enough to be effective ship mechanics and builders, or how they could reproduce. I guess they are presented as being a short, temporary and recent phenomenon, whereas in the TV series, they are present long enough to become an urban legend, which is to say, long enough to require society.
So overall I’d have to say the movie was a huge disappointment. I haven’t researched whether it was as much of a dull assignment for the creators as it was for me as a viewer. There was a lot to like about the series itself, which will sadly never be realized. The series is likeable as much for what it could have been as for what it was. The movie is a thoughtless and plastic commercial product. I’m not saying the TV series itself wasn’t commercial, just much less so than the movie.