'Serenity' review: 'Few sparks' between Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway

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Sandy Kenyon reviews the film "Serenity."

January is the month where bad movies go to die, and "Serenity" is the latest example of why a movie with seemingly everything to recommend it ends up falling flat.

My hope was the thriller would play in a way that wouldn't feel like work, with its great group of stars and promising premise, but 108 minutes actually seemed like twice as long.

Matthew McConaughey plays a veteran who comes to an island to rebuild his life, hiring out as a guide for wealthy sports fishermen. But his single-minded pursuit of a big tuna in his boat named "Serenity" has left Baker Dill short of customers and cash, which is why he must take money for sex from Diane Lane's character.

These two are great together -- and it's a pity they don't get more screen time -- especially because there are so few sparks between McConaughey and his co-star Anne Hathaway.

She plays an old love who left him for a rich guy, wanting out of her current abusive relationship and her husband dead.

Hathaway's character comes up with a plan for her old flame.

"I want you to take him out on your boat, let him get drunk, then drop him in the ocean for the sharks," she says.

In return, she promises Dill $10 million. But his buddy, played by Djimon Hounsou, advises him not to take the deal.

This is where the movie takes a sharp turn into the weird, with the appearance of a strange, little man and his briefcase. It turns out all is not as it seems in paradise.

I won't spoil the surprise, but I suspect its supernatural nature was a way for the filmmaker to work his way out of a plot, and he couldn't figure out how to finish.

The best compliment I get from viewers is when they tell me that I save them money by trying to explain which movies are worthwhile and which are not. "Serenity" falls in the latter category.

It's only for those who are willing to pay to see Matthew McConaughey's toned and buff body.

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