They followed it relatively easily. The only thing that people who have seen Firefly might have picked up on easier than people who haven't seen the show, is the level of history between the characters. There is very obvious implied history. My friend Katie even remarked on that. But one thing she didn't realize is that, for example, Book was a main character and they killed him off. She didn't realize that he had once been on the ship with them like Inara was. I guess they didn't make it crystal clear in the movie, just that he was their friend and Mal respected him.
I am going to have to see the movie again because the entire final battle and, hell, everything after Wash died is a total blur to me. I emotionally shut down after that happened and was not able to focus on the full extent of the movie, or laugh at any further jokes, or cheer and clap along with everyone else in the theatre.
First, I'd like to say that I entered the movie spoiler-free. The only thing I knew from one of my friends who saw a pre-screening months ago was that something bad was going to happen and I was probably going to cry. That's all I knew. So after Book died, I remained calm and even felt somewhat relieved because THAT must have been the bad thing they were talking about. And, well, I was upset but not as upset as I could have been because I was able to rationalize that at least Book went out fighting and took them down with him.
Maybe I'm just a dumbass in general for having finished the last disc on of the DVDs Thursday night and then going directly into the movie while everything was still fresh. Maybe that made everything hurt more.
Also, I've never been a fan of anything else Joss Whedon has done, so I didn't know how he "works." I never got into Buffy or Angel or anything. So I didn't know he had an affinity for angst and killing people. Now I know.
With that said, after Wash died I physically and emotionally reacted in the exact same way I do when someone I know and care about in real life dies. And that is to go numb and completely shut down emotionally. I cry a little bit at first, and then my defense kicks in.
What makes it even worse, though, was Zoe. During the series, I liked her well enough. I liked them all. But I didn't consider her one of my very favorite characters. Now I do. Because she reacted just like I did. She just...wasn't there anymore. But she was angry. And she was sad. But you never once saw her cry, even at the funeral thing.
As for people saying Mal wasn't in character or something. Um...I don't see that at all. During the show, things weren't as bad for him. He would get angry. He would sometimes be an asshat. But he always had the greater good in mind, and always had his own strict moral code. What about that time Zoe was hurt really badly and Mal made Wash leave her and go pilot the ship even though Wash was arguing with him? Someone HAD to drive the ship! Mal knew that Wash was angry with him, but he also understands that sometimes you have to be the bad guy to be the leader. And you have to see the big picture. That was the same Mal I saw in this movie. His general asshattery was maybe a little worse that usual, but so was the situation. He was going to LET Simon and River leave, but he wasn't making them. Simon was the one who decided to. And then at the end, although that Operative guy deserved to die because he killed Mal's allies and friends, Mal didn't kill him. That's the same Mal I know and love from the series. That is why he's my favorite character, and always will be.
I do have more respect for River now, and like her more than I did from the series. Someone from this very community told me that would be the case, and they were right. And now that she was finally able to rid herself of the information that was so terrible it was making her crazy, hopefully she can go back to pretending to be a normal girl. Or at least a semi-normal girl. I'm relieved for her. I'm happy for her.
Oh, and I'm glad Simon and Kaylee got it on. Though I wish it had been Mal and Inara. ^_~
After Book and Wash died, and then in the fight with the Reavers Simon got shot (I never for a second believed Kaylee was in danger of dying) I literally yelled, "You have GOT to be shitting me!" At that point, I was willing to believe anything could happen, including killing off Simon, too. I was glad he didn't. I may have walked out of the movie.
I guess that's pretty much it. I was very upset and disturbed by them putting the bodies of their friends on the front of Serenity and pretending to be a Reaver ship. *shudder* That was gross, but necessary. Mal is a smart man. Smart, and obviously ruthless. He wasn't being mean...it's actually him believing in River that saved her from herself.
I guess I should end this before I ramble on more.
I give it an A+, but at the same time a D- for hurting my feelings. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster for anyone who cares about the characters.