But the whole of the script is reflective of this. Every scene has purpose and progresses the narrative as well as expands on what we know and need to know about all the characters. Some moments are overt and some are incredibly subtle. It is really quite impressive. And this film manages another impressive feat on a scene by scene level in how it tackles the blending of genre. The way the film juggles genre doesn't feel forced. It feels authentic as it does in life. There is the typical upending of genre tropes that Whedon is know for all throughout and quite a bit of humor to undercut moments of sincerity, but it is never at the expense of what is necessary and it never feels out of character.
One of the best scenes in the film comes during a great space battle. That scene weaves genre all throughout and manages to be, what I would argue, as the best space battle scene ever filmed as a result. The scene pits hero ship vs villain ship and then you get a but of a western vibe with the introduction of the Reavers as cavalry and then you get the cheer moment, then it turns hella dramatic, some comedy cuts in, the action gets tense, some more comedy, the action gets nothing short of white-knuckle and then things settle a bit. The audience is given permission to breath. A joke undercuts everything you have just scene. Then a moment of shock and horror before emotions turn to sharp drama and action takes over once more before letting the horror genre take command for a bit. It is a stunning five minutes.
But as I have been saying, this film stuns all the way. It was a film that was ahead of its time and I think would play much better now. At the time, it had the Star Wars prequels to compete with. The film is a little too cerebral for an audience expecting your average Star Wars. At the time, few films blended genre the way this film does. Now every Marvel film does so with ease (in part because of Whedon's contributions). But, do yourself a favor. Sit back and let Serenity soar once more.