The Good: Decent explanation from fans
The Bad: Terribly inaccurate (gets a number of facts wrong)
The Basics: Done The Impossible explains the fandom around Firefly . . . in a mediocre fashion.
It’s worth, at the outset of panning the documentary Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale Of “Firefly” And “Serenity”, to note that I am a fan of Firefly. I mention that up front because I was excited to watch Done The Impossible . . . until pretty much the first frames of the documentary. I can live with bias, especially in a documentary about fandom . . . but I have a low threshold for factual inaccuracies in any documentary and Done The Impossible does not do a good service to fans in terms of creating a good historical document.
Done The Impossible is essentially Trekkies (reviewed here!) for Firefly. Firefly (reviewed here!) was a short-lived television show on the FOX network, which was resurrected as a film Serenity (reviewed here!). The show has a strong fan base, but objectively viewed, the series is fourteen episodes long and a movie which was by no means a box office smash. The documentary mines the limited amount of commentary available on the subject to present a short documentary, most of which was contained in the bonus features for the DVD sets for Firefly and Serenity.
Filmed mostly at conventions packed with fans of Firefly, Done The Impossible proclaims the series the best program ever to air on television before a protracted series of introductions of fans of Firefly. After a number of people whose fifteen minutes might be their vague association with the fan movement surrounding Firefly introducing themselves, Adam Baldwin appears on screen to tell the story of Firefly and Firefly fandom. Inaccurately saying that Firefly had done something never done before with a television series being cancelled and then resurrected as a film (did these people never hear of Star Trek?!), the documentary has fans discuss their love of Firefly.
The documentary then shifts to the cancellation of Firefly and the reaction from both fans of the series and people involved in the show. While it is impressive to see Nathan Fillion and Tim Minear talk about their reactions to the show’s cancellation, they provide nothing truly new than they did in the bonus features on the DVD and Blu-Ray for the show/movies. The documentary then discusses how fans helped raise the capital to make the film Serenity. Outside comments on how Browncoats (the Firefly fans) raised money for charity, there was really nothing new or original in terms of substantive commentary in Done The Impossible.
Thus, much of Done The Impossible is fans (including filkers, Orson Scott Card, and otherwise unremarkable individuals who fell in love with the series) talking about their own personal reactions to the show, the cancellation, and the fight to resurrect the series. Done The Impossible is not fact-heavy, though it tells the personal stories of many people’s emotional connection with the series.
Sadly, that makes the documentary remarkably thin. There is little to say about the show, there is little to say about the campaign to make the movie (we were told, if enough money is raised, the studio will make and distribute a film . . . so we raised the money) and there is remarkably little to say about the fandom. That makes Done The Impossible and unfortunately unremarkable documentary that seems likely to please fans, but not truly enlighten or sway those who are not already part of that fandom.
For other documentaries, please check out my reviews of:
For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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