Time Travel flicks have always been a hit or miss for a guy like me. Whenever I think of a time travel movie, I think about it way too much and I get into the details of it. Sometimes, time travel works very well (Back To The Future) and on other occasions it feels like a complete waste of time (Almanac). When I heard about Predestination, I did not know what to think. On one hand, I thought that this was a movie that was going to be too confusing for me (like Primer) and on the other hand, I thought this movie could actually be a well thought out and well-constructed film. Thank God it was the latter (for the most part).
Predestination is a film directed by the Spierig Brothers that came out in early 2015 in the United States. It stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor, was based on a short story “-All You Zombies-“ by Robert A. Heinlein and was written by Paddy McDonald, Tim McGahan and Michael Spierig. To tell you any details of the plot would be disastrous but let me keep it vague, the film follows the story of a Barman (Ethan Hawke) who is actually a time-traveler who works for an agency that prevents catastrophes from happening.
Okay, right off the bat, Predestination is one hell of a movie. It is one of the few time travel movies that work very well. It is not incredibly hard to follow, it just rewards those who listen to what’s going on. What this film does so well is that it makes you think about it a lot, even after it is over. Few films can have such a major impact on a guy like me. It is a smart film, to say the least.
The Storyline and the performances are fantastic. I know that from what I lead you to believe, the storyline isn’t all that great, but trust me, you will be glad I didn’t say anything at all once you see the movie. The film is pretty much divided into two halves, the first half focuses on Sarah Snook’s character and her story. The second half focuses more on Ethan Hawke’s character and the way these two stories conclude once we reach the end of the film was ingenious to me. The ideas it brings up are original, the time-travel aspects are genuinely well thought out and the underlying themes of loneliness and tragedy is very well explored.
Let’s talk about the performances. Sarah Snook gave quite frankly, one of the best performances I have seen in film this year (I know this came out in 2014, but it got wider release in 2015). She does a great job of bringing in a sense of loss and pain to her character, something that even Ethan Hawke does very well with his character. Overall, it is a pretty well acted film.
Having said all of this, I do have a few issues with the film. Particularly with the fact that some twists become quite obvious due to a lot of set up. The pacing can also be a little off at times due to the slightly convoluted nature of the story, but that didn’t affect much of the viewing experience for me as I was a too engrossed in the story.
Guys, I know this an incredibly vague and short review but I made it so for a reason and due to the nature of the story, it is a hard film to review. Predestination is a film that you have to experience without any spoilers what so ever. It is a film that you should check out, if you ever get the time to because at the very least, it is an interesting movie. The story is well thought out, the performances (particularly Sarah Snook) are great, the themes are very well explored. Even though the pacing is a bit off and some of the twists come in a little too late, the film never gets uninteresting and I love it for that. I give Predestination an 8.6/10