Predestination is a science fiction fantasy film from Michael and Peter Spierig. The film is based on the short story “All You Zombies” by Robert A. Heinlein. It stars Ethan Hawke as a man traveling through time in search of an infamous criminal known as the “Fizzle Bomber.” It is hard to give a synopsis of this movie without revealing certain spoilers that would be better revealed in time with the film, so I will just leave it at that. The only other thing you need to know is the second billed lead is filled by Sarah Snook, and she is amazing.
This film is cerebral. Oh boy, is it cerebral. The plot is intricate, jumping all over the place temporally and deliberately revealing details at only the precise moments. This being said, I did predict certain twists in the film. Ultimately, though, I didn’t care, because when the reveal of those twists came, I was still glued to the screen. I do feel like, had I known less going into the film, I wouldn’t have been able to figure out these twists (part of the reason I’m not revealing any in-depth summary). This is because this movie is superbly written, and it’s evenly paced.
The script is certainly something to take note of. A large portion of the film is told in flashbacks as Ethan Hawke’s character is being told a story by another character. This conversation between the two of them feels perfectly natural. A combination of the acting and writing help to pull this off.
Sarah Snook’s performance is good enough on its own to warrant a viewing of this movie. She is fantastic. While I was watching her control her unique character with such deft naturalism, I wondered to myself: “Why have I never seen this woman before?” Her IMdB filmography isn’t very expansive, notable entries being her second billing in Not Suitable for Children and the lead in the 2014 horror film Jessabelle (Neither of which I’ve seen). Predestination could (and should) be a star-making performance for Snook. I am incredibly excited to see what she does in 2015. It looks like she has her hands in three, maybe four movies that are set to be released this year.
If you like cerebral, mind-bending movies, this is a must-see. It is downright fun to watch. More than once during this movie, I found myself with my mouth open in shocked delight over the directions that the narrative was taking. I am not well-versed in the work of the Spierig brothers, but after this film I definitely want to check out Daybreakers, which I slept on during its initial release back in 2009.
If you want to check out this sci-fi thriller, you can find it on Amazon through the links below:
As always, thanks for reading!
Have you seen Predestination? What did you think of it? Was it predictable psycho-sci-fi blather? Or did it capture your attention? Let me know in the comments!
–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)