Posted January 9, 2015 by in


Total Score

4.5/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: Science fiction, drama
Director: The Spierig Brothers
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor
Length: 97 minutes
Release Date: 1-9-2015
Studio: Screen Australia, Screen Queensland, Blacklab Entertainment, Wolfhound Pictures
What We Thought

Predestination is absolutely riveting. This is a must-see for fans of time-travel movies such as Twelve Monkeys or Looper. It’s smart, fast-paced, and suspenseful.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
Predestination is absolutely riveting.  This is a must-see for fans of time-travel movies such as Twelve Monkeys or Looper.  It’s smart, fast-paced, and suspenseful.
     The film is based on a short story by Robert A. Heinlein, and directed by the Spierig Brothers, Michael and Peter, who previously directed its star, Ethan Hawke, in the cult film Daybreakers.
     Hawke portrays a nameless, veteran cop in pursuit of “The Fizzle Bomber.”  He is not, however, an ordinary cop.  He’s a member of an organization that uses time travel to prevent crimes before they happen.  The Fizzle Bomber, however, can also travel through time, and changes the dates of his attacks.
     The nameless cop is on his last assignment.  Going undercover, he works as a bartender, the kind of job where people will tell you their stories.  One day, a man walks in, and starts telling him his own tale.  A stray comment, however, leads one to believe that he may be the bomber.
     Much of Predestination is his tale—or rather, her tale.  She is portrayed by Sarah Snook in a fantastic performance as Jane, who goes through a sex change later in life under extraordinary circumstances, a chapter in an extraordinary tale, a mystery involving the paradoxes of time travel.
     Predestination reteams the Spierig Brothers with Daybreakers cinematographer Ben Nott and editor Matt Villa.  Nott adds a touch of noir here and there, as appropriate for what is essentially a detective story, and an enchanting lighting design for the romantic subplot.  I was especially struck by a shot in which Jane sits in a car with her lover, with the lights of New York reflecting off the rear window like twinkling stars.  His compositions are in Villa’s capable, loving hands, who edits lyrically, rhythmically and has an exceptional sense of timing.  The film is, in short, very pleasing to watch because of its technical merits.
     The film’s trailer sells an action-thriller, but unlike LooperPredestination is not driven by action.  It’s really a character-driven story, realized by a promising young actress in Snook.  Jane is an interesting character.  She’s intelligent, but alienated because of her intellect, and a romantic who’s never known love.
     It’s a film that can’t be discussed thematically without ruining a solidly built mystery plot, and I won’t ruin something this good, this compelling, this thought-provoking.  I saw it twice, if that tells you anything.  And I’ll tell you this:  the Spierig Brothers could be the next big directing duo, and the talented Sarah Snook is an actress to watch.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response