So for my first post of 2015 I’m going to cheat a bit. Since the distribution in my country sucks, I have to wait till January 22 and February 5 for the best movies to come out (this includes Birdman, Big Eyes & Inherent Vice). So the first review is going to be Predestination which I saw before the end of 2014 and was willing to make a quick review and totally forgot, but since the movie just came out in the US, I thought it was a good choice to do it now.
I’m going to try and make a short plot summary, since it’s difficult to make one without revealing the whole story. Predestination is a sci-fi film that follows a man, played by Ethan Hawke, who is tasked with stopping a bomb from going off in New York in the 1970s. Along the way he meets a woman and gets to hear her story. The two discover they have much in common and, without giving anything away, a series of things occur that change the way they look at time and destiny.
Based on a short story “All You Zombies” back in 1958, the Spierig Brothers who directed Predestination has done a fascinating job at it. The sheer style of storytelling makes this movie somewhat unique for a sci-fi and takes more of a dramatic approach for a good deal of time.
The sci-fi element of the film wasn’t actually my favorite, when the film settles down in a bar and focuses on a narration and dialogue between Hawke’s character and Sarah Snook’s the film excels. Sarah Snook takes the film away from Hawke and gives one of the strongest performances of the year. She was impressive and I wish the rest of the film would’ve focused on her interaction with him. Her character goes through a series of transformations and the story could’ve centered on it instead, focusing on how she dealt with her shifting identity. The old joke of asking “what comes first, the egg or the chicken?” really takes it’s meaning philosophically and literally in this movie, and so does the concept of a snake eating its own tail.
But the film introduces some of these issues only to get the plot moving and never really deals with her inner struggles. They were just pieces of a puzzle that were conveniently placed so the audience could fit them together in the end, when it actually could’ve been a one of a kind character study instead.
Predestination is a great surprise because of it’s idea. Sarah Snook nails her performance and is already one of the best this year. The time travel ideas may not be that accurate for the real sci-fi nerds, but to be honest, which movie has ever been accurate to that subject. Just enjoy this new and original movie for what it is and tries to do. I sure appreciate it.
Predestination gets a 7.5/10