Directors: Michael & Peter Spierig Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook & Noah Taylor Synopsis: The life of a time-traveling Temporal Agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time Rating: 15 Run time: 97 minutes Release date: April 6 (DVD)
Every now and then, you come across a film that is a victim of its own devices. Predestination is a smart, well acted and very well told science fiction film, but to say too much could and, most likely, would spoil the entire experience for you. Predestination is so packed full of surprises and neat little twists that, from a reviewers point of view, it is all but impossible to talk about the films plot and its various narrative devices. Luckily, the film has enough going for it allowing to allow me to ramble on for 400 words or so.
Predestination seems to be a film that has been criminally missed by almost everyone. It has been released in various countries since the start of 2014 and despite a strong critical reception, has largely been overlooked. A similar fate befalls many a film, especially those sold as science fiction. But Predestination is more than that, it’s a love story, a tale of deception and an excellent character study. Credit must be given to Michael and Peter Spierig for crafting such a fine story on a limited budget, while making the film appear as if it is a Hollywood blockbuster.
The story revolves around Ethan Hawke’s Temporal Agent, who must travel through time in order to stop a series of catastrophes that will lead to thousands dead in New York as the result of an anarchist known as the Fizzle Bomber. Hawke’s character is one mission away from retirement, but he must catch the Fizzle Bomber to stop a series of future events from happening. As a result of this, Hawke must travel back to the 70’s where he masquerades as a bartender. Here he comes across Sarah Snook’s Unmarried Mother, and the following hour is some of the most fascinating character interaction that will make up for any perceived lack of action.
The film continues to follow our two leads as the plot slowly unravels, revealing tiny bits of information, that will surely have deeper meanings after repeat viewings. The excellent Noah Taylor also shows up at various stages showcasing his subtle ability to carry any scene he is in. Ethan Hawke is superb here, and continues to be one of Hollywood’s most dedicated workers. To mention the cast without mentioning Sarah Snook would be a crime in itself though. The little known Australian actress puts in an astounding performance, remaining magnetic yet understated in what should surely be a breakout role.
As Predestination develops it is clear that the Spierig Brothers are two directors to keep an eye on. Their smart storytelling techniques and use of clever reveals, as well as making a relatively small budget look more than it’s worth are just a few of the reasons to look out for them in the future. In the meantime, go out and check out Predestination, one of the best science fiction films you haven’t seen yet.
In summary: Predestination is an excellent science fiction film, as well as being a riveting character piece, and features a strong central performance from newcomer Sarah Snook.