Review | Predestination
You may never have even heard of this movie, but please don’t be insane to lose it. Predestination smells like those dreadful straight-to-DVD films that good actors like Ethan Hawke only make to come up with some extra cash for the rent or something. But then, you accidentally stumbles with this curious australian movie, and realize it’s one of the year’s finest.
The plot is adapted from Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies”, setting a distant future where a governmental agency uses time travel to prevent crimes from happening. Closer to his retirement, Ethan Hawke’s agent chases a mysterious terrorist known as “Fizzle Bomber”, hoping to stop his big attack on a metropolis. He discovers an important clue by meeting an enigmatic character played by Sarah Snook.
None of the characters in the movie has their names revealed, and there’s a great reason behind that. The script from brothers Michael and Peter Spierig (also responsible for the directing it) is perfect both in structure and the way it deals with it’s specific concepts. The time loop is certainly the most fascinating, and to go into details about it’s role in the story, would mean to hand in some heavy spoilers and ruin truly unpredictable twists – read as little as you can, really. When the movie begins, we’re taken from the main plot to a seemingly random – yet fundamental – story concerning sex change and Sarah Snook’s character, in a very brave move from the Spierigs. By the way, Snook is absolutely fantastic, and it’s shame to know she won’t be remembered in the awards season.
Yet, however complex elements the movie introduces us, when the credits begin rolling, we realize just how “simple” it’s game is. Matt Villa’s solid editing gains even more power and we realize how the script perfectly closes itself, like “the snake chasing it’s own tail” in a masterful character study. The paradoxes here can generate some comparisions to the equally interesting Looper, but the Spierigs have the upper hand by keeping focus on the characters’ drama, rather than action sequences.
Predestination is an absolutely envolvent and intriguing movie, as long as the spectator allows himself to delve in a serpentine narrative guided by an untrusty narrator. Without the shadow of a doubt, one of the finest time travel movies of the last years. Don’t miss.