Posted February 15, 2015 by editor in Film Reviews

Predestination Review


The Spierig Brothers have re-teamed with their Daybreakers star Ethan Hawke for this mind-bending time travel Sci-fi drama (Based on a Robert Heinlein short) which perhaps becomes more open to implausibility and even prediction long before the third act kicks into gear, but by that point you are so invested in the performances that it matters not a jot – and simply watching the actors perform becomes pivotal to your enjoyment of the film.

Hawke plays a temporal agent – sent to back in time to discover the identity of a bomber in order to prevent future crimes from occurring. When a mission goes wrong he is forced to have reconstructive surgery and after healing is sent back on a final mission to interact as a bartender in the early 70’s with a lowly customer (Sara Snook).

This interaction takes on a pivotal part of the film’s narrative as the customer goes into detail about their own past from the moment they were born right up to that present moment. These turn of events set the two on a path together that will lead them to various confrontations with the past, present and future.

Hawke puts in another dependable role – initially dealing with the grievance of having to deal with facial reconstruction after a bomb incident, and then settling back into his role of active agent. His finger-snapping routine as a New York bartender is smile-inducing. He then acts as the frame of the film’s time travel device and is solid throughout.

The real gem here is Snook as Jane. Her performance solidifies what the film is about and her performance is the one that will be remembered. Jane is a tortured character who has fought hard against the time she found herself trapped in, and then falls victim to some truly terrible turn of personal events.

Snook portrays all of these events in a performance so heartbreaking and real that she’s now likely to become a bigger name and get roles offered to her as a result of this.

The contrivances of the plot are perhaps the weaker elements of the film, but it’s all kind of the point of the narrative in the end – and its silliness, and even outright lack of logic in the end is wiped aside by the performances from the leads. There is an earnest love for human drama embeded here and sustained through our own level of self injury that makes Predestination a plausible drama piece. It may be all hogwash by the end, but it’s very interesting and intelligently portrayed hogwash, and the type that you’ll discuss after.

4 Stars




Steven Hurst