“Let's face it. Nobody's innocent. Everybody just uses everybody else to get what they want.”
Predestination reunites the twin directors, Michael and Peter Spierig, with Ethan Hawke after their contribution together in 2009’s Daybreakers. This sci-fi time traveling film was based on Robert A. Heinlein’s story “All You Zombies” and adapted by the Spierig brothers themselves. Time traveling films can be tricky because the paradox and rules can be confusing at times, and for me it didn’t make sense logically speaking and therefor had a large amount of plot holes. Predestination is still entertaining at times, mostly when it stays away from the time traveling and the “Fizzle Bomber” subplot and centers on the narration by Sarah Snook’s character of her personal history. That was the highlight of the film for me and I actually found her story quite engaging and inventive. The resolution on the other hand left me unsatisfied and when the time traveling begins to take center stage you know what direction it is heading. The twists aren’t surprising as they try to be and you get to the resolution before the film actually does. Your appreciation for this film might depend on wether or not you buy the entire paradox of the movie. I didn’t, so much of the resolution was unsatisfying and failed to resonate with me. I did enjoy the mid act of the film and will give the film credit for introducing an interesting narration that kept me engaged with the story. I just wished the film could’ve centered more on Snook’s character instead of wondering off in the final act and returning to the “Fizzle bomber” subplot.
Ethan Hawke gives a convincing performance as the Temporal Agent who is on his last mission trying to stop a bomber who has eluded him over the past. The sci-fi element of the film wasn’t actually my favorite, but when the film settles down in a bar and focuses on a narration and dialogue between his 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. Instead 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 has its high and lows, but it is worth the watch for Snook’s performance and the memorable narration that takes place in the bar. It is a great story, which unfortunately suffers from an unsatisfying ending. Looper is much more effective when it comes to time traveling, but this has an intriguing story going for it.