Predestination Movie Review
Time travel. Ethan Hawke. Yes, please.
Hawke plays a temporal agent in Predestination, a twisty time thriller in which he teams with a writer (Sarah Snook) with a unique past to track down a terrorist who will be responsible for killing thousands of people. Clever, strange and unique, Predestination is memorable, though a few tweaks could have taken it to an entirely new level.
Hawke is solid in the movie, but Predestination is first and foremost a movie about story and plot. A film that relies on overlapping timelines and time travel, the movie presents some interesting ideas and largely ties them together in a moderately satisfying way—but falls just short of fully exploring them, or presenting them in a blow-you-away kind of fashion.
Predestination is fast paced and consistently entertaining, as we’re slowly (or quickly) drawn into the world created by writing/directing team Michael and Peter Spiereg. Elements of the movie bear similarity to Twelve Monkeys, though the Spiereg Brothers take things in a different direction, especially as they introduce the unique back story played out by actress Sarah Snook. Words cannot describe, but her character, or at least her back story, is… well, unique.
Still, one can’t shake the feeling that Predestination is limited by its budget, scope, or simply its script. The two biggest revelations of the movie are sadly underdeveloped—one that the directors carelessly give away early with a poor camera angle (I mean, really???), the other, involving the primary villain, comes off more shrug-inducing than intended. Had the filmmakers invested just a little more effort into fleshing out their twists and making them really hit home, Predestination could have been a downright awesome movie.
As is, Predestination is simply good, a worthwhile exploration for time travel junkies that doesn’t entirely live up to its premise.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.