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Review - Predestination

By midlandsmovies, Feb 14 2015 11:43AM

Predestination (2015) Dir. Michael & Peter Spierig

Based upon the short story "—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein, this ultra low budget Australian sci-fi thriller may just be the hidden gem of the year. Plot wise it’s very difficult to explain without spoiling as I counted at least 3 (!) twists, all of which were brilliantly set up and too much explanation here could affect one’s enjoyment of the film as a whole.

What I can tell you is this. A Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) travels through time using a violin-case field kit to try and catch a terrorist known as The Fizzle Bomber. After an explosion leaves him scarred we flashback to an earlier jump where he works as a bartender and meets a troubled man who proceeds to tell him of his life to that point.

This elongated flashback begins with a focus on a young lady Jane who is left at an orphanage and grows up never knowing her true place in the world. We get emotional scenes of her life as she is enrolled in the “Space Corps” and later gives birth to her lover’s baby which has huge repercussions in her life. As the lives interweave, some audacious revelations occur and we start seeing how the time-jumping narrative is linked throughout. Jane herself is played by a frankly amazing Sarah Snook who deserves Oscar recognition for her performance playing on duality, identity and the ravages of time and consequence.

Those expecting some kind of riff on TimeCop will be disappointed but those prepared to invest in a poignant and expressive character study will find the pay off much more satisfying. The only film I can think of in 2014 where there was an element of sci-fi time travel where protagonists try to affect the path of the past with knowledge of the future was Nolan’s $165 million Interstellar. In comparison, that film’s nearly 3 hour run time is up against this film’s $5-6 million budget and a 97 minute length.

Strangely, for films about time, Interstellar doesn’t so much stretch it, it wastes huge amounts and from the two films I’d advised audiences to go and see Predestination for its character-based emotions and unique twisty plot. Your enjoyment may depend upon whether you go with rug-pulling that occurs but after a year of bombastic sci-fi, this smaller and intimate puzzle of a picture may just be the one that lingers the longest.


Midlands Movies Mike

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