Gloriously complex and intriguing, Predestination is proof that you can make a good indie science fiction movie. I should make myself clear here, good without the need for pathetic teenagers or other crowd-pleasing gimmicks. You just need a good crew and one hell of a story. Directed by the famous Spierig Brothers and based on Heinlein’s short story, this movie has both. I hope its success will bring us more hard science fiction adaptations. We already got the Foundation television show, so all we need now is Rama or possibly even a Hyperion adaptation. I know, I know, but a boy can dream.
So, what are we dealing with here? Predestination is one of those mind-bending time travel movies with great production values. It managed to be thought-provoking but without coming off as pretentious, which is a fucking miracle. The storytelling is excellent, considering we’re talking about a subject as confusing as time travel. Moreover, if you add paradoxes to the mix, it feels really tight and engaging. I expected nothing less from the Spierigs who are responsible for one of my favorite horror-comedies Undead. Granted, I did begin questioning them after shaky Daybreakers but they totally redeemed themselves with this one.
Time travel is nasty business, which will tell you anyone who ever time traveled. One of those people is a temporal agent who barely survived an encounter with a very dangerous man known only as the “Fizzle Bomber”. His next target is a very public place where he will detonate a bomb killing thousands. This is his last mission and as we all know last missions are the best.
As you probably guessed, Predestination is best viewed with as little information as possible. So, I suggest you skip the trailer and all the other little bits and pieces of information and just dive into it. I mean, if you don’t believe me, believe more than a quarter of a million votes on IMDb giving this movie a solid 7.6. It features well-developed characters and a story that might seem confusing at first but wraps up neatly in the end. The setting is delightfully retro science fiction what with the story being set in the seventies. And it’s not like they’re trying hard to pull this off but it comes naturally as the original story takes place in that decade.
Ethan Hawke was excellent as The Barkeep, reminding us that he can still act as fuck. However, the star of the show is young Sarah Snook whom you might know from the hit television show Succession. Hot damn is that a good show or what? Her compelling and emotional performance here must have been the trigger for her rise to fame. With a short running time of just ninety minutes, Predestination is a science fiction gem you simply cannot miss. Finally, if you’re looking for more of the same, I recommend you check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Time Travel Movies.
Director: Peter Spierig, Michael Spierig
Writer: Peter Spierig, Michael Spierig, Robert A. Heinlein
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Elise Jansen, Christopher Kirby, Freya Stafford
Fun Facts: Many lines of dialogue in the film are exactly the same as in Robert A. Heinlein’s source story “All You Zombies”.