Monday, March 9, 2015

Circle Time: Predestination review

Predestination is the strangest, most unique sci-fi flick in recent memory and I mean that in a good way. After my initial screening, I immediately wanted to watch it again. It's that enticing. 

What was originally a short story by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein has been diligently adapted to the big screen by Spierig Brothers (the same duo behind the disappointing sci-fi vampire flick Daybreakers). Their craftsmanship gives Predestination  its beautifully minimalist look, which allows its two core performances to take center stage.  

Recent Oscar Nominee Ethan Hawke gives an understated noir performance as The Barkeeper. He's a one of eleven temporal agents who can travel through time in order to prevent crimes before they happen; however, one terrorist has eluded The Barkeeper all throughout his career-- the notorious Fizzle Bomber. 

Finally, in 1970s New York, The Barkeeper corners the Fizzle Bomber, only to be horribly disfigured by one of the terrorist's titular explosives. Fast forward a decade and The Barkeeper finds himself on one, last mission, wherein he earns his credited title tending a young man who goes by the pen name The Unmarried Mother (Sarah Snook). The two hit it off, so to speak, and once the young man divulges his unusual back story, The Barkeep offers him the chance to go back and change history. 

The more the story unfolds, the crazier and more remarkable it becomes. It all builds to one of the most memorable movie endings you'll ever see. What's great is that even if you see it coming, you'll still be blown away. 

The Spierig Brothers give Predestination a sleek and simple visual style through a beautiful, "less is more" approach to the cinematography. Varying cool colors accent the different time periods and the sharp costume designs visually pop on these meticulously constructed sets.

Ethan Hawke suavely downplays the severity of his character's predicaments, which leaves open to interpretation his motives. This brings an edge to the Barkeeper, as his motives are never crystal clear. Opposite Hawke is Sarah Snook, who gives a breakout performance. She completely disappears into the many shades of her character and her performance is wholly genuine. We're sure to see more from this talented, young actor.

Grade: A


  1. Now I can try and see it again...

  2. This was a nice surprise! Predictable, but in a good way - as in, everything I wanted to happen did! This is likely going to be one of the most underrated movies in 2015.

  3. Critically, Predestination is a success, but I agree, it's going to slip by the mainstream audience. It's up to the little people to champion little known gems like Predestination!