Tuesday 27 January 2015

Predestination (2014)

Predestination, last year’s time travel science fiction movie starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook, directed by the Spierig brothers, is covered here on The Fictional Hangout. Hit the break to find out what I thought of the film.

 I’m a sucker for time travel and I’ve been looking forward to watching Predestination for a while now, as I’ve heard a few good things about it and the trailer looked promising, featuring a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke), on his last job in the attempt to stop a bomber from blowing up New York. We first meet Hawke’s character in a bar, as a bartender, when a man walks in. Hawke’s character quickly starts off a conversation with this man, and the foundations for a bet are laid. If the newcomer can tell the bartender the best story he’s ever heard, then he gets a free bottle. So when the newcomer tells the bartender that he used to be a girl, he’s immediately intrigued. And because it’s science fiction, the story gets all the more complicated than just that.

This film is one of those movies that can at the same time, both be very simple and very complicated. Some people will be able to guess what’s coming next but at the same time it still maintains that element of surprise and the revelation, which I won’t spoil here, is pretty great to say the least. And whilst, as the trailer suggests, it is not an action packed blockbuster, there are plenty of good character moments. It’s very much a character-driven story with some excellent acting from Sarah Snook in particular, who instantly establishes herself as a skilled and confident actress. Ethan Hawke also puts in an impressive performance as the bartender, and it’s great to see these two working together as the plot gets more and more complicated, as time travel fiction often does.

Predestination might not be for everyone. It’s one of those films that you have to be in the right mood to go in and have an open mind, but if you’ll allow it, it will sweep you up on a journey of awesomeness as layer after layer is pulled back, with more secrets being revealed as the plot develops. This is one of those movies where the less you know about it going in the better – in fact, it’s better if you don’t even watch the trailer at all, because then you will be going in with misconceptions as to what the film is about. Let it surprise you. Let it blow your mind.
Even if the pacing may be a little off, with it being slow in some moments and lightning fast the next, Predestination is still a pretty good movie that’s well atmospheric and mostly effective. I can imagine that it not many people will have watched it, so if you haven’t had the chance to check out this film yet then I strongly recommend you do so. It certainly falls in my Top 25 movies from 2014, and if you like character-driven time travel stories, as well as quieter ones with plenty of shocks and surprises to be had.

This is going to be one of those movies that I’m going to point people to if they want a good, mind-bending film. It looks good, with some impressive cinematography and the plot is ambitious and even better, it pays off for the most part despite one or two problems. The acting of Sarah Snook is incredible and Ethan Hawke also delivers an impressive performance to boot. As a result, there are far worse films that you could check out than this one. 


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