‘Predestination’ is a film designed to mess with your mind. It’s a time-travel thriller exploring the Grandfather Paradox, and inventing a few paradoxes of its own. The boffins should enjoy the brain-bending twists and turns, but what about the rest of us - should you spend your precious time on it?
From the Spierig Brothers, the Aussie duo that brought us ‘Daybreakers’, I had high hopes for ‘Predestination’, but as you may have guessed if you've seen my rating of the film, it’s a 50/50 thing for me. The acting was brilliant, from both Ethan Hawke and Australian Sarah Snook (‘Not Suitable for Children’), with Noah Taylor’s brief scenes raising the standard.
The production value was also very good – details weren’t ignored, lighting was used very effectively, with most of the action happening in the shadows. The film keeps you guessing for much of it as to its direction and purpose: is it a biography? A thriller? A sci-fi adventure? So much screen time is taken up with the life story of one character, that you’d be forgiven for thinking perhaps you’d wandered into the wrong cinema - that is, if it weren’t for the shocking opening sequence.
Where ‘Predestination’ really falls short for me is the film's premise. Without giving too much away, this is the story of the ultimate narcissist. There are clues given right from the beginning as to the identity of the main characters and their relationship to each other, but for me, there were just too many little holes and improbabilities to make it at all believable. The ending is somewhat predictable, and a bit too neat. From a sci-fi perspective, if you remove the motivations of the characters, it all sort of makes sense, but taken as a whole... it’s just a bit silly for me.
Where ‘Predestination’ really falls short is the film's premise.
‘Predestination’ is well made, underpinned with an intriguing idea, but the film itself seems confused as to what it’s trying to be and the story it’s trying to tell, that it left me cold, and wondering what happened to the last 97 minutes of my life. If you love a twisty problem, give ‘Predestination’ a go, but you're best to wait until it’s out on Blu-ray.