Predestination starring Ethan Hawke is in limited theaters and on demand today.
|"I told you once and I'll tell you|
again. Drop the gun and
step away from the
When compared to other big sci-fi films recently, Predestination's budget of 5.6 million dollars is paltry, yet the Speirig brothers (Daybreakers, Undead) milk the budget for everything it's got. The very first thing that will grab you is the stunning art direction. Every visual element is sewn together with vibrant lighting, outstanding wardrobe that transforms through several decades, and set design spewing with personality. If you get nothing else from Predestination, it's engrossing just to let your eyes wander in the scenes.
Unfortunately, the trailers set up Predestination like an action thriller. Thankfully, it was so good that it won me over anyway. Essentially, revealed in the trailers, Ethan Hawke plays a man who works for a time travel agency bent on preventing one of the world's most brutal massacres before it happens. This core mechanic remains true, of course, but the tone established in the trailers is what should be ignored. It is first and foremost a story of loss, crushed love, and finding oneself that slowly burns into something teasingly spectacular. The opening set up is brain tingling, but winds back down to build its plot inch by inch. I was constantly fascinated by where it could be heading. How does this get back to the opening scene? Where does it all tie together? Who is this mysterious "Fizzle" bomber? How does a small, seemingly inconsequential romance lead to the massacre of 10,000 people? The Spierig brothers' screenplay constantly feeds you brain candy to chew on while the gorgeous sets keep your eyes busy.
|"Everyone keeps calling me|
R2-D2. I am not an astromech droid.
I am human and will kick your ass."
One may say that Predestination's themes and aesthetic borrow too heavily from Looper, Cloud Atlas, and even Dark City, yet Heinlein's All You Zombies, predates all of these stories by roughly fifty years. You'll see superficial inspiration and similarities all over the place, but many of these elements made it all the more enjoyable to watch. Predestination has arrived at either just the right time or just the wrong one. With unique sci-fi titles starting to make a small comeback, I adore catching gems like this one, and I hope this heartfelt piece doesn't get lost in the water while riding this new wave of great sci-fi. Hopefully, word of mouth instead of its misleading trailers is what will get Predestination its deserved audience.