Predestination - Film review
Directed By: Micahel & Peter Spierig
Written By: Micahel & Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor
Duration: 97 Minutes
Ethan Hawke plays 'The Barkeep', a Temporal Agent who's job it is, is to stop crimes happening before they actually do. He does this by the use of Time Travel, working for a secret organisation who recruit special indivisuals, for this unusual job.
We meet The Barkeep, as he is about to undertake his last job, chasing a suspect that has eluded him all of his career.
I will quite openly admit that I am the sort of 'filmophile' that will happily spend 10 minutes struggling with my heavy shopping bags, browsing through the 'staright to DVD' films that very quickly depreciate in price in my local Supermarket. Often, this type of fair is filled with low budget copies of major blockbusters and genetically mutated animals/insects, hell bent on destroying everything in their path! Believe me, I've purchased my fair share of these films! But every now and again a real gem gets overlooked in these bargain sections, and Predestination is a real gem!
A film themed on Time Travel is not exactly a new idea, coupled with the main character being tasked with stopping crime before it happens, again isn't new. Films like Time Cop, Minority Report and the brilliant Looper, have all dealt with these issues in the past.
I think what Predestination does really well, is to focus more on the people in the story, than the fact that we are dealing with mind bending 'what if' paradoxes and whether or not there will be flying cars in the future! The time jumps that are observed are small and all of the story is held within a timeline that we can grasp. The film focuses on a very small gorp of characters, eseentially two, which gives the viewer more ability to connect to them.
The lead roles are played really well, Snook delivers an engaging performance in her very challenging role, that sees her character develop and mutate through the timeline that we travel along. As you endeavour to fathom her relationship with The Barkeep, her various incarnations emotions, fluctuate with each new revelation.
Ethan Hawke has always been one those actors that seems to pick his roles extremely wisely, which at first thought would have you thinking why would he committ to a small role like this one, after the deservedly massive plaudits recieved for the brilliant Boyhood. I believe the reason is that he saw an opportunity to be part of an expansion on a tried and tested genre. The Spierig Brothers writing has produced two interesting characters that you want to stay with and understand their stories, and how these two seemingly very different people are linked. Hawke's role plays to his naturally sultry moodiness on screen, I think he plays 'emotionless' characters fantasically well, something that must be very difficult to do. Having the ability to pull a viewer in, without having an obvious flaw or defect, is in itself a great acting quality.
I know that there are many movies out there that don't have the budget or the kudos to elevate straight in to the mainstream, a lot will go unseen by the masses, others will just get dismissed outright, but some, like Predestiantion, hopefully will rightly get the praise that the underdog should!
And if you work out the kicker before it actually comes.........Well Done!!!
4 out of 5 Time Jumps