Reviews and entertainment articles by Dave Simpson
In a year dominated by superheroes, robots in disguise and talking apes, one of 2014’s finest cinematic contributions seems to have slipped through the cracks. To say that sci-fi thriller, Predestination, is a pleasant surprise would be a colossal understatement. Written and directed by The Spierig Brothers, this is one of the most mind-bendingly excellent movies you’re likely to have seen in a very long time.
Due to its nature, it’s difficult to outline too much of the plot without giving away significant spoilers. To put it very simply, the story follows a temporal agent on a quest across time to track down a dangerous terrorist. There are so many truly astonishing twists and turns along the way that I really don’t want to say anything more specific about how it plays out. I knew no more than that myself going in and was absolutely gripped as I watched things unfold.
We all know that movies involving time travel can be messy and contradict their own internal logic, but that is not the case here. The Spierig Brothers have crafted a magnificently intelligent tale that sticks to its own defined set of rules and keeps you guessing and thoroughly entertained from start to finish. A lot of careful thought and meticulous planning clearly went into mapping out the script and its execution on screen is damn near perfect.
While there are a few supporting characters, Predestination very much revolves around the roles played by Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook.
Hawke puts in a fine performance as the temporal agent on a mission. He portrays the character with just the right amount of determination and underlying weariness. As our guide through the movie’s whirlwind of epiphanies, he reveals just enough at a time to keep you on the edge of your seat.
It’s Sarah Snook who steals the show, though. While it may not be immediately apparent, Predestination really belongs to her character. Snook’s captivating performance gets the viewer entirely invested in both her character and the story. It’s a flawless portrayal that is equal parts sympathetic, mysterious and intriguing.
Barring perhaps one or two exceptions, Predestination far surpasses anything else I’ve seen at the cinema this year. It’s a brilliantly thought out sci-fi extravaganza, crammed full of mind-blowing revelations and developments that will have you theorising and enthralled right up to the very end. You need to see this movie.
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