Predestination (2014) Review

Predestination (2014)

Directed by Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

Based on ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
The life of a time-traveling Temporal Agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

My Opinion:

Of all the mindfuck time travel movies, this is one of the mindfuckiest. And I love a good mindfuck time travel movie so this was exactly my sort of thing! I’ll discuss it a little but promise to remain entirely spoiler-free.

I absolutely love sci-fi above all other genres when it comes to movies but I’ve read very little of it. I figure it’s all way too over my head, especially the ones involving complicated time travel. Therefore, I’ve not read ‘—All You Zombies—’, the Robert A. Heinlein short story that this movie is based on (or anything by Robert A. Heinlein for that matter). But it’s a great story! Bizarre & a bit mental but thoroughly entertaining. I’d love to actually read it now. From what I read about this movie afterwards, as it’s one of those where you immediately go online for some explanations, it’s very faithful to the story so Heinlein fans seem happy with it. From what I can tell, one element has been added which was probably to make it a little more “exciting” for a movie audience? But I don’t think it was a necessary addition as the main story is strong enough. I need to track down the actual short story now…

As I said, I’m going to remain spoiler-free but that will make this a very short review. I believe this movie is one where it’s best to know nothing about it beforehand in order to get the most enjoyment from it. However, I’m going to include the trailer at the end for anyone who needs further convincing to check this one out. Which makes no sense as I just said you should know as little as possible… 😉 Basically, only watch the trailer if you’re mildly interested but skip it if you already know that this sounds like your sort of movie.

The Spierig Brothers have made very few other films but I’d be interested in seeing them make more based on how they handled this one. The only other movie of theirs that I’ve seen in Daybreakers (they clearly like Ethan Hawke). I really liked Daybreakers but I don’t think it was hugely successful. I have to say Predestination is a lot better, though, so I don’t know why it seems to have gone fairly unnoticed. The movie it most seems to get compared to is Looper but I think it’s a stronger story with much better performances (especially from Sarah Snook, who I’ll talk about in a minute). I wouldn’t say the two are very similar other than that they’re both about time travel & have a similar sort of mood. Otherwise, Looper is more of an action movie whereas Predestination is an introspective film that’s more about the characters than about trying to capture a criminal (making the above plot synopsis a bit misleading). You could be disappointed if you expect a lot of action from this one: Predestination is somewhere between Looper & Primer. However, I think I understand Predestination after reading explanations of parts of it online & I think I could follow the timeline if I watch it again whereas Primer will never, ever make any sense to me whatsoever (I attempted to review Primer HERE).

Summary:

Will someone please watch this & discuss it with me?? My hubby fell asleep ten minutes into it! (He was tired…). I really enjoyed it but there’s one bit that’s all “Whoa… Whaaaat?!?!?” so I’m not sure if everyone could move past that bit & fully appreciate the film. If you can, you’ll be treated to one heck of a bizarre story. You’ll also experience a truly fantastic performance from Sarah Snook. Why hasn’t she been in more films?! I don’t know her at all. All I’ve seen her in is a small role in Steve Jobs. Hawke is also very good in this (I love him but don’t always think he’s the best actor) but Snook is the one who truly makes this movie. Without her intense performance, I think the story would be harder to accept.

As for time travel accuracy, I’m no expert so can’t say how “possible” this story is but those who know more about that sort of thing have written about this movie (and short story) so there are plenty of more well-informed scientific opinions you can find online. I learned all about a specific time travel paradox that I won’t name as it might give too much away to any sci-fi people but, once you’ve watched this movie, HERE is a good link I found at astronomytrek.com when I Googled “Predestination explanation“. Obviously, don’t click that link unless you’ve seen the movie! And don’t watch the below trailer if you now desperately want to see this based on my amazingly worded review. Stay in the dark unless you’re one of those who must feel all your Christmas presents.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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28 thoughts on “Predestination (2014) Review

  1. “Of all the mindfuck time travel movies, this is one of the mindfuckiest” Mwahahaha! So true isn’t it? I was quite blown away by this too, esp by Sarah Snook’s performance. I mean it’s absolutely phenomenal, I was like, she needs to be in more movies!!! The movie confused the heck out of me, like most time travel movies do, but it has such an emotional pull that I was tearing up by the end. I’m gonna check out the link you have on here, though I’ll probably be even more baffled, ahah.

    • Hehe. It was pretty nuts! But, yeah – she was great. I hope she gets bigger roles soon! She made the movie. I think I followed this one for the most part but I get easily confused by these movies! Nothing is more confusing than Primer, though.

  2. “mindfuckiest” is a perfect way to describe this movie. I’m not even sure I 100% understood the last 15 minutes or so. I enjoyed watching it, but I don’t think I quite grasped every thing that happened.

    side note: I love when I get No Face on your banner. lol

    • The stuff involving the bomber at the end is what confused me the most. I could do with reading the full explanation on that but apparently none of that was in the original story. That’s the one element they added… Oh yeah! No Face! Lol. I forget about those banners I set up as I never actually see them since I’m always on the phone app. : )

    • Ha! NO! Okay, I’ve not seen Timecop but I’d be extremely surprised if it was anything like this. No way would Van Damme be in this. (I assume. I’ve never watched anything he’s been in….)

  3. Loved this movie! I even went and gave it the full 5 stars, which are proving particularly rare this year for me (I guess I need to watch better movies!) I really liked that it’s not only clever and thought-provoking as science-fiction, but that the human drama in it is interesting too. Like you say, no good for people who want chases & explosions & nothing more, but it’s proper sink-your-teeth-into-it sci-fi.

    Have you heard of Time Lapse? It’s not quite as good as Predestination, but is another interesting indie time paradox movie.

  4. LOVE this movie. So thought provoking, no? Glad you enjoyed it. I gave it a very good write up when I saw it a while back. Nice work on this post!

    • Hi! Thank you! : ) So glad to hear from someone else who loves this one. It was even better than I was expecting. Great story but also such great performances. What a pleasant surprise! I’d not really heard much about it.

    • Oh, I hope you do! It’s so… Bizarre. One bit is just so “WTF” that I’m almost scared to recommend it to people. But it’s a fascinating story & the performances are surprisingly good for a sci-fi film. : )

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  6. Me! Me! I watched this! I freaking LOVED this movie. Totally think it is the kind of film you go into blind, if possible. There was so much to love here, and yeah, your brain gets one hell of a workout. I really want to read the book, especially after doing some reading and seeing how people said it was a super loyal adaptation. I liked Hawke a lot here, but Snook stole the show, hands down. Wow. That woman owned! I am definitely going to be watching this again, it was wonderful! Glad to see you enjoyed it so much.

    • Oh! YAY!!! 😀 I didn’t know if I might be the only one in the world to like this. Snook was amazing! Considering the story could otherwise have been hard to accept, she really made you feel for her character. Apparently the story is REALLY short so I think I’ll have to track it down. Happy you liked this too! I hope my hubby watches it now too since he zonked out the first time. 😉

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