Rental Review - Predestination

Predestination (2014), R, 97 minutes - I hadn't even heard of this film until a month or two ago when it was randomly mentioned on the SVP & Russillo show on ESPN Radio.  A sci-fi/mystery/time travel flick starring Ethan Hawke sounded like something right up my alley.  At that point it was on my radar but it wasn't until a co-worker asked me earlier this week if I had seen it that I made it a priority on my list of things to watch.  Last night was the night and I found a wonderfully entertaining and twisted time travel tale.

Hawke plays The Barkeep, a Temporal Agent who's mission is to track down and kill the Fizzle Bomber, a terrorist who has been wreaking havoc in Boston with a series of bombings, each attack escalating in size and destruction.  During his mission, he crosses paths with a writer known as The Unmarried Mother (Sarah Snook).  A news flash on the bar tv about the bomber sparks a conversation between the two.  The conversation turns into a bet that The Unmarried Mother can tell the best story The Barkeep has ever heard.  It's an incredible, off the wall story that is both origin story and set up for the fast paced, twist filled, revelatory second half of the film.

I'm more leery than usual to delve deeper into plots or characterizations due to the time travel/mystery nature of Predestination.  The last thing I would want to do is spoil something from such a unique story.  I am comfortable in saying this: Hawke may have received top billing but Sarah Snook's performance steals the movie, displaying a range far greater than most roles would require.  Noah Taylor adds a familiar face to the fairly limited cast in the interesting role of Mr. Robertson, whose dealings have impacted both The Barkeep and The Unmarried Mother.

Based on the short story "All You Zombies" by Robert A. Heinlein, which I have not read (heck, I wasn't even aware that the film was based on a short story until the credits), Predestination is an excellent time travel flick that I would highly recommend to any fan of the genre.  I'd personally put it right up there with Looper as the best recent time travel film that I've seen.  If that piques your curiosity, give it a look and let me know what you think.  Then I can discuss it in more detail without spoiling anything!

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