Predestination is unlike anything that you would imagine, and is one of the most clever and most all around satisfying science fiction films that I have ever seen. It's also one of the hardest movies to talk about and really convey my feelings towards without also getting into major spoilers, but I'll give it my best shot here nonetheless!
The trailers made this out to be an interesting enough sci-fi flick involving time travel, but honestly, while that description does this movie absolutely no justice, at the same time I actually gotta give them credit for even being able to come up with a trailer that doesn't completely spoil the whole movie, because this is a movie that is very easy to slip up and accidentally give away some pretty substantial plot twists. So kudos for that, and now here's hoping I don't accidentally slip up myself.
Basically, this is a movie that is layered with ideas and thematic elements all throughout, and that come into play in surprising ways. What it presents thematically is definitely this movie's biggest strength, and it's what'll leave it sticking with you well after the fact. Predestination is a very personal movie, and it's one that touched me on a very personal level as such.
In its relatively brief hour and a half runtime, this movie tackles a lot, and it does it all so seamlessly. Everything from gender roles in society and themes dealing with identity, revenge, and the thin line that straddles between love and hatred. It's a movie that tackles self-destructive behavioral patterns, of taking responsibility for ones actions. And it's a movie ultimately about being able to love and accept oneself if you ever hope to find happiness in any other aspect of your life.
And there's even more beyond all of that if you wanna dig deeper, including some subtle subtext regarding government conspiracy theories and such. There's just so much depth to this movie. But again, even laying all of those themes out there like that really doesn't even begin to do this movie justice at all. But the way it all comes into play, how it's so meticulously and tightly interwoven through the narrative is so seamless, and so stunning to watch play out. And as the movie does play out, there's just so many genuinely surprising and satisfying plot twists, it'd make even the likes of M. Night Shyamalan jealous.
The screenplay is very cleverly written, with tons of little details in the dialogue and scenery that you'll pick up on in subsequent viewings that hint at what's really going on. Hell, I've seen this thing three times already, and each time I find myself just shaking my head in awe at the sheer amount of clever little lines and in-jokes scattered about.
And all of this amazing writing is brought to life beautifully by the outstanding performances from Sarah Snook and Ethan Hawke. Hell, Hawke's been on a bit of a roll as of late, what with both this and Boyhood last year, but I honestly believe his role in Predestination may well be his greatest acting performance to date. Absolutely incredible stuff.
Point blank, Predestination isn't your typical sci-fi flick, and it's unlike any other time travel movie that you've seen. Hell, I've read some comparisons to Looper, and while tonally I can sorta see it, even that's not quite accurate, as this movie presents quite literally the exact opposite of what Looper set out to say and do.
If I had seen this and Selma in time, I definitely could've done a proper Top 10 list to close out 2014, as both of them would've easily landed in my Top 5. And hell, I'd say Predestination is second only to Interstellar as the absolute very best movie I've seen from that year at that. I just really can't recommend this movie enough, and it's available right now on on-demand, so definitely check it out if you can. Predestination is unlike anything that you would imagine, and is one of the most clever and most all around satisfying science fiction films that I have ever seen.