Film Review – Predestination (2014)

Predestination - post

Title – Predestination (2014)

Directors – The Spierig Brothers (Undead)

Cast – Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor

Plot – On a lowly night in New York City with a terrorist known as the Fizzle Bomber on the loose, The Bartender (Hawke) strikes up a conversation with The Unmarried Mother (Snook) focussed around what Mother promises is the best story The Bartender will ever have heard. How time travel fits into this is something you must discover for yourself.  

“Haven’t you ever done something stupid for love?”

Review by Eddie on 5/02/2015

If someone were to tell you that originality in movies is dead, you need to look no further but to point them in the general direction of this Australian effort by the Spierig Brothers, a stunningly constructed and emotionally deep Sci-Fi that will be running around in your head for days after the original viewing. Predestination really is a unique piece of work and one of the most fully developed Australian films in recent memories that features a star making turn from young actress Sarah Snook.

Based upon Robert A. Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies, viewing Predestination is best done as blind as possible as the movies convoluted yet well told tale is one that people will be picking apart for years to come, usually the best sign that a Sci-Fi movie has hit the mark. Australian duo The Spierig’s deserve full credit for their handling of this story and it’s great to see the directors act upon the promise shown in their original horror debut from 2003 Undead and the hit and miss Daybreakers from 2009. Predestination has a quality feel to it, a strong directional sense and it would’ve been an easy task for a director or in this case directors to get lost in material that consistently flaunts the line of credibility but as a whole the movie absolutely succeeds at expressing a cohesive and an at times emotionally profound tale that features one of 2014’s most outstanding acting turns.

While Ethan Hawke is a well proven and solid performer, Predestination’s star is without question Sarah Snook. An actress perhaps previously best known publicly by her turns in TV show Packed to the Rafters and films such as These Final Hours and Sleeping Beauty, Snook in a role that is anything but one note, powerfully acts out some of the most difficult and emotionally taxing scenes your likely to see in such a genre and her turn is often jaw on the floor good. It’s a joy watching Snook ply her trade in a role that allows her a full arsenal of different emotional arcs and sensibilities and for those in Hollywood that catch this little seen yet well regarded gem, you get the feeling they will be on the phone to Snook’s agent in hope of securing her services. Predestination is absolutely Snook’s film and without her services it could’ve quite easily been less impactful than its final product.

A hard film to talk about without spoiling much of its narrative gold, Predestination is a thoroughly enjoyable and original piece of Sci-Fi movie making and a quality example of what Australian films can be. It would be wrong to say Predestination is a film with twists, but its plot developments are undeniably intense and often shocking and this really is a fine calling card for The Spierig Brothers and a smack-down acting turn from Snook that should see her quickly become Australia’s next big thing. Not flawless by any means, this is still must see stuff.

4 abnormal violin cases out of 5

14 responses to “Film Review – Predestination (2014)

  1. Hi Eddie – Good review, and you’re spot on about Snook, she just about owns the movie (and she’s definitely the only good thing about Jessabelle) – I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does next

    • Me to mate, sounds like she has a few very cool projects lined up. She actually was here in my town last year filming a movie called Oddball which is a nice looking family film. But I expect her to have a long career ahead.

  2. When it paid attention to Snook’s character and her story, it worked well. Everything else, though, I’m afraid, just didn’t totally cut it for me. Good review.

  3. Great write up! Just recently reviewed this myself and the film is amazing to watch unfold. Even though the paradoxes, timelines and scenarios left me scratching my head a few times, the movie is still very thought provoking and unique. Also, one will benefit from repeated viewings. It needs a much larger audience than it currently has. Nice work!

  4. So I just watched this and agree it is a good watch.

    As for thinking about it days afterwards – im not sure I can agree.


    I did for about 2 minutes after until I thought ‘how does she even exist in the first place’ and then I realized the more you think about it the more it doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately because of that, if you think any deeper than what is shown your left with too many holes for it to be good.

    Enjoy it for what is shown however – and it does make for a very interestingly enjoyable watch!

    Good review – dunno how I overlooked this with the high praise you gave it!

    • Yeh agreed man the more you think about it the more it really does not make sense but that is the problem with all time travel like films I reckon. I’m glad you enjoyed it though its a film Id love for more people to see.

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