April 25, 2015


Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, 2014
One of the redeeming qualities of Ethan Hawke is he will take on a wide variety of roles. He will jump into low-key indie performances as he has done with his with his many collaborations with the great Richard Linklater. But he will also venture into more unique roles, occasionally in the Sci-Fi genre, as he has done in vampire-themed Daybreakers or space-themed Gattaca.

Out of his 56 acting credits listed on IMDB, the variety is obvious as he has played everything from an LAPD cop to a plane-crash survivor to a leading Hamlet role in a 2000 adaptation. The thing with Hawke is he always brings a certain familiarity to his roles. He has a real distinctive energy in most of his work. But his barkeep character is for the most part a serious one. As a time traveling agent he attempts to save lives by preventing disasters. Frustrated by his inability to successfully catch up to a terrorist dead-set on racking up fatalities, he is seemingly in eternal pursuit through time.

The tone of the film changes when he are introduced to the “Unmarried Mother” character (Sarah Snook). It seems as if we are supposed to be fooled, but most viewers probably will not be. This doesn’t fully take away from the direction that the story goes. The Spierig Brothers go on to lay out a pretty engaging story that is complex and unique. But it grows complicated, becomes a bit convoluted. By the end of the movie it feels like they are attempting to cram in exposition and it feels rushed. At this point in 2015 we have seen so many time travel films. Some are good: Back to the Future, Looper, Groundhog Day, Donnie Darko, Primer, Timecrimes. Some are not-so-good: Black Knight, Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation, Click. When you think of the good ones, there’s always some memory that you carry with you that you can always come back to. With the bad ones, like most bad movies, don’t give you much to come back to mentally. That’s the big question here. Is there any memorable element in Predestination to come back to? Predestination certainly has some brains behind it but it just doesn't leave you with much to talk about afterwards. Sometimes movies need to be more than just smart. Sometimes audiences need something more impactful. It's probably in the imagery, and we just don't have enough of it here.

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