Predestination Screen 10 articles

Predestination

2014

Predestination Poster
  • Despite some feigns towards profundity (truly, doesn’t time catch up to us all?), it doesn’t take much reflection to realize how little there is here by way of substance or thrills, and just how unbelievably skeevy the key emotional moment is. Predestination tells the kind of story that calls out for multiple viewings, but with the kind of storytelling that makes that an unappealing prospect. At least Hawke’s next role will be one for him, and for everyone with taste.

  • Predestination is visually under-imagined, overly reliant on dialogue to express its themes, but it effectively underlines the one undertaking that time-travel fantasies can never truly allow: escape from ourselves.

  • Adapting a story by Robert A. Heinlein, the Spierig brothers, Michael and Peter, have confected a brisk, twisty, and atmospheric science-fiction thriller that piques the imagination and the senses with the low-rent exuberance of fifties drive-in classics.

  • Predestination approaches pulpy sci-fi in a manner I associate with [Alan] Moore—self-reflexive and steeped in older literature... Though somewhat sparse in its design, the movie looks like a comic book. The slightly exaggerated decors suggest a dream version of midcentury America compiled from representations in popular culture—film noir, DC Comics, the paintings of Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper—and some of the slanted camera angles recall comic book panels.

  • This is a story that doesn’t just swallow its tail, it eats itself whole, but Mr. Heinlein’s narrative sleights of hand are very much of a piece with his playful take on identity. The Spierigs more or less untangle the proceedings enough so that you grasp how the Unmarried Woman became a he and — over time — the pivot and whatzit. Peter Spierig also wrote the music, though not the stealthily meaningful song “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

  • Having read "—All You Zombies—" long ago, I wasn't tasked with having to make sense of the narrative, and was thus free to marvel at how much genuine emotion the Spierigs succeed in wresting from Heinlein's braintwister. Most of the credit for that goes to Sarah Snook, who would be an instant star (and perhaps even an Oscar nominee) if this film only had a higher/more respectable profile. It's worth seeing just for her alternately cynical and tremulous performance.

  • The kind of film you'd recommend to anyone - it's ingeniously done - even while privately admitting it's more of a clever concept than a first-rate movie (though Sarah Snook is as impressive as advertised).

  • To everyone who dismisses science fiction as little more than high-concept shoot-outs in space, feebleminded pop philosophizing, retrograde sexual politics, and CGI hordes: take note. With Predestination, Michael and Peter Spierig expertly realize a fleshed-out adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s time-paradox yarn “—All You Zombies—” in which a Temporal Bureau agent attempts to stop a time-traveling criminal called The Fizzle Bomber from blowing up 10 blocks of Manhattan in 1975.

  • Their new film, Predestination, plays like one sustained, boldly extended storytelling flourish: it’s a rare head trip that’s both humane and haunting. By the end, even bad jokes and tired riddles come together in a giddy concatenation of thought and feeling.

  • There’s a dash of Borges here, plus a soupcon of war-on-terror currency to update the original... It all makes for heady stuff that should get your synapses sparking. Hawke is dependably frazzled, but the revelation is Sarah Snook. She’s both unsettling and extremely winning as she morphs from vulnerable but tough Jane to hard-bitten, cynical John – and looking, in the latter guise, like Sissy Spacek after several very frosty mornings.

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