Predestination is a movie that became an almost fascination among serious movie buffs earlier this year. I was expecting quite a bit from this film because I have been hearing so many positive things about it. I didn’t get a chance to see this movie in theaters in January, so when I saw that it was out on demand I decided to go ahead and review it.
The movie stars Ethan Hawke as a bartender (sort of) in a dimly lit, slightly slummy looking establishment. A man comes in one day and offers to tell him the most interesting story he has ever heard. What follows is absolutely insane and I will not spoil any of it for you right here.
This film is very brave. I mean that as a compliment. It does things and takes twists and turns that are totally unexpected and sometimes hard to fathom. While this is highly entertaining and holds the viewer’s attention very well, I feel like the film uses this as a crutch, especially in the second half.
The performance of Sarah Snook in this film is good, although I feel a bit overstated by most critics. She really carried certain parts of the film and in my opinion, gets better as the story progresses. At the same time, there were moments when she seemed very stiff and robotic. Also some of the narration she does is not so good. Ethan Hawke is good, but not any more than you would expect him to be.
My big problem with this movie is the screenplay. It is entertaining, but when I actually thought about the plot I found myself being totally confused about what each characters motivations were. There are times when the narrative seems intent on shock and nothing else. A lot of what happens makes no sense when you really think about it. On top of that, there is one huge aspect of the plot that actually makes the whole thing impossible. This story, by its own admission, cannot happen. That’s as much as I can say without spoiling anything. There is also a slight pacing issue. The second half of the movie moves way too fast making an already convoluted narrative even harder to follow.
My reservations about the plausibility of the story aside, this is a film that is worth watching. It encourages you think. Of course, the more you think the more you realize all the things wrong with the film. It is a very flawed narrative that provides the audience with a microscope by which to examine it. I guess that is the best way I can put it.
This movie is a lot of things. It is entertaining, convoluted, confusing, riveting, at times even brilliant. Overall it was disappointing to me, but I am glad I watched it and I would recommend it if you like the type of film you have to think about. The Movie Man gives it 3 out of 5 stars.
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