Rated: R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: January 9, 2014 Released by: Stage 6 Films
Ethan Hawke is a steely character known initially as a conversing 'The Bartender' in this daring, yet sparely executed Mobius-strip time-travel tale that reteams him with writing/directing siblings Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers) where plenty of action takes place before the challenges around misbehavior and certainty unfold. A scrambled sci-fi tale that would seem to have elements of Philip K. Dick short stories like Minority Report or Looper even if its plot mechanics may not be that visionary as adapted from a thirteen page short story from a Robert A. Heinlein short story
Predestination is an admirable if perplexingly entertaining Australian import with 'Face-Off' like kinetic energy prior to the opening credit listings that includes a violin case with dates on a combination lock which can be used by a 'Temporal Agent' with hat and mustache on his last and probably most dangerous mission. It probably may score better theatrically in alternative venues or arthouses rather than a crowded Cineplex while new releases platform for wider exposure during the early new year and a burgeoning awards season.
The ambitious filmmakers work the highs and lows in terms of concept and scope to follow Hawke's dogged pursuing of the one criminal, the 'Fizzle' bomber who has thwarted him throughout history with imminent catastrophe in the mid 1970s if the past can't be altered. This around with the Spierigs Hawke has the ability to keep one engaged even more so than in fare like The Purge or the Assault on Precinct 13 remake slipping into varying eras. However, he's arguably upstaged by the deft portrait Sarah Snook (an Aussie thespian) androgynous at first, credited as 'The Unmarried Mother' but also is the arcane Jane evincing a variegated wistful amenableness which to a degree makes Predestination a fairly persuasive character study. Mr. Robertson is also another small, but important part in a frustrating, but lively mind-bender where a leap of faith needs to be take for a solid English-born Australian character actor in Noah Taylor (Edge of Tomorrow).