HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:87
Based off of the short story by Robert Heinlein titled “All You Zombies”, “Predestination” delves into the theory of the title word and incorporates something really pretty impressive in this day of Hollywood blockbusters. The ability to create an adult, R rated Sci-fi movies that feels straight out of the past. Heinlein has influenced decades of film makers and is probably most remembered for his contribution to creating “Starship Troopers”, which is about the antithesis to “Predestination” in tone and feel. I went in thinking it would be an action sci-fi flick, but walked out totally flabbergasted and amazed at what I saw on screen. There is a little action in the movie, but the majority of the film is spent delving into the paradox of the past, present and future and what it means to have a purpose in that world.
An unnamed temporal agent is working in the future (in this film the future is 1985) to stop a terrorist known as “The Fizzle Bomber” from detonating a bomb back in the past. This man has jumped through time for years setting off bombs and causing mayhem wherever he goes. This temporal agent (played by Ethan Hawke) has been tracking this bomber his whole career and just before retirement he finally almost apprehends him, but ends up badly burned and disfigured as the box detonates too early. Jumping back to 1985 he is able to has his face reconfigured and ends up looking like a middle aged Ethan Hawke (which isn’t a bad thing now that you think about it). Given one final mission, he’s sent back to 1970 to pose as a bartender and from there things really take off.
Coming into the bar that day is a young man who sits down to the bar and starts to drink. From there the temporal agent convinces the young man to talk. For about 40 minutes of the 98 minute movie we here this young man/woman pour his/her heart out to the agent. The story of a young woman named Jane, born in 1945 and raised in an orphanage. She knew from a young age that she was different. Brilliantly gifted she skated through school, but suffered from a superiority complex and an aggressive personality. Missing an opportunity to be in the Space corp, she met and fell in love, only to have her heart broken. She was pregnant, but had the baby stolen from the hospital. Then she finds out that she was born with multiple organs, some male, some duplicated as female, and that as her pregnancy came upon her the female organs were damaged in the process. Left with only her male organs and the need for reconstructive surgery, Jane (played by Sarah Snook) is forced to become a man. Utilizing her womanly instincts she writes by day as a “confessions” columnist for the newspaper and on this fine night she comes into a bar, in 1970. Revealing who he really is, the temporal agent recruits Jane for his final mission, a mission that is of paramount importance for the temporal bureau and its very existence.
I’d like to say more about the plot, but this is hard science fiction at the core, and a time travel one at that, so anything else I say will just ruin the experience for you. But what I can say is that you will see some things coming from the very part of the movie, and miss others. I saw who the bomber was within the first half of the film, and you will too, most likely, but what really makes the story interesting is the journey that the characters take. How they came to where they were, what the bomber did to make him who he is? How did he do it? And what were his motivations. All is revealed, in a rather nonlinear structure that will come together at the end to make sense if you think hard enough. The story itself is fairly complex, but rather convoluted with the time travel tale, looping in on itself multiple times till you realize that EVERYTHING is connected and controlled from the get go. It delves into the theory of predestination, and just how much can you control your destiny. Ethan Hawke says it himself, sometimes you just have to think some things were meant to be. The 15 seconds was the only thing that REALLY took me by surprise as I misinterpreted the time sequence that was the beginning scene of the movie, but if you watch it carefully you may see it coming too. However, what makes this awesome, is the fact that even though you can see some of this coming, the unfolding of the story is still every bit as engaging as if you didn’t know the next step.
Rated R for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=37906[/img]“Predestination” looks absolutely dazzling in 1080p high definition. Framed in its theatrical 2.40:1 aspect ratio the movie doesn’t fail to impress in any way shape or form. The movie has a decidedly clinical feel to itself during much of the movie, but during the time travel moments the texture and warmth of the movie changes. In the 1970 time slot there is a yellow color grading that imitates the feel of that time period, with lots browns and blues mixed in. During the 1960’s the picture is dramatically brighter and cleaner, giving it an almost space age feel that seems indicative of how Robert Heinlein viewed the time period back in the day. The 1985 period, as old as we consider it today, looks much more like how we view the future today, giving itself and almost “Men in Black” look. Detail is stunning, with clean and crisp images that show off every fiber in clothing, every bit of makeup on Sarah Snook’s face to make her look manly, and every nick and ding on the temporal agent’s time device. Black levels are inky black and silky smooth, with no issues in the shadow detail department. The movie’s shorter than average runt time gives it plenty of room to breathe on the disc and there are no digital anomalies or compression issues to deal with. Excellent on every level.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=37914[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless audio track doesn’t disappoint the viewer either, as it gives an incredibly immersive and amazing sci-fi level audio experience. The dialog is clean and clear as you’d expect, locked to the front channel and full of life. The dynamic range is impressively large as a whisper makes the viewer listen in hushed tones only to hear the “thwomp” of the time traveler’s temporal wake dissipating the next moment in a rush of LFE. The movie has a good amount of time devoted to the vocals, but they are constantly active with little sonic nuances, such as the rushing of water across a fountain, the hustle and bustle of a college campus and the bullets plinking off of metal containers during the more action oriented scenes. The music is tight and punchy, sounding very natural and pleasing as it flows through the movie. An excellent and tightly knit sound track from beginning to end, it rounds out a VERY good Blu-ray presentation.
• A Journey Through Time
• All You Zombies: Bringing "Predestination" to Life
“Predestination” looks big budget in the trailer, but when you get down to it, it’s a very tight and intimate story that really spans a tale of two main characters. Sarah Snook and Ethan Hawke have a few side characters that pop in and out, but really their story (and I mean that very literally…STORY) is the focus of the entire movie. I expected an action/sci-fi movie, but really got a hard sci-fi/thriller and have to say that I came out of the experience pleased as punch. The movie is a blast, the disc looks and sounds AMAZING, and has some decent extras. Well worth a pickup in my opinion.
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor
Directed by: Michael and Peter Spierig
Written by: Michael and Peter Spierig
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 10th 2015
Buy Predestination Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Definitely Watch It
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