Film feature: Spierig Brothers take Science-Fiction to new level in 'Predestination'.


Spierig Brothers take Science-Fiction to new level
Predestination offers new spin on genre, making must-see feature

When we think of classic science-fiction thriller/dramas, the likes of InceptionMemento and The Matrix spring immediately to mind. All three of these examples, could be sub-categorized loosely within the tag of mind-bender.

Now, with Predestination, we are introduced to a new pretender to the throne. But can this particular contender emulate the exploits of another, more illustrious familial partnership, The Wachowskis?
The Wachowski Brothers’ original Matrix offering still stands today as one of the finest examples of a science-fiction movie. The boundaries of the genre have, in truth, been stretched during the last fifteen years with the aforementioned Memento and Inception of 2009. Five (six) years later comes Predestination.

Ethan Hawke plays the role of a time-travelling (temporal) agent who travels in time to catch an infamous terrorist known as the “Fizzle Bomber”.

In his latest attempt - from the outset – we are introduced to his character having prevented the bomb going off, but is severely injured and disfigured, which requires facial reconstruction through plastic surgery.

That is about as linear as the movie presents.

The first half of the movie focuses largely on character development between Hawke (The Barkeep) and relative newcomer Sarah Snook (Unmarried Mother), as the female protagonist.

At this stage of proceedings, you do wonder just what direction the directors are taking us in and why there is such a focus on the relationship between two apparent strangers. But such attention to detail, as well as Snook’s heart-wrenching performance is vital for the remainder of the piece.

What we have with Predestination is essentially a movie of three parts. The beginning; the preamble of an explosive and mysterious thriller, in the vein of Fight Club.

The second part is upon us almost unknowingly before the introduction has concluded. This consists of a nigh-on 40 minute dialogue between Hawke and Snook.

The pace of the movie is at times alarmingly juxtaposed. Indeed the same can be said of the third part, where in the final half-hour, the pace in ramped up. As a result – not to detract from the final verdict – the movie does feel slightly crammed together.

Hawke and Snook complement each other superbly. With the former now assumed as a big name in the horror suspense thriller, with Insidious and Sinister being huge successes, Hawke goes back to his Gattaca roots of 1996, to give us a sci-fi movie that stands out. Hawke is nothing if not versatile. Not only that, he is as captivating as ever.

What is key with Predestination is this; the best mysteries keep you guessing all the way. The difference here however, is every time you do, you are forced to second guess yourself.
As the movie twists and turns late on, your preconceptions are not only challenged, but shattered. Your brain is left trying – in vain – to comprehend the final five to ten minutes.  

Without wanting to give the game away, a huge credit must be go to the make-up team. This, combined with a tight screenplay, allows you to immerse yourself fully in its’ one-and-a-half hours.
The icing on the cake is with the final payoff. When it all finally clicks, the feeling of satisfaction is grand. On the level of discovering who Keyser Soze was. It has that sort of revelationary climax.
Yet, when it is all said and done, one is left in a cloud of confusion and sheer unadulterated celluloid flux.

Science-fiction movies come and go, but it is the greats that stand the test of time. Predestination was originally on limited release and opened in Hungary last year and as such it didn’t have the basis to build on.

Now, as it gets a general release, Predestination has all the elements to be one of the great thrillers of the genre. So different, so underrated and simply put so mind-wreckingly obtuse, it makes Memento seem likes child’s-play.             

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1 comments:

  1. This is up there with my favourite films already, although sadly I doubt it'll ever reach the popularity that the Matrix did, even though personally I think it is far better...

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