PREDESTINATION | MOVIE REVIEW

Kernel Kate hits up PREDESTINATION, the latest film from brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, it looks promising and she liked it – thank Zeus, is all I will say – DAYBREAKERS (their last film) while visually stunning did my head in – I literally booed in the cinema. It also starred Ethan Hawke and I have to say this one looks much better, add Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor to the cast and I am definitely in. This one is releasing in cinemas on August 28th in Australia. It is coming from the friendly folks (with a spiffy new website) at Pinnacle Films, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 97mins. Enjoy the fine review from Kernel Kate…..all the best…..JK.

 

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PREDESTINATION | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | AUSTRALIAN MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY KATE BRADLEY

Ethan Hawke (BOYHOOD) reunites with DAYBREAKERS writing and directing team Michael and Peter Spierig, alongside Aussie actors Sarah Snook (THESE FINAL HOURS) and Noah Taylor (EDGE OF TOMORROW, THE DOUBLE) to bring you PREDESTINATION, a film about… well, to tell you exactly what it’s about would enter into spoiler territory, and nobody wants that. So let’s tentatively start with one fundamental fact – the plot’s a little complicated.

The very slick trailer tells us PREDESTINATION is about a Temporal Agent (think time-travelling police detective), played by Hawke, trying to track down the one criminal who has eluded him throughout time. That is a part of the movie, but a lot more screen time is dedicated to telling the life story of Sarah Snook’s character, “The Unmarried Mother”. This faux biopic element gives a dramatic change of pace from your typical Sci-Fi thriller, but in this instance it’s not unwelcome or out of place. After the tense, quick cut action of the opening sequence the film slows right down for a long time. You may not understand why at first but fortunately Snook’s performance is so engaging and intriguing that for a while there, you just don’t care.

 

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PREDESTINATION | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | UMMMM, THE FUTURE OF HAIR DRYING?

 

The script for PREDESTINATION is based on the short story “All You Zombies” by Robert A. Heinlein and there are a lot of clever twists and turns through-out. It felt, however, that some twists were perhaps a little too clever (read: unclear). In the immediate minutes after the credits started rolling I really didn’t understand what had happened at the end. I had to sacrifice my pride and ask people in the elevator afterwards to fill me in. Judging from their hesitation in answering, however, it sounded like I wasn’t the only one in the “wtf just happened?” boat. Thinking back, I have a feeling the conclusion was part of a plot strand that was tacked on to the original story; it’s references throughout the film felt forced and weren’t as seamlessly woven in as the journeys of Hawke and Snook’s characters… I know, this probably makes absolutely no sense without seeing the film. As I said, the plot is complicated. It might be different for those who are more familiar with the time-travel genre, but as a guide, if you had problems understanding what was going on during INCEPTION, PREDESTINATION runs the risk of losing you entirely.

 

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PREDESTINATION | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MR. ROBERTSON (NOAH TAYLOR)

 

Despite the strange ending, a lot of PREDESTINATION is very satisfying. The script was quite funny at times and there were a few poignant moments too; Snook’s speech about purpose is one to look out for. I relished watching Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook perform together, they had great chemistry and both were excellent during their individual scenes as well. Production-wise, PREDESTINATION is very sharp. Striking cinematography by Ben Nott and some subtle but effective make up by Steve Boyle. The work of Production Designer Matthew Putland and Costume Designer Wendy Cork allowed for convincing transitions into different eras without being too flashy, meaning the story could take centre stage. And the really cool thing? This was all done in our own backyard. Melbourne, specifically, provided location and studio for the shoot. In fact, the Directors are Australian, most of the cast is Australian and the production was funded by Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. PREDESTINATION is, in fact, an Australian film, which I did not know going in (I don’t tend to do any research before a screening, I like to see a film in it’s purest form without any kind of prejudice towards it…also I’m kind of lazy). I was surprised and, since the last Australian Sci-Fi film I saw was GABRIEL, very glad to see a film so comparable to Hollywood.

I’ll be interested to see how PREDESTINATION does at the box office. It could be too strange for a mainstream audience and there might be some backlash for an Australian film filled with American accents. All I know is, PREDESTINATION is a film that stayed with me; it’s complexity kept me thinking days after I saw it and I kind of want to see it again. That can only be a good thing, right?

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

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