Predestination (2014)

Did you ever take a ride and think that the journey was pretty good, but the destination was not the experience you wanted? Turns out, all that journey of promise and hope is balled up in the folder marked "That Trip Sucked" and is tossed in the wastebasket bin of experience. Welcome to this movie where you are predestined to hate the end, so enjoy the trip while you can.

The fact is, this is actually a good movie, and it uses time travel in a Timecop kind of way, but without the troubles that come with casting Jean Claude Van Damme as your lead. Instead, we get Ethan Hawke, a guy who really doesn't know what he wants to do with his acting carrer, so he's just going to continue to make gobs more money than I do and sail along in his yachts and... okay, he may be onto something.

In this movie, he's a kind of time cop who is looking for an elusive figure who is doing bad things as he jumps through time, and Ethan must catch the sonofagun. To that end, he poses as a bartended to listen to the long and winding story told by Sarah Snook. I think we're supposed to believe that she is a guy when she starts telling the story, but she immediately explains that she was born as a girl. Things get complicated as she explains her willingness to fight, her peerless intelligence, and her desire to go to space.

Ethan is sure that Sarah is involved in his plans to catch the evil bad guy, and he starts breaking protocols and making bad decisions to keep her with him or send her to do tasks that she shouldn't be there for. As this is a time movie, the natural inclination is to look for paradoxes, and this movie generates them hard. They decide at a few points to simply accept them as they are and make them integral to the story, but I get the cold shiver that reminds me of a comic I read when I was a kid where a future version of a hero gave himself the powerful suit that would allow him to take over the world. No one ever made the suit - it was passed down through time infinitely, and that doesn't work on SO many levels.

The twist ending isn't all that hard to see coming, it's just hard to believe that they would go that route. I'm not going to explain the ending, in case you want to see this movie and be surprised, but I found it to be really hollow, and it kind of ruined what was otherwise a very good movie. It makes me question what rating I should give it overall - the low one I have with the bad taste in my mouth now, or the good one I have with the bulk of the movie that I enjoyed.

Cinematography was very good
Effects were very good
Story had promise and issues
Acting was very good
Dialog was very good

Bottom Line: Like an exaggerated M. Night Shyamalan movie, this movie is really fun to watch, but it crashes at the end.

2.5/5

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