A time travelling agent (Ethan Hawke) is sent back to disarm a bomb, jumping back and forth to try and catch a very elusive criminal. He enlists the help of someone he meets along the way (Sarah Snook) to help him get the job done.
When viewed as a conventional narrative, Predestination suffers the same fate as all the other time travel movies come before it (and after it, har har). It spins a good tale then throws in predictable twists and turns, going way off the rails and losing the audience.
If you shift your perspective and view it as if you were inside a loop, all the pieces fall into place. You could almost start the film at any point in its run time and just keep going round and round. You see the ‘twists’ coming because they have always been happening; it feels like making it all inevitable was part of the idea.
It’s a relatively low budget effort but nonetheless slick and smartly directed. Sarah Snook in particular gives a brilliant and nuanced performance that makes the film feel like it’s punching far above its weight.
Predestination is not the ‘mind bending’ craziness some might have you believe, but that’s fine. Instead it’s a surprisingly carefully considered film that offers a somewhat unique take on well-worn time travel tropes.