This smart science fiction thriller chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Harke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career for all eternity. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must pursue the one criminal, The Fizzle Bomber, that has eluded him throughout time. A mind-bending science fiction masterpiece about time travel and understanding, Predestination has more plot twists than a mystery novel.
The movie is set in a scene where a bartender (Hawke), who’s actually something a bit more, starts a conversation with a surly customer (Sarah Snook). They bet a bottle of liquor that he, the customer, can tell the bartender the best story he’s ever heard. This bet is the start of something amazing. He, the customer called the unmarried mother, begins this tale that caught me up like some fantastical spider’s web. By the time the unmarried mother’s story is over he’s worked his way into your heart. Very strange but the strangeness of the whole first half of the film is what endeared it to me.
Then comes the question that sparks the second half of the film. The bartender asks “If I could put the man who ruined your life in front of you and guarantee you’d never get caught…would you kill him?” When it becomes somewhat clear what is happening you become even more engrossed in what’s unfolding before you.
The question becomes more complicated and I think this is what makes the movie fascinating. The time travel is just part of it but the movie does an excellent job of illustrating how absolutely crazy and difficult time travel makes life. It’s something that so many people wish they could do and this movie kind of asks would you still want to if the threads of history and the future would become entirely tangled as a result.
Director: Michael Spierig
Year of Release: 2015
Character to watch: Ethan Hawke as the Barkeep.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?