|PREDESTINATION (director/writer: Michael and Peter Spierig; screenwriter: based on the short story " — All You Zombies — " by Robert A. Heinlein; cinematographer: Ben Nott;; editor: Matt Villa; music: Peter Spierig; cast: Ethan Hawke (the barkeep/Temporal Agent), Sarah Snook (The Unmarried Mother/Jane and John Doe), Noah Taylor (Mr. Robertson), Tyler Coppin (Dr Heinlein), Christopher Stollery (The Interviewer); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paddy McDonald, Tim McGahan, Peter Spierig, Michael Spierig; Blacklab Entertainment; 2014-Australia)|
|"Trippy sci-fi thriller."
by Dennis Schwartz
German born twins, Michael and Peter Spierig ("Daybreakers"/"Undead"),
direct and write this trippy sci-fi thriller made in
Australia. It's a weird but thought-provoking fantasy
film. The brothers adapt Robert A. Heinlein's 1959
time-travel short story "All You Zombies" to the
screen. The movie title was changed to make it clear
there are no zombies in it. The well-crafted and
well-acted low-budget film turns out to be a splendid
gender-breaking film about predestination, one that's
so highly polished you might think it was made by a
big-time Hollywood studio.
Hawke is a time-traveling
lawman, that is he's a “temporal agent,” who tries to
prevent a terrorist bombing in NYC of 10 blocks in
1975 from The Fizzle Bomber. The agent's face
is severely burned during the incident and he requires
facial reconstruction. He's thereby sent back home by
the agency to NYC in 1970 and given another chance to
try to arrest the bomber before he strikes. He goes
undercover as a barkeep. There he listens to the moody
patron John Doe (Sarah Snook,
Aussie actress) tell a strange story of being born a
girl who was abandoned at an orphanage. She grows up
to be the first potential woman astronaut after
recruited by SpaceCorp. But she's dismissed. In
civilian life she's seduced by a mysterious stranger,
who leaves her when she's pregnant. At the child's
birth, he's stolen from a hospital. It's also
discovered she was born with both male and female sex organs.
Because of the pregnancy, her uterus is removed. The
agent then successfully recruits John Doe to kill the
mysterious stranger who did her wrong. To do this,
they both trek back to 1964 to find answers (I might
add brainy metaphysical ones) through studying such
subjects as temporal predestination.
were several key additions made to Heinlein's tale,
giving it some more shockers and topical twists.
Though it could be confusing and lacking logic at
times, I highly recommend it for those looking for
something way out in space. A sci-fi film that might
leave you both dazzled and puzzled, as it takes what
at first might seem like a familiar plot and moves it
into another realm without blinking.
gives one of cinema's better performances, exposing
her vulnerability and tenderness. Too bad not enough
people saw the film to get it more deserving
REVIEWED ON 1/5/2016 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ