Based on the short story "All You Zombies" by Robert A. Heinlein, Predestination chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must recruit his younger self while pursuing the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.
We all have our favorite time-travel films, whether it be 'Back to the Future', 'Looper', 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure', 'Terminator 2', or even 'Donnie Darko'. But one thing is for sure, you haven't seen anything like 'Predestination'. This unflinching film takes the time-travel genre to new heights and has a more affectionate story line than most of these sci-fi time-travel films tend to show. 'Predestination' is an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's short story 'All you Zombies' from 1959.
He wrote the story in one day and is one of his better short stories that tears at the heart strings as well as shows his unique story telling methods and the creative worlds he writes about. Directed by the Spierig brothers ('Daybreakers' and 'Undead'), 'Predestination' follows a guy (Ethan Hawke), whose name we don't know, who works as a bartender, making craft cocktails and engaging with his regular and new customers. However, there is more to this man that he lets on. In fact, he is a temporal agent who works for the Temporal Bureau, where he and other agents time-travel to stop the most violent and vicious crimes committed around the world.
These agents are almost always successful in their missions, but for the bartender, there has always been one person who has eluded him each time. This villain is known as 'The Fizzle Bomber' and is responsible for killing thousands of people. Even 'The Fizzle Bomber' got the best of our faithful bartender once, causing him to be disfigured, but due to plastic surgery, he has a new face. One day, a new customer comes into the bar and tells a very compelling story to the bartender. It's a story so surprising and insane, that the bartender has never heard anything like it before, although some aspects of this stranger's story seem recognizable.
The Spierig brothers have done a magnificent job here, weaving and molding this complex story full of twists and turns, where everything matters and comes into play into a cohesive and compelling story. There are some thrilling scenes, a few dark and ultra violent moments, and some very odd and disgusting scenarios played out here. But each aspect is told with grace and with full consistency that each emotion and plot play out perfectly. From what I described above, it doesn't seem like there is much going on here, but rest assured, this is a heavy and intricate tale of self discovery, which hasn't been done in the fashion ever before.
The Spierig brothers also did a phenomenal job of telling a story that comes full circle in a way that will cause you to go back and re-watch every second of this film to see if you could have predicted the outcome if you just looked a little harder. Even the biggest cinephiles here will be impressed. Both Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook own each of their roles, delivering a great range of emotions and physical attributes to their characters. 'Predestination' is such a well conceived and executed story and film, that you'll find yourself going back again and again to see if you can pick up something that you didn't notice before. Along with the great visual effects, excellent acting, and brilliant story line, this film should be high on your list.
'Predestination' comes with an impressive 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This futuristic film looks excellent from top to bottom. The detail is very vivid and razor sharp at all times, no matter how dim a scene looks. Every individual hair, makeup blemish, wrinkle, cut, scratch, and age spot looks incredible. The fine stitching in the suits, bandages, and other costumes can be seen with great ease. The props used in the film and fine attention to detail with the sets used, shows up clearly and accurately. With this fine detail, the image comes with quite a bit of depth and never looks murky or soft.
Colors pop off screen consistently here too. There are two big color schemes here, both of which are presented very well. On one hand, there are the sleek, cool designs that take place in a certain future with a lot of blues, grays, and silvers. On the other hand, there are a handful of scenes with a much warmer look with some realistic and bright oranges, yellows, greens, and reds. Every color is wall-saturated and balanced. The skin tones are natural and smooth and the black levels are always deep and inky. There are no issues with any banding, aliasing, or video noise that cropped up either. While this may not have a nostalgic or filmic look to it, this video presentation looks amazing, leaving it with high marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix that sounds pretty much perfect. Sound effects are key here, and each sound or noise is full, robust, and very realistic. Not one sound is rocky or muddled, but instead packs a powerful punch of full sound. whether it be gun shot, a ricochet shot, or engine revving. Each noise is layered and well balanced, never causing any shrieking. The ambient noises are also very full and keep the track moving along in the softer spots.
The directionality here is also excellent throughout. Dialogue is always crisp and clear and very easy to follow. There are no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing. There is a good bit of bass throughout the film and comes across very smooth. Needless to say, the entire speaker system receives an excellent workout. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is very wide, leaving this audio presentation with perfect marks.
A Journey Through Time (HD, 5 Mins.) - The cast and crew discuss what they think the movie means, their co-stars performances, and the style of the film.
Bloopers (HD, 2 Mins.) - Odd, but none-the-less here are is your standard gag reel full of laughs, missed cues, and flubbed lines.
Trailers (HD, 8 Mins.) - Trailers for other Sony titles.
'Predestination' is a great film, and I implore you to go in blindly and try not to read too many spoilers about this one. You'll thank me for it. It's one of the more complex and intricate time-travel movies that comes full circle in the blink of an eye. The video and audio presentations are both exquisite and the extras are quite good and all worth the watch. Highly recommended!