How you look at films will always influence how critical you are. Before I go any further, no, I’m not going to point out the different genres/intellectually challenging types of films; we get that, or at least I presume you get it.
I like thrillers that aren’t predictable and there are so many good thrillers out there that do this (what thrillers are supposed to do), albeit a lot of them are classed as ‘independent’ because ironically they don’t constrain themselves to the Hollywood conveyor belt. Which this film does, which is why this review isn’t going to be telling you to leap out of your seat and spend £15/20 on a cinema ticket to see it. But this isn’t a criticism of ‘Predestination’(2014), moreover, a criticism of the modern thriller genre, as a genre – confused? Well, that’s what Hollywood wants you to be, because confusing films with more twists, turns and twisted psychopaths apparently makes it more ‘intellectual’. Wait, this is an Aussie film not a Hollywood film! Well, the greatest trick Hollywood ever pulled, is convincing the world it doesn’t exist. Hollywood is not just a place, it has become the Ford in the film industry, the Apple of computers, if it isn’t one itself it was sure as hell based upon, referred to, and in nature of.
‘Breaking Bad’ (2008), with all its twists and turns and media hype, is now in the ‘so last year’ category (at least until the next hyped up media frenzy comes for the next season). The truth is that you, the consumer, the cinema or television viewer, or whatever you want to call yourself, are led to believe this is what you want to watch, then you’re led to believe you want to watch this time after time after time again. The same is here with ‘Predestination’. It has an interesting premise, a story about a life of a time traveling agent who must bring down his arch enemy. Brilliant! It’s written by the Spierg Brothers. Brilliant! It has Sarah Snook. Brilliant! It has Ethan Hawke… *sigh* okay, and it’s made in Australia. Interesting! It has a fantastic first 60 minutes of letting you believe you haven’t seen this film before. Brilliant! Then it goes all wrong like being a baby with custard all over your pants, or the Labour Party, and you’re left wondering how could someone make such a mess and who’s going to clean this one up?
It seems as though Hollywood has itself become its own thriller film where its arch nemesis is itself. Sounds a lot like a plot to a modern thriller, right?
Don’t stress too much, it’s a type of film for its age, it’s what the 00s will be remembered for. Like the action/buddy films of the 80s with Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis, except its Brad Pitt or Ethan Hawke. I can’t help but wonder what will happen to the thriller genre, just like I can’t help but wonder how bad ass will Season six of Breaking Bad be?