Predestination: Sarah Snook's star-making, genre-bending sci-fi hits Netflix

Predestination (R13, 97 mins) Directed by The Spierig Brothers ****
This twisting, turning, time-travelling thriller about the ability to change the course of destiny will leave you pondering long after the credits have rolled.

A stranger walks into a bar (and, trust me, there's none so strange). He begins to tell a tale that gets the attention of Ethan Hawke's "Temporal Agent".

It involves an orphaned child; the devastation of first love; a terrorist bomber all-in-all, a curious narrative which poses myriad questions that keep you absorbed as beautifully photographed flashbacks are interposed with the grim reality of Hawke's present mission: to capture the bomber back in time before he can go on to perpetrate his crimes.

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Following a similar conceit to Philip K Dick's Minority Report of pre-crime assessment and prevention, this too is based on a short story All You Zombies, with the film script written by the Australian Spierig Brothers, who also directed.

It's a subtly Australian affair, with most of the cast hailing from there and Hawke the only recognisable Hollywood actor, but it is no less accomplished for its Antipodean provenance.

The many faces of Sarah Snook in Predestination.

The production is slick, the story well-paced (though you have to stay alert!), and even the conventions of the genre the ticking clock, ostinato strings in the soundtrack, the bomber in trench coat and fedora who sounds rather like Batman -all contribute to a polished, fascinating story.

With a standout performance from the then little-known Sarah Snook (now a huge star thanks to shows like Succession) and Hawke in fine form, Predestination is commendable for engaging the brain, as well as providing unmitigated entertainment.

Predestination is now streaming on Netflix.


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