One of my favourite genres, if it even falls under the category of genres, is short story sci-fi. It’s brilliant. Just enough room to show an idea, but not so long as to require world-building and deep characterisation. Because that’s what matters in sci fi, the ideas. People and places are secondary. It’s rare Hollywood can turn a good short story into a film. Remember i, Robot? But Predestination is amazing.
It’s hard to describe this film without giving anything away. You’ve got four people, connected by time and circumstance but unlike other harder sci-fi films like Primer, you don’t get lost. This isn’t about going back and righting wrongs. If you haven’t read the plot, don’t. It’s odd. Especially for a nearly 60 year old story. But worth it if you pay attention.
Visually the film is amazing. The special effects are kept to a minimum, which for a time-travel heavy film is an oddity but works really well here. The “device” is never explained anymore than it has to be, much like the dream machine in Inception. Instead you’re left with beautiful lighting and set design. Everything feels authentic and has just the right feel.
This isn’t an action film. And there’s only so much you can expand upon the original material. But overall it’s ace. You’ll see the ending coming, but it never pretends to hide it from you. Go watch, and then start reading some Heinlein novels.