'Predestination': A Complex Protagonist Walks Into A Bar

January 8, 2015 10:05 PM

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The sci-fi thriller Predestination is pretty intriguing when it's not being a sci-fi thriller. A twisty time-paradox movie in the vein of Minority Report or Primer, the film is certainly one of the biggest ever to feature an intersex protagonist. The unnamed character is played as both a man (in the present) and woman (in flashbacks) by the versatile actress Sarah Snook (Jessabelle), who anchors the story's choppy rhythms with touching clarity. In the movie's long middle stretch, in-between some overfamiliar time travel business, the character's tragic life story unfolds: an intermittently fascinating look at a perpetual outcast who can't fit in on either side of the gender gap.

Not only is the hero nameless; so is the man played by Snook's co-lead, Ethan Hawke, a time-traveling crimestopper whose job is to make sure that people don't forget this is supposed to be a hokey sci-fi movie. Hawke's agent works for one of those paradox-flaunting government agencies that sends peo...

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