Predestination: Directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig. With Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Christopher Kirby, Christopher Sommers. For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

Time cop has his face melted off, so he’s given a new face and a new voice, then put back on the time cop job, where he’s now a bartender who’s checking his scifi watch when a mysterious stranger walks in.

The mysterious stranger turns out to be a mas that was born a girl, as well as an orphan, then recruited to join a space program, ostensibly to be a space companion for future astronauts, but it turns out that it’s for a secretive program that’s recruiting people for secretive missions. As a side point to all this, the recruit is impregnated and during the birth, the doctors noticed that she had two full sets of reproductive organs and they took the opportunity to switch her gender. Why not leave them as they were living? “reasons”, but they’re bullshit of course.

The bartender listens to the orphan’s story, all while drinking a fair bit of alcohol with the stranger. At the end of the tale, the bartender offers to bring the orphan in on a time traveling operation that turns out to be the same secretive organization that was recruiting people for secretive missions. They time travel back to the day that the orphan was still a woman and met the man that would eventually impregnate her.

Turns out that future man is the man that past woman met and had a baby with, they meet and the wheels are set in motion for a time loop baby to be born. While those wheels are in motion, the bartender / time cop gets off on his own secretive mission, this time to go to the room where his face was caught up in an explosion. He’s a witness to his own vicious assault again, and not able to save his past self from being turned into a time traveling open wound.

The story progresses to the point of inevitable absurdity, but thanks to both Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook, it stays on the rails long enough to be entertaining. It’s yet another time travel movie that thinks it’s all so smart, but if you’ve seen more than a couple time travel stories on film before you’ll know exactly where they’re going the moment that the time cop starts signing “I’m my own gram-pa”.

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