A guy walks into a bar . . . no, seriously, that is the premise for the new sci-fi film "Predestination," a rather faithful adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's 1960 short story "All You Zombies."

The film opens with Ethan Hawke as a cop traveling back in time to the 1970s to find a terrorist bomber and eliminate him. He works undercover as a bartender in this era, and when a customer offers to tell him the most incredible story he's ever heard, he says sure. What seems like a brief flashback turns into half the film, as the guy — a columnist known as The Unmarried Mother (Sarah Snook) — tells a never-ending story of being born a girl in an orphanage, trying to join a program for space-travel courtesans, being seduced and impregnated, dumped, and then finding out he's transgender.

At this point, we finally get on with the film, as the bartender offers the columnist a chance to go back in time to take revenge on the man who ruined her life, in exchange for helping him catch the Fizzle Bomber (perhaps the most unfortunately named villain in movie history). The outrageous plot twists come fast and thick, but this Christopher Nolan-esque tale of transgender time travel is a bit too convoluted for its own good.

DirectorMichael and Peter Spierig
OpensFeb. 28