Tenet: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Monday, December 7, 2020

Tenet: Movie Review

We're huge Christopher Nolan fans and we have been waiting for ages to get to experience "Tenet" and we finally did. The film has the hallmarks of a signature Nolan film with its mind-numbing, time-bending, sci-fi aspects and very ambitious hooks. If you want an all-out production and technical experience then "Tenet" certainly won't disappoint. But overall, this felt a little short on the what we expect from a Christopher Nolan film in terms of writing and this is probably the first time that we seriouly couldn't comprehend or understand what was happening half of the time on-screen.
During a mission to save an important figure in an opera house siege, The Protagonist (John David Washington) experiences something weird as he is saved by someone who instead of firing a gun, catches a bullet in reverse. He is still captured and ingests a cyanide pill to kill himself. He survives and due to his loyalty he is recruited by an organization called Tenet. There he is sucked into a world of inversion or reverse entropy wherein objects and even people interact with the world in reverse. He is tasked to find out and eventually stop the person who is at the core of these "inverted" objects. Tenet believes that whoever this person is out for the annihilation of the whole world.
Are we disappointed with "Tenet"? That's a hard question to answer actually but for us, this was easily the worst of the Christopher Nolan films since "Inception". At the forefront of the issue for the film was the very complicated nature of its premise or how the film failed to integrate it or explain it well. This is not the first time for Christopher Nolan to tackle a more sci-fi aspect to his ideas but take "Inception" as an example. That film was complicated also but its concepts was developed well and mixed well into the story that we never really questioned what was happening on-screen even if we were delving deeper and deeper into dreams upon dreams. Maybe its the inversion aspect but half of the time, we were not sure what was actually happening on-screen. It did not help that the film relied heavily on deep conversations and expositions between characters. The heavy exchanges shouldn't be a problem usually for other films but "Tenet" had a muffled tone to its dialogues. So not only was it a struggle to understand with its numerous inverted sequences but on conversations too. As for its positives, the fights and action sequences were certainly ambitious and a technical marvel especially in its most climactic moments. Christopher Nolan doesn't hold back or disappoint on technicalities once again. The film felt big, epic, and grand. Another strong point for the film was the acting specifically with Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson. John David Washington as the protagonist and lead character was okay but he lacked that certain appeal in our opinion to really stand out from the film's ensemble cast. While "Tenet" may not have lived up to the high expectations we expected from it, it still featured outstanding action, epic ideas and concepts like no other, and a twist that will leave viewers talking nonstop about it for days and weeks.
Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it: 
- awesome visuals and action
- astounding performances from Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki

Why you shouldn't watch it: 
- the sound mix was a bit off making the whole experience even harder to comprehend
- this is the first Nolan film we really had a hard time following or understanding in real-time-

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