__vincent__’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nolan's idiosyncracies at full display. This can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, good or bad things. The root issues that nag me about Nolan are very much all present; incredibly obtuse in it's composition of narrative, trying to masquerade -and failing at that- the absolute convoluted-ness of it's set of rules, Nolan talks down to you, practically saying "yeah you're too stupid for this one, take a hike and enjoy the visuals". But this facade is mostly temporary, beyond the smokescreen that is Tenet's structure, lies a quite shallow work of sci-fi mumbo jumbo that is rarely clever, and much-too sold on it's own artifice.
Nolan's talents as a writer -and these weren't so large to begin with- have seem to be deminished, he is, instead, getting lost in his own arcane and stubborn labyrinthian structurality that is packed to the brim with enigmatic plot contrivances that serve the larger purpose of trying to craft an intellectuality that's simply not there, and if it is there, it's no more than quite shiny tinsel. I would have more respect for this attitude of seeming hostility towards the audience if the film was a bit more convinced of the tactic, instead, it's a constant double entendre by part of the script. The film has the need to explain almost rigorously this set of nonsensical terminology, and at the same time, the impulse to try and reassure you that It doesen't truly matter, that you won't understand it because you can't, and it makes for a film that is seldom convinced of what it tries to achieve.
And yet, and yet... It's damn well done. Sure it's all those things I said previously, but at the same time, it's a towering visual spectacle that dazzles all the senses, one that never ceases to amaze in its set pieces that seemingly out-do themselves everytime, Tenet is a film that -much like the universe if takes place in- is interminably paradoxical. Not only in it's achievements, as well as in its flaws. Are the things I strongly dislike about it part of it's more than overwhelming and abundant entirety? Most certainly, and it turns out I really like the entirety.