Tenet

Tenet

I bang the Nolan drum as much as the next FilmBro, but "Tenet" is his George Lucas/"Phantom Menace" moment. He's so enamored with the technical experimenting and the mechanics of the world he's created that, when it comes to storytelling or character development, he's got a crazy case of tunnel vision, and the result is a showcase for both his incredible craftsmanship and his most frustrating emotional weaknesses.

These characters aren't characters, they're empty vessels for this inane, faux-smart exposition, and there isn't a single scene where I give a rat's ass about anything or anybody. At its best, it's as impressive as an expertly-made tech demo - it's shot beautifully, Ludwig Goransson's score is electric, and when the time inversion business is going down, this thing is a pretty rocking rollercoaster. But I don't need to pay to watch a tech demo stretched out to two-and-a-half hours, and outside of the occasional thrills, there is nothing to latch onto or invest in here. Nolan may be a cinematic emperor, but this time out, he ain't got no clothes.