Anas Itani’s review published on Letterboxd:
A few things I have to get out of the way before committing any further:
1- Naming the protagonist of the movie ‘THE PROTAGONIST’ did not put me in his shoes. I did not FEEL it.
2- Yes, the sound mixing sucks and I couldn’t hear shit. I kept raising the volume whenever there wasn’t an action scene and dramatically lowering it immediately after that when we cut back to an action scene. And no, the subtitles didn’t help. If you don’t mind the terrible sound mix then good for you. For the rest of us sane people it is that bothering. I’m sure I would’ve given it at least half a star more had I been able to actually hear what they were *whispering* about.
3- Robert Pattinson stole the entire thing for me.
4- Some, and I mean SOME of the action scenes were actually impressive. Basically any scene that involved both forward and backward action at the same time.
5- Debicki did the best she could, but the baggage was too much to handle.
6- Hoyte van Hoytema is my next favorite cinematographer.
I simply fail to see the point behind this extravaganza. At this point in his career, he just stopped giving a fuck whether his films hold any significant meaning or not. It's not just the complicated plot and unexplainable timeline that he so apparently have a hard-on for, it's become more and more meaningless with each one of his films since his take on the Dark Knight trilogy, with the exception of 2018's Dunkirk. I've said it before and I'll say it again; Nolan shines best on a low-budget movie. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy his past blockbusters, but where does he want to reach? It's pointless.
Tenet is probably going to end up being a lot of people's favourite Nolan simply because they don't understand most of what was going on. Apparently to some being unable to digest what’s going on means this shit must be mind-blowing. Well it was, but not in a good way. I challenge anyone to explain the actual plot of the film. I’m not talking about the ‘saving-the-world-from-total-damnation’ bullshit cuz I wasn’t buying it for a second. Tell me what was actually going on? What does this movie serve? What did I gain from it? What was the actual story here? Where does the science behind this time crap stand? Why wasn’t it explained better? Nolan made it crystal clear that he didn’t bother to write a good enough script to develop some sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters. Not even Debicki’s single layer character was enough to keep me invested.
Think back on some of the best sci-fi movies, I’m not even going to mention any, just think about your favourites, were you ever not 100% invested in the story? I’m sure that wasn’t the case. Wanna know why? Because of a good backstory to the protagonist. It’s common sense. Why would I care about someone I know nothing about. Not even his name. And why should I care about a mistreated wife and her son more than I should care about the fate of the entire world. Did she actually say “INCLUDING MY SON?” I’m not even gonna comment on that. All I’m gonna say is what my little sister, sitting confused next to me, said after hearing this stupid line: “That’s what you care about?” She should care about her son of course, but don’t weigh it next to the entire population of the world when all we know about your son is his name and the fact that he is starting to side with his ‘evil’ father. Which brings me to the villain of the movie; OMG look he has cancer so he decides to take the entire world with him when he dies. Do you know just how degrading and offensive that is to people who actually suffer from cancer or any other incurable disease? I’m not saying not to write a complex villain, but the way they revealed this info and the actions that he took in regards to that said info is just offensive.
2020 was one of the worst years for film, probably of all time. This decade is off on the wrong foot. Lets hope for a better change for all of us cuz we sure as hell need it.