Jon?’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Don’t understand it. Just feel it.”
but why tho. what’s there to really feel, or even “understand”? so bland and hollow for most of the 150 mins. it’s so needlessly complicated, cringe when it tries to show humour (all its dumb little one-liners, particularly the “hot sauce” one). you’ve gotta be kidding me with this expository dialogue. is the movie-in-reverse thing supposed to be groundbreaking, or some new transcendent way the cinema probes our minds? cuz it isn’t. Nas did a song like that once, in reverse. wasn’t great then either. shoulda went back in time and unmade this movie. microsoft windows screensaver-ass, video game cutscene-ass type cinema.
I really never thought I’d become an anti-Nolan person, and I’m not quite saying that yet (as I need to do a full rewatch of his filmography some day to know for sure), but I’m getting there. believe it or not, prior to a few years back when I really began to kick the, I guess, cinephilia, in full gear, nolan was arguably my favorite filmmaker. but I guess that might have been due to a subconsciously western, even isolationist, interest in movies (which I’d imagine is the default in any western-born movie watcher at first, whether they admit it or not), or maybe not, who’s to say. now that my palate in film has expanded (not saying this on some snob shit, just that watching more from other countries, other directors/perspectives changes things for the better) I see this for the hollow nature that many nolan critics have had over the years. maybe all those imax cameras and big screens served to cover a façade. maybe this is why Following has always been my 2nd favorite Nolan film (after Inception, which I’m now definitely dreading an eventual rewatch of someday), he doesn’t over-complicate things in Following. he keeps it short, simple, but twisty enough, and it’s lean as hell and it works. with Tenet, I think of all the fancy places, the special effects, the plane scene, its overly-wordy dialogue that is more style (an uninteresting one at that) than substance...and I ask “what’s the point?”
maybe the maximalism no longer works for me because I see it as masking other deficiencies. maybe he’s a director who could’ve worked better as a Bresson than a Bay.