CharlesYang’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tenet is impossible to explain in a few simple paragraphs but I will endeavor to try nonetheless.
Don't like spoilers, then don't read my reviews.
Let's split the film into it's three component parts, the classical three act structure of storytelling.....
The first act is nothing more than a giant info dump preparing us for the adventure that is to come. I see it as a essential part of the film but by gawd does it drag. This is the worst part of Nolan's style. His ideas are so complex and ahead of it's time, he MUST explain it. And to explain takes considerable patience and forbearance on the movie goers part. And I believe this is why so many are upset or have disavowed the film entirely. I sympathize.
The second is the badass brand of action you'd expect from the guy created The Dark Knight and Inception. You still don't get what is truly going on but your excitement has been accelerated with the action and we go along for the ride regardless. The first awesome fight scene is between The Protagonist and The Masked Combatant, which is only a glimpse of the fun that is yet to come.
And the third act hits like a shot adrenaline into our bloodstreams. When The Protagonist enters the Inverted Time Machine, we enter into the most mind-blowing finale of all the Nolan films to date and completely sells the whole movie. From that moment on, we as an audience are given the inverted narrative down to it's chaotic, fevered dream battle for the ultimate fate of the space time continuum.
And now previous action set pieces which I had found earlier to be anticlimactic in nature, are now seen to be part of a cohesive ball of timey whimey 4d chess. Especially the aforementioned "inverted fight" between The Protagonist and The Masked Combatant. Except now we know The Masked Combatant is/was the The Protagonist from the future fighting his earlier self scene takes on a whole new meaning
when we see the fight scene unravel in reversed time.
If that scene alone doesn't awe you, then you have no soul.
I've seen Time Travel before, even time lops and grandfather paradox's up the yin yang but NEVER....have I witnessed inverted time travel till now. It's all thanks to Nolan and his visionary filmaking that I can say...Holy shit! Have you seen Tenet?
Time Travel has always been a fun concept for me. It's movie like this that gives me hope for the genre after incompetent hacks like Chris Chibnal and the brain dead morons over at the BBC have massacred Doctor Who's legacy.
This the the Time Travel action flick that we all needed but didn't ask for. And I for one, will be willing to sign a petition, that right now makes Christopher Nolan the head showrunner of Doctor Who effective immediately.