Tenet

Tenet ★★½

So I wrote probably five or six hundred words on this movie today bemoaning it's endless waves of exposition, it's misuse of normally charismatic actors, etc, etc. I used some big, smart words, and I said that Nolan's movies lack "jazz" or something. Honestly, it almost looked like a real piece of film criticism...

But reading it back I struggled to see why anyone, including me should give a shit. Nolan's very divisiveness, and the florid heaps of both praise and criticism expended on movies that I generally find to be "basically fine" is a big part of what irks me about him.

Ultimately this movie is also "basically fine." It has a few cool action setpieces early on, but builds to a complete clusterfuck of a climax. It wants to be a Bond movie, but it's 70% exposition- something that James Bond doesn't give a single solitary shit about, his entire thing being that he barely listens when a plan is described to him, preferring to just show up and see what happens when he starts loudly announcing himself by name. Nolan meanwhile can't help but be anything less than schematic at all times, leading to a disconnect between the film's satisfaction with its own cold austerity and clockwork nature, and Nolan's seemingly more low-brow and nostalgic ambitions, and wait, holy shit, how is this turning back into exactly the review I was trying not to write??

Ok look, so the bottom line is that I am someone who is blessed with not one, but two incredibly smart friends who built web-based platforms to enable us to group-watch movies, and while yes, I did kinda like this movie, I do regret that we watched it using the platform that DOESN'T have a playable, multiplayer version of the Atari game "Frogs and Flies" that you can overlay on top of whatever you're watching, and hop around catching flies with your friends while a movie happens literally in the background.

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