Julian’s review published on Letterboxd:
What is perhaps Nolan’s most technically prolific film is also possibly his most narratively deficient. Watching the movie is like watching a magic act - the myriad twists and turns leave you in a constant state of both revelation and intrigue - but the illusion of character within the film is so thin you almost wish it wasn’t there at all. I know that characters patiently talking is not Nolan’s comfort zone, he likes to keep the ball rolling and wrapped up in action, but it’s the characters who suffer badly for this shortcoming - and by extension the audience.
I do want to applaud knockout performances from Branagh, who I’ve never really seen do a baddie, and Robert Pattinson - who is doing a very endearing toned down Roger Rees evocation. Sadly Elizabeth Debicki just doesn’t get much to really chew on besides being some sort ultra-realist Bond girl and John David Washington doesn’t yet have the chops to really shoulder Nolan’s dialogue. Lines from him like “I ordered my hot sauce an hour ago” come flying in as if from a different movie all together.
In the end the sheer spectacle and audacity of Nolan’s vision is well worth seeing, but check your expectations for charm and character at the door.