Tenet ★★★

rented out a private theater screen to go see this movie (which has a lower metacritic score than despicable me) "the way the filmmakers wanted".

tenet is an absolute shitshow. i seriously cannot remember seeing another major blockbuster that was so obtuse, so confusing, so vague in almost every scene. having had a night to sleep on it, i still really can't explain the rules of this movie to you, which is awesome bc 90% of the dialogue is rules. the core reverse-time concept doesn't really make much sense, but i got a good laugh from my friends when i walked out of the bathroom backwards, so that was cool. when the characters aren't explaining the principals of time, they say these really goofy jokes that are just horrible - john david washington saying "i think i ordered my hot sauce ten minutes ago" before starting a fight in a restaurant will be seared in my brain forever.

the action scenes are really fucking rad, and a slightly depressing reminder of just how nuts nolan movies would be if he took on something more straightforward. i saw an interview with him where he said that he wanted to utilize john david washington's athleticism, and you really can feel it - our protagonist (named The Protagonist) is constantly bashing into walls, sprinting, and doing great fight work. in its best sequence involving a 747 jet, the hand-to-hand combat is the most inventive i've seen since maybe the matrix. i can genuinely say that i had a pretty decent time based on the strength of these scenes alone.

completely bonkers that nolan and warner brothers thought that this was the movie that could save theaters. this is a movie with a plot that is completely incomprehensible, a concept that is indescribable. it features kenneth branagh kicking a woman in the vagina and spitting on her. the final interaction between two of the main characters has them explaining even MORE rules even though the final setpiece is over. this is the movie that forced theater owners to reopen, only for every studio to delay their movies a few more months bc of this one's poor performance - these theaters now have zero major new movies for the next couple of months, something that could be irreversibly crippling for them. i just love movie theaters so much and yesterday was a nice reminder of how much better a time i can have watching even the craziest, dumbest, most ill-conceived film like this if i just get to see it on a big screen.

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