Tenet ★★★★

In a way captures the byzantine but immaterial plotting of many a 007 film, though it takes a perverse reconciliation of expectancy to discover the gives no fucks Nolan in the outlet of the fabled intricate design Nolan. Total banger, nearly pure aesthetic, the comps to Mann aren’t anything new but between the deafening gun effects and the mannequin masculinity it’s really noticeable. Even has a Talented Mr. Ripley section that invites you to bath in luxury to distract from the immorality and duality of everyone involved. Haters will say it’s the apotheosis of Nolan’s diagram cinema, multiple explanations using hand gestures and probably thermodynamics for dummies (e.g. me), yet I think Nolan has actually gotten tired of explicating, the necessary details so deeply embedded into the gesticulations of maximalism that it’s inverted back on itself into inscrutable nonsense. Heck, even the dialogue is impossible to apprehend, Nolan prioritizing IMAX speakers over the story (but frankly the dialogue is probably bad and mechanical so who cares), characters literally reduced to their functional monikers, imprimaturs by Thorne to validate palindromes and symmetries that also round out the rest of the cast names. Maybe nothing more than a succession of Nolan’s fancies in a vacuum: gas masks, deathly wives, location shooting (someone says Estonia and they’re in Estonia), practical effects. That last one is fucking legit, so much tactile destruction, and the bodies chosen for its effectuation look fantastic. The closing argument for the anti-Nolan contingent and an elbow to the ribs for many swing voters, but this is the weird one that Nolan stans will cling to years from now and it may win over a few that thought he was too preening.

Eugene liked these reviews