Tenet ★★★★

Tenet's release has been widely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and truthfully, while I would love to urge you to go see this film in order to support theaters, Nolan, and the industry as a whole, I can't recommend that anyone goes out of their way to see a film in theaters, especially in the US.

It's no secret that, in my opinion, Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors working out there and has created some of the most enthralling films of the past twenty years. Tenet feels like the culmination of everything that Christopher Nolan has learned by making Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk. Inception's time, Interstellar's sound mixing and grandeur, and Dunkirk's editing and set pieces. Overall, I found Tenet to be absolutely mesmerizing, sometimes hard to understand, and a great time.

Where Tenet falls short for me is with how hard it is to understand dialogue, rush, and lack of emotion.

Nearly every sequence that was explaining the world or the characters felt like it was in a rush to get to the next scene. Inception describes it best with this quote, "You never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what's going on." That's Tenet's scene flow in a nutshell. I would not be surprised if this movie was meant to be longer.

The dialogue... This has been an issue since The Dark Knight Rises infamous Bane voice but has become more of a consistent artistic choice implemented by Nolan throughout his filmography. While I am a believer in showing not telling, with a film as complex as this one, it made it harder to follow. That one sequence in the ocean, I had zero clue what they were saying; you'll know the one.

Finally, Nolan, for the most part, has been always distant from his characters. Tenet takes it to a new level, though. While I've always found an emotional sequence or connection throughout his previous films, I felt detached and cold throughout this film. It may not be his biggest strength or in his repertoire to make aspects of his characters emotional, but something about Cobb's family or Cooper and Murph would've been a nice touch to this film.

The usual suspects are here: time mechanics, exposition-heavy dialogue, fantastic editing, spectacular practical effects, an absolutely incredible score, a huge ensemble, and terrific action. It may not be Nolan's best film, but, as always, it's his most ambitious to date and absolutely worth watching. In a world of remakes, requels, and disappointing films, Nolan's originality is always unforgettable.

78/100

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