Gumbiman’s review published on Letterboxd:
.etad ot decneirepxe ev’I tpircs gnitoot nroh dna tnegludni fles tsom ,tsrow s’naloN ylisaE
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.setunim 051 ot tuo dehcterts reliart a gnihctaw er’uoy taht noisserpmi eht evig seod yllaer taht noihsaf a ni yrevarb dna ynitsed ,etaf tuoba tcepxe d’uoy sgnisum sb naloN lacipyt eht tuops osla srotcA
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.stnuts secneuqes noitca lacitcarp dna etarobale ylrevo sih fo mrof eht ni selcsum gnikammlif sih ffo gniwohs tsuj htiw tnetnoc smees eh dna eromyna skrow sih ni dnuof eb ot traeh dna noitome on ot elttil s’erehT .IA na yb edam gnieb lla er’yeht ekil em ot ssorca semoc ti dna thginK kraD ehT ecnis reve sretsubkcolb sekats hgih ,evissam ,gib gnikam tpek ylsuounitnoc s’eH .gnitsevninu dna evititeper ,elats ylemertxe gnikammlif ot hcaorppa sih dnif I esuaceb snoitatouq esu I .teneT mlif ”tsewen“ sih ni ydorap fles fo etats a dehcaer sah naloN rehpotsirhC
Christopher Nolan has reached a state of self parody in his “newest” film Tenet. I use quotations because I find his approach to filmmaking extremely stale, repetitive and uninvesting. He’s continuously kept making big, massive, high stakes blockbusters ever since The Dark Knight and it comes across to me like they’re all being made by an AI. There’s little to no emotion and heart to be found in his works anymore and he seems content with just showing off his filmmaking muscles in the form of his overly elaborate and practical action sequences & stunts.
Tenet has no interest in having characters, tangible stakes or a cohesive plot in any way. Half of the runtime seems to consist of the characters giving off exposition related to the films logic or explaining a plan that will be taking place in the next action sequence.
With acting this one note and writing this blisteringly stupid, the self parody approach I mentioned really comes into full swing when entire plot sections revolve around solely doing a crazy stunt that’s overly dramatic and complex, when Michael Caine reappears again (because it’s a Nolan film) only to exhibit no traits of a fictional character in his performance and is even named ”Michael” in the scene. There’s also several lines delivered that belong in either a CollegeHumour video or a middle schoolers english class assignment with how blatantly cliched and terrible they are. We’re given ones such as “if I can’t have her/the world, no one can”, “you have no idea what I’m talking about do you?” “No but it sure sounds important” and my personal favourites “I’m the protagonist of this story”, “Mission Accomplished”
Actors also spout the typical Nolan bs musings you’d expect about fate, destiny and bravery in a fashion that really does give the impression that you’re watching a trailer stretched out to 150 minutes.
Only positives I could come away with were the opening action sequence actually being quite intense with an interesting setting, Ludwig Göransson’s score has its moments of standing out amongst the films really terrible sound mixing and when compared to Hans Zimmer’s usual antics of trying to make the audience deaf. Lastly there’s two scenes that are immensely satisfying in how they’re presented and executed, I can’t really fathom how complicated they would have been to organise and get done.
Easily Nolan’s worst, most self indulgent and horn tooting script I’ve experienced to date.