Tenet ★★★

Retconning my previous (and excessively snarky) review of Tenet. I still don’t love it—some of the dialogue should earn Christopher Nolan a trip to screenplay jail, and Elizabeth Debicki’s character still feels undercooked and perfunctory—but I see much more that I like. Crucially, I see a sense of play that I missed the first time around. Armed with subtitles and a basic understanding of the plot, it’s much easier to catch glimpses of the way Nolan is constructing an intricate puzzle dealing with perceptions of reality, solipsism, and our experience of the world as linear narrative. Suggestions characters offer to the protagonist—don’t think too hard; have faith—are the same the film offers to us. Nolan demands that leap of faith, and I think I’m mostly okay taking it.

And so, after consulting my unimpeachable rating system and taking these elements into consideration alongside the sheer scale and complexity of the film’s set pieces, I hereby declare that Tenet is not “bad” but in fact “good”.

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