The Reel House’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Don’t try to understand it.”
Here it is. The big one : Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.”
Today I had the absolute pleasure of going to see the next film from auteur Christopher Nolan. Tenet was pretty great, I can really see how Nolan’s direction has evolved over the years specifically how he handles action. You can clearly see the improvement of Nolan handling action compared to something like “Batman Begins.” The action is absolutely fantastic in Tenet. The way the film used the “invert” aspect of the film to create very original action set pieces was brilliant !
Hoyte Van Hoytema was the cinematographer on Tenet and it shows !
The cinematography is beautiful. I’d honestly say that if I’m just basing this on visual appeal, this is probably in my top 3 of best looking Nolan films (with Inception or Interstellar at #1)
One of the aspects of the film I was most looking forward too was the acting and more specifically Robert Pattinson. Pattinson is honestly one of my favourite actors, he has proved himself to be immensely talented and he further proves this here because he is brilliant in Tenet. Pattinson was the highlight of Tenet, his performance was great and differed from a lot of his other parts that he’s done in recent years. Elizabeth Debicki was also in the film and I thought she was really great too. At first I was unsure of how she would play into the film but she did a great job and was really stunned by her performance. Now this might be surprising for some but honestly John David Washington disappointed me a little here. Having seen Washington in multiple films now (go watch BlacKKKlansman, he’s fantastic in it) I know that he is capable of truly powerful acting but here his acting felt so...... generic and uninspired and I understand why : because Nolan wants “The Protagonist” to be mysterious and that’s fine but.... he’s hardly a character and he’s pretty much outshined by every one else in the film.
The Visual effects in Tenet were mindblowing and I’m fully expecting for this to win at the next oscars because it fully deserve to !
Nolan’s usual composer collaborator Hans Zimmer took a break for Tenet and gave the reigns to Ludwig (most known now for his Black Panther famed score) and I don’t mind the idea as I have really enjoyed Ludwig’s other recent scores for multiple things (Community, The Mandolorian etc.)
But his score was immensely disappointing here. Nolan and Hans Zimmer have this unique collaboration where every time they collaborate, they somehow make an iconic score e.g. “Inception” or “Interstellar” but this score felt very uninspired and it was disappointing.
Tenet was an amazing film and even though I do have problems with the film, I can’t help but have enjoyed myself extremely. If you’re a fan of cinema, go see it ! It’s great.
“That part is a little dramatic.”