Tenet ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

This is a summary and review of the IMAX prologue:

Wake up the Americans.

Mind-bending. Nerve-shredding. Breathtaking. I quite liked the trailer, but this six minutes of footage took my hype to a level I didn’t even know existed.

The sequence begins with an audience filing into and filling up a concert hall somewhere in Eastern Europe. An orchestra is about to begin playing when gunmen enter and start wrecking shop. The way this was executed reminded me of Bane and co. entering the stock exchange in “The Dark Knight Rises,” but it had the intensity of the opening plane sequence from that film.

Outside, police vehicles pull up and surround the building. An unmarked van, already parked outside before the police arrived, houses John David Washington’s character and a few other American operatives. They are wearing generic special operations gear, but choose one of five or so patches and slap them on in order to blend in with the authorities.

They enter in the building and prepare to breach the concert hall. Before doing so, they pump in gas through the ventilation system. This knocks out the panicked audience members, but the gunmen put on masks to stay conscious.

Throughout all of this, a couple of VIPs are shown in box seats overhead, with armed guards keeping them secure.

The authorities enter the concert hall and gunshots begin to ring out. JDW’s character heads to the VIP box and takes out the security, making contact with his target. JDW tells the VIP that he can either come with him or JDW will kill him right there.

The two make a break for it, but JDW realizes that the gunmen have set up bombs throughout the concert hall. Once he rendezvous with his men and hands off the VIP, the plan changes for them to save the audience from the bombs. 

While collecting them all and putting them in a bag, JDW has a gun put to the back of his head. He seems done for, but the camera reveals a bullet hole in the floor next to JDW’s hand. Suddenly, the bullet exits the hole, the hole covers itself, the bullet whizzes past JDW and kills the man that was threatening him. The man falls to reveal an operative standing behind him, holding a gun to his head. This is the only example of time manipulation in the prologue.  

JDW tosses the bag of bombs up into the VIP box and sprints out. The explosion breaks the glass, but spares the civilians in the concert hall. A shot from outside the building shows the fire ball erupt, sending debris into the air as JDW hops into the van. 

Van Hoytema’s 65mm film photography is as crisp as it was on “Dunkirk.” The image is matched only by Göransson’s insane score, which is basically an extension of what you hear in the trailer. The Swede definitely isn’t playing around and is going to be a legit threat to collect his second Oscar. 

All in all, this six minutes was the highlight of my IMAX experience tonight, and the audience was buzzing about it. Afterward, my girlfriend and her brother could only take about how incredible the footage was and how excited they are to see the full film. The 2.5 hours of Star Wars we endured was an afterthought.

Get ready, everyone. “Tenet” is truly going to be god-tier Nolan.

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