Tenet

Tenet

I'll come clean: I didn't get the time gimmick at all. Absolutely no idea how it worked, which creates a hard ceiling for my enjoyment, especially during the big climactic army battle. A building explodes, then reforms, then explodes again. If I understood the gimmick, I'm sure that moment would've meant something, but as is, it's just a thing that happens. So most of this was frustrating. Weirdly, his action seems to be getting better as his storytelling worse. People still talk about Inception's exposition (which is overblown), but at least it sets up why I should care by the end. Here, at the end, I had no real idea who the good guys were fighting and what exactly the plan was, other than "stop bad guy."

Another thing: I genuinely love Nolan, but his idea of spectacle is extremely jejune. (Think: well, any big moment from Inception, whether it's the exploding cafe or the hallway fight or anything.) The big visual in the final battle is... soldiers walking backwards. Nolan prioritizes the concept before the spectacle, which, I mean, good for him, I guess, but it puts a damper on the visuals. You're never really going to get a real breathtaking visual from him.

(ETA: To expand this slightly further -- I guess one of the big setpieces here is the corridor fight between the Good Guy and Masked, Presumable Bad Guy. On paper, I can see why this might look exciting: "It's a big fistfight, but one of them is going forwards in time, and the other is going backwards in time! Wow!" Except when you actually visualize it, it's just a very awkward looking melee. Much like Inception's hotel corridor battle, it doesn't seem like much on its own. It only pops if you think about it, and frankly, just barely then.)

I'll give this another shot when I can watch it with subtitles, which maybe will give me a better handle on it. No grade for now.

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