leon vegas’s review published on Letterboxd:
TENET is another mind-fuck from Nolan and I really enjoyed it. Did I understand it completely? Absolutely not, I think I need to rewatch it a few more times to comprehend what was going on but it’s definitely an improvement from Dunkirk.
John David Washington is perfectly cast as The Protagonist and oozes style and feels like the best Bond we’ve yet to have. The entire film feels very similar to some of the best Bond films but doesn’t rely on copying those films and instead pays homage in a respectful way. Robert Pattinson is fun as Neil and Elizabeth Debicki continues to prove how she’s an awesome up-and-coming actress after her great performance in Widows. Kenneth Branagh is okay as Andrei but definitely gives the most passable performance in comparison to his co-stars.
I can’t really explain what this film is about without spoiling and I understand why the marketing was so vague about the plot but it was definitely a trip from start to finish. The action is incredibly well shot and choreographed, with some truly breath-taking sequences on display.
Also, the score is Ludwig Göransson is phenomenal, he’s been hit or miss with his scores over the past few years but this is easily his best to date. Travis Scott is the final piece of the puzzle, trust me.
My main issues with TENET lie with how much exposition there is and a fairly weak antagonist. They’re not film ruining elements but the film relies so much on exposition that either feels redundant or doesn’t explain enough, there’s not a fine enough balance. Also; there’s some odd editing choices in the first act but it could have just been due to the aspect ratio changes with the IMAX presentation.
TENET is far from a masterpiece but as a (just barely) summer blockbuster, it succeeds at what it sets out to achieve, even if the end result is a little messy and convoluted. I give it a “risk getting COVID to see it” out of 10.