Tenet ★★★

Year: 2020 Ranked

I was riding a euphoric wave after seeing Interstellar and I was so fucking pumped for Tenet. Unfortunately, it's a giant mixed bag. But at the very least it is definitely an enjoyable film, has a ton of great action pieces, and John David Washington and Robert Pattinson are incredible together.

So first things first, the sound balancing definitely could have been better. I'm not sure if it's the movie itself or the awful sound balancing most theaters have, but the two people I saw it with had a hard time hearing dialogue at quite a few moments. I personally didn't but that's probably from the years I have spent watching things with tons of background noise and naturally adapting to drowning them out. But accessibility is a huge problem in many industries and Tenet is a prime example of what we need to work harder on.

Which is a shame because I loved a lot of the dialogue. Tenet grapples with a concept that at first seems convoluted and overly complicated but is super super easy to digest and understand and adds a ton of possibilities for the film. I was having a bit of trouble grasping the concept in the first 20 minutes or so, but I am pretty sure that was intentional, as the protagonist is trying to grasp those same concepts. Once a bit more information is given however everything is easy breezy and very fun.

But outside of the very fun conceptual writing I think the character writing is insanely lazy. Elizabeth Debicki's character in particular is completely hollow, with one of her only traits being that she is a mother. And she will tie that into every bit of dialogue she speaks. Her character in general is just a load of wasted potential, and the writing for her interactions with the lead character wasn't doing it for me either. Despite Debicki's best attempt to breathe life into the character, it was a task impossible due to the character having no soul to begin with.

But still a worthwhile watch. Very fun, with some good performances, some hilariously bizarre ones, and all the fun goofy time bending world building you could ask for. Just not quite as good as I hoped.

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