JohnFMcGarr’s review published on Letterboxd:
Do you think Christopher Nolan can walk by a clock without getting an erection?
Imagine a ring target. If Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception and Dunkirk are bull's eyes, then Tenet is Nolan going "watch this" and then shredding the thing with a shotgun. Some shots hit the centre but others hit the wall.
People were saying that it's difficult to understand this movie because the concept is so abstract that you'd need a degree in advanced physics to get it. I think it's actually because you need a degree in advanced hearing because the sound mix is so bad I couldn't hear a fucking word they were saying. This is the fourth time Christopher Nolan has had terrible sound mixing in his movie, why does he keep doing this?
It also doesn't help that a lot of the main characters are wearing masks so it's difficult to tell who is who. Coloured armbands aren't enough. There's a scene where a character gets shot and I had no idea who it was.
All of the acting was solid. I was never a fan of Elizabeth Debicki, but she was the clear standout and it's the best performance I've seen from her. John David Washington is charismatic and Robert Pattinson did a decent job, although it's nowhere near his best work.
The set-pieces are phenomenal. That airport scene is unlike anything I've seen. Ya boi Chris Nolan really committed an act of terror for a movie. The inverted action scenes are so creative and visceral. It's so satisfying to see the same scene be played out again from a differing perspective. However, the climactic scene becomes a bit visually overwhelming.
A few nitpicks: the inverted heat idea is brought up and they never really do anything with it. There's a scene where the three main characters are on the bridge of a boat, and in the window, you can see these black poles and they look like they're stationary and the boat is moving past them. But they would move halfway across the screen and then abruptly move in the opposite direction. What the fuck was that? Were they window-wipers? It was so distracting.
At least this movie is original. It's refreshing to go see a big budget blockbuster and be shown something I haven't seen before. I'd take this over passionless remakes and endless sequels any day of the week. Too bad the atrocious sound mixing nearly ruins it.