This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Every Movie Ranked
First movie in theaters I've been to in nearly 11 months, totally by myself in the theater. Was awesome just to see something again.
I think I 70% got it. Had a little trouble with the inversion and following it at times, but the plot I thought was really good and tracked for me. When the protagonist goes through the machine the first time was the real lightbulb moment for me, before that I was spending a lot of time being mad that I wasn't comprehending the film. I still don't totally get how the objects work, but at least the people made sense. The tie up of obvious loose ends (Kat jumping off the boat being the woman she saw/that he was fighting himself) were hidden well enough in the film that even though they're obvious in retrospect I still felt surprised in the moment.
JDW pulls off cool spy really well, getting both the charm and the physical side of the nailed down. I liked that he never really had to find any super deep emotions because a person who does what he does wouldn't be accessing those anyway. I also love the twist that he started Tenet, don't know how I didn't see that coming, but once it got there a lot of it clicked.
Visually this was my least favorite Nolan film in a while. He handles hand to hand action well which I think was new from him, but it's nothing really special compared to what else is out there. Didn't feel the cinematography was really stand out, though it was good. And the effects were solid, but the backwards stuff wasn't really blowing my mind line Interstellar or Inception did. The plane was cool.
I'd seen in tons of non-spoiler reviews that the sound mixing was bad, there were times you can't hear the dialogue, and that's 100% correct. Felt it was far more prevalent in the first half of the movie, but still, what the hell?
Pattinson is just a star, there's no two ways about it. Every time he's on screen in anything he's in I'm on board. Debicki's character is cheapened by the one bedroom scene, don't know why that's included in the film at all frankly, it doesn't develop either character and detracts from one of them. Branagh is fine, he plays it kind of right down the middle which isn't interesting but also works.
Overall this is disappointing given the level I expect from Nolan, but still quite a good film. I think if he limited inversion or made it easier to follow in objects, fixed the sound, and took another pass at Debicki's character this could have been up there. However the action, overall plot, and performance from JDW and Pattinson make it a worthwhile film.