Tenet

Tenet ★★★★

There's a bit in Tenet where a character says something like, "Don't try to understand it." I feel like that was Nolan's desperate plea to his audience.

As a narrative, Tenet is a fucking mess. Relentless exposition that often makes no sense, so little set up that character motivation is hazy, technical terminology thrown around to the point that it becomes comical, characters painted with the weakest of strokes. Tenet is muddled, but not in a way that it is intelligent and needs to be unpacked. No, it's just poorly structured with dodgy dialogue. So many big ideas but not enough time spent working out what to do with them.

BUT! BUT BUT BUT! I cannot deny that Tenet is a staggering technical achievement. Like all Nolan's successes and failures, this is a film with incredible ambition. And I have to respect that. Even if I didn't always know what the hell was going on, the action sequences are bombastic as fuck. The sound design and visuals are mind-melting. The central inverted time gimmick is executed to such amazing effect. From start to finish, I was genuinely having a blast, despite recognising full well how deeply flawed everything was around the thrills. Maybe Nolan's worst film, but still a film that pushes the limits of what modern action cinema can be.

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