Richard’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watching Tenet in the cinema makes you feel alive!
Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated film is finally here and I have a lot of thoughts which will be as hard to expand upon as this film is to understand so we'll see how it goes...
It was so confusing. A lot of the time with films, you get most of what they're presenting to us and only have to do the extra work to find out more... with this you just have to play catch-up. Time is a complicated matter and the way Nolan presents it to us here is mind-boggling.
It's like he's going "I'm very clever aren't I" and we go "yes Christopher Nolan you are clever" and he just shows off even more.
On the way home there were times where I just sat there in silence trying to comprehend what I'd just witnessed with my Grandad sat next to me no doubt doing the same.
Hand in hand with the plot idea is the action and I really appreciate what they gave us with such unique effects, fight scenes and pure action to give this film it's own flavour. I really liked the fight scenes that involved hand-to-hand combat because they felt more real and involving. That - coupled with the time manipulation made for some excellent scenes. Of course, Nolan's use of practical effects makes it a visual treat as well.
There were also some brilliant performances, most notably John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Kenneth Branagh. Washington fronts the movie and is our eyes to this new realm of possibilities when it comes to time. Although none of these have much in terms of character and personality, his wit really makes some scenes. Pattinson was the highlight for me getting me really excited for his portrayal of Batman. And Branagh completely disassociated himself from how I know him - Gilderoy Lockhart - and becomes this menacing Russian villain who brought an air of tension to the screen whenever he showed up. These performances were integral to my enjoyment of the film and the casting was great.
No 2.5 star review comes without it's negatives and this film does have a fair few.
It's too long for a start. They could have easily trimmed 30 minutes plus from the runtime and it would have benefited from it. We get the jist after a while and it's just more showing off more than anything else. I got bored for about an hour of it with my interest only making a reappearance every now and then. I'm not a fan of plain action and seeing as though there is a lot of it here I just turned off.
It's also way too convoluted. It will no doubt require multiple viewings but to be honest, I don't want to watch it for a while and I don't think it's very rewatchable. A 2 and a half hour film where most of the dialogue is exposition and there's lots of fight scenes incorporating that means it just won't be one to put on again and again.
My final topic is the volume of everything. It was way too loud! Sitting in the cinema some of it kinda hurt my ears and the vibrations from that made me feel like my standard seat was a 4DX one. I wish this was toned down because it was too much in my opinion.
My views on this film will change and develop over time seeing as I changed my mind from rating it a 2 to rating it a 2.5 based on my bewildered mind still thinking about it - because that's what this film is - a thinker.