This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
SmartenUp’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is my first ever review on Letterboxd and for good reason. I feel compelled to write something about this, only because I feel like I have entered the Twilight Zone. Seeing so many positive reviews, I am absolutely baffled that anyone could have enjoyed this film. I do not mean that hyperbolically. I am generally quite tolerant of people's opinions on films and there are many films I do not enjoy that many other people do and many films I enjoy which many people do not. That is not the point here.
Before I get to that point, I'd like to express that this review would never have been higher than two stars for me, simply due to the extreme ineptitude of the sound mix. A majority of the lines spoken in this film are entirely incomprehensible. This is not the first time in a Christopher Nolan film, hence it is inexcusable. At one point, I literally burst out laughing that the film had found another contrivance to put yet more masks on faces to ensure that not a single line of dialogue could be understood.
However, the key point I would like to make is that I have never been anywhere near as disengaged with a film from the first scene until the last as I was with Tenet. I did not care about any of the characters or their struggles at any point. I was simply watching things happen on a screen without feeling any connection to them at any point.
I have enjoyed most of Nolan's films, even loving a couple of them and I went in to this film fully aware that emotional depth and character development are not his strengths. This is not a case of me simply not enjoying his work. Tenet is lifeless, from start to finish. Lifeless to the point where a Boeing 747 is crashed in to a building at an airport and I just did not care.
When the film does make attempt to give its characters some depth, it is genuinely embarrassing. Elizabeth Debicki loves her son and wants her son back. I get that. I really really do. However, if a character says that something will kill EVERYONE and end the entire world, I did not require her to explain that her child would die too.
I would not recommend this film to anyone. Especially not in its current state regarding the audio issues. The film is a mess.