Yongene Wong’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tenet is ambitious. It's incredibly large scale, and with his practically unlimited budget Christopher Nolan has been able to display his ambition in spectacular fashion in films such as Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight, and many more of his films, but with Tenet it is arguably his most ambitious film yet. It's incredibly complex and often confusing (although due to many other factors), but my admiration for his ambition is seperate from my enjoyment of his films, and Tenet is probably the first worst film of his that I have ever seen.
Tenet starts off blaring as loud as ever - as all Nolan films do - except this one is possibly the craziest one that I've seen from Nolan. Loud noises, booming soundtrack, and technical spectacle. And yet despite this, this film plays on like an empty shell. Barely coherent, Tenet charges on pass its bombastic opening, providing even more loud noises, booming soundtrack, and technical spectacle, but with no substance. When characters speak, it seems that they are less of an actual person but more of a host for Christopher Nolan to provide endless amounts of exposition to his viewers. And even if this is the case, with Tenet's incredibly dreadful sound mixing, most, if not all of this exposition can barely be heard underneath the booming bass and of the soundtrack and the environment around them, which seems to have been dialed up to its maximum. The end result is a film where while quite visually breathtaking at points, is almost incomprehensive due to the nature of the plot and the exposition and dialogue being drowned out by everything else.
Tenet's concept is a good one. Playing around with the concept of time is not foreign to Nolan, and in Tenet he amplifies everything so right and so wrong with his way of filmmaking. His larger than life approach to filmmaking is very apparent in Tenet, with stunts and set pieces that are so grand and impressive, yet I wouldn't call them beautiful. They are grand, yes, but beautiful? No. They are just pure spectacle. The reason? Nolan's script is a mess. His inability to make a script that can resonate emotionally with the viewer is totally lost here; Tenet is not only a plot-driven film, it's an empty and lifeless film that is only pushed forward by its insanely convoluted plot. And even though I may praise his ability to make such grand large scale sets and films, in Tenet I feel that it can get so large to the point where it can feel almost cartoonish. Hundreds of people running backwards and forwards and buildings exploding and rebuilding in a matter of seconds repeated about 10 times and it starts to feel a bit ridiculous.
Tenet isn't all bad - it's a film with a good concept that is utterly destroyed by its writers inability to write a script with any emotional core and an absolute bias towards spectacle and characters that feel like plastic, emotionless and lifeless beings. All lifeless beings to help Nolan push his plot forward. I find Tenet extremely disappointing, and whether or not it is his worst film for me is up for debate still, but it's looking like it.
Also Travis Scott, no. This is not fire. Stop.