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Tenet Review:

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tenet-review

Let’s be honest. Just being in a theater was rewarding enough. Luckily, I watched a good film while I was at it. There’s some moment in the film where I decided I would have to just pee myself because if I leave I’m going to miss a chunk of the film. The films complexity isn’t new to Nolan but it does continue this obvious trend of him loving to confuse the audience even when the material doesn’t have to be so complicated. However, this one actually makes a lot more sense than Inception. Inception at its core isn’t confusing, dreams and layers of dreams isn’t really that confusing but the movie is told in a way to confuse the audience, but Tenet is confusing at its core. The fundamental structure of how everything works is quite complicated but never fully explained. It’s a little thing Nolan likes to do. Give you clues without solution sometimes but I’m not so sure he knew the solutions either. This is relevant in the film with a lot nuggets. The nuggets seem to just push along the story without explaining how everything works. Could I have missed something? Absolutely. However, it did seem a little convenient at times when even the characters would try to explain what just happened but not convincingly. 

Nolan’s bread and butter is being a magician. Setting up a trick and making something more complicated than it has to be. Although, at times it seemed like he was giving us a trick while the audience was partially blind and then doing the trick to us as quickly as he could with a speaker blaring behind him. It does make for a entertaining ride but a ride that way too confusing for its own good. This 100% has to do with the music choice and the pacing of the film. It’s sporadic and sometimes irritating. You don’t catch one thing and you might not be able understand the next sequence of events. The beginning does this a lot. The first act is quite jarring and misplaced at moments. The characters are introduced but we’re not really given enough time to care. Characters come in and out, have relationships with each other, and aren’t fleshed out enough. It actually took me until around the end of the second act to start to enjoy the movie properly. It does keep at a fast pace but it also starts to unravel itself. We’re finally able to get a peak at the magic trick.

In the last 1 and a half hours is when this film becomes one the most thrilling films in a long time. Wall to wall action and visual effects that are awesome to watch. One thing that did irritate me was I had a hard time distinguishing between the good guys and bad guys towards the end of the film. Stuff is thrown at your face so quickly and so rapidly that it was hard to tell who was who. However, luckily Nolan shows us what parts to really care about and who to focus on. He also was able put in a twist that was satisfying and give us an explanation of some of events in the film that were confusing.


Washington did a great job as usual. Still sounds a lot like his father.

Washington did a great job as usual. Still sounds a lot like his father.

Rating

Overall, Tenet is a breathtaking film and it was exciting to watch. However, the pacing and major story beats hinder it from becoming a truly great film. The blaring music was epic at moments and then completely took away from sections of dialogue that were very important. It’s honestly a beautiful and chaotic mess of a painting; like a Picasso painting. You’re either going to just enjoy the craziness or get buried under the tremendous cluster of skeptical. I’m the former and I think Nolan has something special here, but it would have been better told in a 5 hour miniseries. I definitely enjoyed the ride and will be looking forward to seeing it again. I just hope his next film isn’t paced like I’m watching a magic trick with the magician explaining the trick with a circus running around him all at the same time.

8/10
B-

Good but had potential to be a lot better.