Nolan’s latest quest through time gives us much to think about
In 2000, Writer/Director Christopher Nolan gave us Memento, a look at a man’s life in reverse chronological order, and this low-budget drama put his name on the map as a director to look at in the future. In 2010, Inception was his biggest original film to date, a look at time through sleep and figuring out was is reality, and what reality even means. It is now ten years later, and with Nolan’s latest quest through time with Tenet he gives us a lot of action, and much to think about.
The film stars John David Washington (BlackKklansman) stars as a man simply known as The Protagonist. After the event of the beginning of the film leave him all but dead in the eyes of the United States government, he is armed with only one word (Tenet) and the limited knowledge that he is tasked with a mission to stop the end of the world through the means that go beyond what we know about traditional time.
Co-starring Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Kenneth Brannagh, this is a heavy, complex crime thriller that is going to make your head spin and will probably take multiple viewings to understand everything that is going on around you. Washington and Pattinson make a great duo but sometimes seem a bit distant, but Debicki is as great as the wife of Brannagh’s antagonist Andrei Sator. She is such an amazing actress and the only real character that has something to care for. I would have loved for her to have been a bigger focal point of the overall movie, but what we got from her was fantastic.
With this being a Nolan film, it goes without saying that this is a great-looking, well-shot film. He gives a kind of care to the visuals of the movie that many other directors give. He gets a lot of flack for being a director who isn’t strong at shooting action sequences, but with Tenet his gives us a lot to chew on, with one car chase scene that is comparable to the SWAT scene from The Dark Knight in how good it looked. However, throughout the film, it is very expositional in its dialogue that you have to pay a lot of attention to understand, which some may find inaccessible and potentially too much to handle. This is a lot of style and a lot of substance, but sometimes it feels like it could have meshed better. Another minor issue is the score by Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson that is absolutely booming, which sometimes is a good thing to help with heightening tension, and other times it is a headache-inducing detriment that takes away from the overall experience.
The Verdict: There is a lot to love about this movie. There is so much complexity of everything that was going on in the film itself that it is a lot to handle with its two-and-a-half-hour runtime. It is a film with a lot of layers to unravel, and if you are the type of person that loves that kind of film, this is definitely for you. As of right now, my grade for Tenet is a 7.6/10, with an asterisk that I will more than likely change it upon a second (and potentially third) viewing.
What are your thoughts on the film? Please feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts about the film, but please be civil and respect other’s opinions.