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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Tenet

August 26th, 2020 by Andrew Comments

Tenet (12a)
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki & Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Running time: 150 minutes

Following a botched rescue attempt during which he witnesses a bullet travel in reverse from a wall impact back into the barrel of a gun, An unnamed CIA protagonist (Washington) is recruited to investigate a number of similarly temporally ‘inverted’ items to stop a potentially devastating world war that may already have happened.

That’s about as much as we really want to say about the plot of the movie, which may seem spoilerific but is basically what is included in the trailer for Tenet, director Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic science-fiction thriller.

Nolan is renowned for creating high-concept movies such as Inception, Interstellar and the intentionally un-synched historical drama Dunkirk.

Tenet is equally as high concept, with a slow start to establish Washington’s protagonist and a much needed expositional scene which explains how time ‘inversion’ works, things soon start to ramp up with sequences that will honestly makes the audience’s heads spin.

This is a mystery thriller involving time and as such, will cause the headache of the subject of quantum mechanics. Essentially, it’s the chicken and the egg question put down in film form, only you’ll still be oblivious as to which of them came first.

It’s not as coherent as Inception or as tightly-crafted or emotional as Interstellar, and as such is slightly inferior to those due to the subject and the fact that it is struggling to fit in everything into a two and a half hour runtime,  which certainly feels limiting of what it’s aiming to do – yes, we get the irony – a film about time that needs more time.

But, like Inception especially, Tenet will certainly be enjoyed more with repeat viewings to get a full understanding of its back-and-forth story style.

Though flawed by some poor audio mix choices (no doubt aiming for the movie to be seen in Imax, there’s certainly a repeat of the unclear Bane dialogue issues that plagued The Dark Knight Rises in a regular cinema screen), Tenet is a movie that will incept the idea that you need to see it again, if only so that your mind can comprehend exactly what it saw, or just to see the stunning editing feats that mix both forwards and backwards (inverted) visuals flawlessly in a single scene.

4 out of 5 nerds

Co-host of the Monday Movie Show, Andrew is a huge movie fan who is into all sorts of things movie related, as well as a fan of all things nerd. In his spare time he likes to work at script writing, that is when he's not spending it on something movie or nerd related!