If you thought “Inception” or “Interstellar” were a bit too tricky to comprehend, I’m here to tell you that “Tenet” makes them look like child’s play. Louder and bigger than ever, Christopher Nolan manages to create yet another mind-blowing film that somehow makes you ask more questions than any of his films have before.
When looking back at Nolan’s works, a lot of his films use the component of time. His second film “Memento” was told in reverse chronological order; in “Inception,” 5 minutes in the real world was 1 hour in the dream state; “Interstellar” has a planet where every hour you spend on it is 7 years on earth; and his most recent film, “Dunkirk,” uses a ticking clock in the score to keep the viewer on edge.
As for “Tenet,” this film revolves around the concept of “time inversion.” In layman’s terms, “Tenet” is a spy-thriller about saving the world from another World War, through an innovative way of time travel called “Inversion.” That’s about as much as I can say about the plot of this film without spoiling it.
As soon as the movie starts, you’re in it – Nolan does not waste any time pushing you off the deep end and into this world. From there, the movie doesn’t slow down for one second. As fun as that can be, it does make the first act of the film a bit hard to follow – because there is a lot of movie stuffed into this 2 hour and 30 minute runtime. The first third of the movie will feel like you’re playing catch-up, but once you get your footing, “Tenet” is an intense amount of fun.
“Tenet” stars John David Washington (The Protagonist), coming off of his critically acclaimed performance in “BlaKkKlansman” in 2018, and Robert Pattinson (Neil) who’s known for his roles in the “Twilight” saga, “Good Time,” and the upcoming film, “The Batman,” releasing in 2021. Washington gives his all and does all his own stunts for the film, cementing himself as an up-and-coming action star. Both Washington and Pattinson bring great charisma to the film, really making it feel like a sci-fi “Bond” film. No one in this entire movie ever feels out of place, and all the acting from the entire ensemble is quite enjoyable.
Aside from the acting, the most enjoyable part of this film would be the action. Every single action set piece in this film is huge, and feels as if this time around, the producers gave Nolan 100-percent freedom to do whatever he wants, and boy, am I glad they did. I also feel that something needs to be said for the stunt team on this film; what they were able to achieve with what they were given is absolutely insane. There are times in the film where you watch a fight scene with one person fighting in real time while the other is fighting in reverse. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before onscreen.
As one can expect when going to see a Nolan film, “Tenet” is incredible from a technical standpoint. Each shot is absolutely gorgeous to look at, even more so for those who decide to enjoy this film in IMAX. Fifty percent of this movie was shot with IMAX cameras, giving you 26 percent more to look at for half of the film.
Something that always seems to become a character of its own in Nolan films is the score. I’m sure if you’re a fan of Nolan, you’re probably used to the sound of a Hans Zimmer score. However, due to the fact Zimmer was already signed on to score the upcoming remake of “Dune,” that partnership is not present in “Tenet.” Instead, we are treated to the amazing work of Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson, who’s known for his work in “Black Panther” and “The Mandalorian.” Even without the relationship of Nolan and Zimmer that we are accustomed to, Göransson’s score becomes a character of its own, making the film all the more intense.
The only technical problem that I had with the film was that at some points, the score was much louder than important dialogue happening on screen, which made for even more confusion. I had originally thought that the problem was because I chose to see the film in IMAX, but after talking to other people who saw the movie in other formats, they said that they had the same problem.
Other than that, “Tenet” is an intense joyride from start to finish, fitting quite well into the Nolan’s filmography. I’m sure by the end of the movie, you’ll want to turn right back around and see it again to try and catch everything. I know I did, and will be going back soon to see it again.
“Tenet” is rated PG-13 (for violence and intense action) and releases in theaters only on Friday, Sept. 4. It will be shown in IMAX, Dolby Cinema at AMC, RPX, and Cinemark XD. There are no end-credits scenes.
Check out the latest trailer for the film below: