Harvey Read’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve been thinking about how to approach this review on Tenet without giving the impression of bashing the movie or hating on it. Cause I did like this movie but I certainly have a lot to say.
Let’s start with this, I was like everyone else with Tenet. I was super excited. Christopher Nolan directing, big budget summer blockbuster, with a complex plot, awesome trailer and a great cast! I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time and as soon as I found a showtime for my city I decided I had to go. So I saw Tenet and I have to say, this is a Christopher Nolan movie. It has his style of direction all over it. The complex and dense plot, big action spectacles and a long runtime. Will people like it? Most likely, at least to an average viewer, not so much. What really bothered me about this movie was the plot and how Nolan told this story. It didn’t feel cohesive or even understandable in some places but rather rushed and the outcome of it all made me question what was the purpose of all that just happened; I don't think the claims of mulitple viewings should necessarily discount this film from being criticised over making the viewer feel as if they aren't intelligent enough to get it, despite the exposition flaunting its pompous attidude towards its own intelligence.
I didn’t really know much about the villain's goals and there wasn’t enough character development to him other than a cliche evil plan, but the actor who portrays him did a good job nonetheless. The acting of this character gave an impression of unintentionally being funny and entertaining.
A lot of this movie felt like it was trying to be an extravaganza of action scenes, set pieces and dazzling spectacles. For a James Bond esque, globetrotting adventure, it certainly holds its own unique ideas and will stand out in your head for a long time; it certainly accomplishes that. The action is really well done and does a lot of the spectacles. I just wish that the movie presented a more compelling and carefully divised (in terms of structure, concept is already engaging) story, because it felt as though it was kinda trying too hard to be impressive rather than just being impressive.
The story, plotting and even sometimes the screenplay felt so jumbled throughout the entire runtime. It tries to be so intellectual and complex but at the end it didn’t succeed at it. Overall Tenet wasn’t as great as I hoped for but, big and sometimes fun action scenes, good acting, sound design, and the look of the movie are all positives for Tenet. Maybe I just wasn’t smart enough to appreciate all this movie had to offer and that’s unfortunate, but I did have some fun with "feel[ing]" Tenet and think most people will enjoy it.