Boxer_Santaros’s review published on Letterboxd:
Frankly, I think a lot of people have been kinda bad at describing this thing...
Plot= very easy to follow, almost disappointingly so.
Time Travel Mechanics= makes just enough sense in the moment, the why of the characters and the action at any given point, but the HOW, the way we get from any given point A to point B and why the characters are doing it in such a way, absolute gibberish to my eyes and ears (and I ain't talking bout the sound mix, which is mostly fine, quit yer whining).
Also, really not the rush of pure forward momentum a lot of people are describing it as, it promises lots of world-building and a vast array of moving parts early on, but once the film finds its bad guy things grow pretty simplistic and drawn out. ALSO ALSO, really not seeing much of the supposed meta-text people have been talking about, aside from a few off hand lines here and there, the characters and plot just kinda seem like vague bores because Nolan's characters and plots usually are vague bores, just came off as business as usual to me.
And holy shit, Kenneth Branagh really does suck, huh? He's kinda funny at a few points at least, but mostly just felt embarrassed for the poor chap. This would've greatly benefited from not having a flesh and blood villain and instead letting its action and momentum wallow 100% in hazy ambiguity a la ''Inception''. This time around Nolan's got better leads (Pat, Wash and Debi), a better composer, and one fucking hell of a better DP, but there's something in his execution here that's just so clumsy and murky compared to the slick easy-going thrills of that film.
Gotta squint a bit to make the comparison, but this mostly reminded me of ''Inherent Vice'', another film about a dumbstruck protagonist who finds themselves navigating a mess of intangible gibberish through the lens of their morality. It may be impossible to truly grasp all the different moving pieces of war and conspiracy, so just try and focus on what ever it is that's gonna keep you up at night, those little boy blues. Gonna probably cave in and give this another chance, because it feels sooooo close to really nailing what I wanted it to be, but mostly this just left me feeling defeated and deflated.