Tenet

Tenet

"John David Washington and Robert Pattinson do their level best with their “men-on-a-mission” archetypes, but the banter feels as cold and calculated as everything else, and Nolan has a habit of cutting away from organic chemistry. Nolan’s never been the strongest actor’s director and in the past he has needed a lightning-in-a-bottle type performance to rise above his priorities as a concept artist who writes characters who are so saddled with exposition that there’s hardly any room for them to find the truth of a character. This is no different in Tenet, and Nolan makes the severe mistake of losing track of where the bodies of his characters are in his action set-pieces. Action cinema always needs to prioritize bodies above movement or concept, because it is that element of human frailty and sensuality that allows action to ultimately matter. The most significant moments of action in Tenet involve a prolonged sequence on a highway, which will draw obvious comparisons to the superior The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and in the reversed version of the same scene it’s all too similar to Tony Scott’s impeccable Deja Vu (2006). In both of those films the action in question never takes a backseat to the bodies of the characters or the emotions driving their pursuit for safety. However,in Tenet, Nolan wants you to be invested in the fate of Debicki’s weeping woman as a bargaining chip, but he doesn’t do the work of allowing us to get to know her first. She is merely a piece on the chess-board to be moved on behalf of the maker’s intent. There’s little reason for us to care about the characters inside the structure, because Nolan wants you to notice the structure first, and if the characters are secondary then what it is we’re witnessing is not a story of people, but of machines. Nolan achieves that idea with clarity and contentment, because in the end his notions of time travel are flawless, without plot-holes, and without jagged edges. They are refined, smooth, perfect, and impenetrable on a level of logic. He is reflecting back a perfect cinema, and a useless one, because if one tries to plunge deep into the waters of Christopher Nolan they will only find concrete, and he is more than happy standing on that foundation."

I disliked Tenet a great deal.
Full review here:
www.patreon.com/posts/film-review-2020-45078946 ($1 patrons)

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