Tenet ★★★½

In typical Nolan fashion, Tenet is another puzzle to be solved. The difference this time is that there are a hundred pieces, they're all microscopic and each need to be examined side by side to make sense of things. Its biggest failing, though, is that even if one were to put in the legwork to understand how they fit, I can't see there being any reward in it. Unlike something like Memento or even Nolan's biggest blockbuster equivalent in Inception, there's no thematic or emotional resonance waiting on the other side. It's a shiny concept that's all but hollowed out underneath.

From the off, I was consistently taken aback by the misplaced audacity it takes to pull off something like this, though. The concept itself is utterly ridiculous, and the constant, rapid-fire exposition employed to try explaining it makes things only sillier the longer it goes. And of course, all this inverted time business is wrapped up into a conspiracy with Russian arms dealers and the end of the world, because why wouldn't it be.

But this is Nolan saying fuck it in just about every way possible, and for that I salute him. He's basically the guy who, during an amazing concert hall raid sequence that opens the movie and wastes no time introducing us to its big brain babble, stomps on a performer's cello for no apparent reason other than that it's there. He's also more clearly Robert Pattinson's character, who at one point giddily explains why it's 100% necessary to crash a giant plane very slowly.

Why? I don't really know, and it doesn't matter. Nolan is embracing chaotic bombast here like never before, and it was a marvel to see unfold in front of me. I'll never forget you, Tenet.

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