Tenet

Tenet ★★★

Remember how in INCEPTION Nolan spends like 70 minutes meticulously explaining everything so that when the van hits the water you know exactly what's happening and what the stakes are? He is unable to do that here. This isn't the baffling ordeal I was confronted with on my first viewing but on my third I've settled on it making just enough sense to still be pretty exciting, a remarkably idiosyncratic piece of cinematic kinetics, simultaneously completely absorbing and totally dramatically inert. And you could have cut 25 minutes out of it and solved its dire emotional hook issue by making Neil the protagonist.

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