Hot Take Nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
The common critique that this movie lacks the emotional depth that are so key in Interstellar and Inception is totally valid. I’d even add it also lacks the emotional depth Dunkirk has. But for me personally the action and the scale/ambition make up for it enough. Like that’s what you come to this movie in particular for.
I also think that this movie will age better with time and repeated viewings just like many of Nolan’s other movies. I think releasing it during a global pandemic ultimately doomed it in many ways. But at the same time, I don’t think this will ever come close to hitting the same peak as Interstellar and Inception specifically because of the lack of that emotional component I mentioned. For me, a movie that pulls on your heart strings in one way or another like those two do are hard to beat (not to mention the litany of other incredible accomplishments those movies have). But that doesn’t mean Tenet is not a great movie in its own right.
That score still slaps on a rewatch. Absolutely so well done and it might be my favorite part of the movie. I felt it in my bones. And the cinematography was just as stunning. I caught more small details of the plot on rewatch that explain things but I won’t risk spoilers.
And that opening sequence is still such an epic way to open a movie.
Debicki’s is still the best performance of the movie to me (followed by Pattinson) by far but I agree with the criticism that Nolan failed to give her character the depth it deserves, especially compared to the other characters.
Rewatch solidifies for me that the weak links in this were Washington and Branagh. Washington was pretty good in the action scenes but his dialogue delivery consistently felt stiff and at times a little awkward/forced to me. Which surprised me because I remember him being so good in BlacKkKlansman. And Branagh portrayed the cold-hearted villain relatively well but the way the character was written it felt like there was plenty of room for what could have been a monster performance, but Branagh’s left something to be desired. Stronger performances from both could have possibly elevated this movie (or had no impact depending on your opinion of the overall story).
Overall, this is one of Nolan’s weaker entries in terms of major big-budget blockbusters but at the same time to me that’s a huge compliment because despite its flaws this is an enthralling experience.
My original thoughts here.