Tenet ★★★

God I wish The Prestige didn’t raise the bar for me so much. One cool concept and a lot of expository padding. This concept would’ve made for a better Ray Bradbury book. Christopher Nolan thinks time travel is dumb and hokey so he replaced it with physics defying reverse entropy machines. I was relieved to find out the reverse time gimmick wasn’t confusing like in Primer (if you don’t overthink it), it’s just the convoluted plot is explained solely through poorly mixed dialogue. And this movie is all plot. Nolan seems to have given up on writing characters since Inception, so instead we’re given a Mission Impossible movie plot that’s made to feel more confusing than it is. Once they finally incorporate the time device, it gets a bit more interesting. The device itself is a novel take on the standard Time machine, but it’s never fully explored or deeply integrated into the story structure that much other than for visuals and action sequences. I guess the not-so-stunning reveal towards the end reveals the inciting plot was set in motion from a character going back in time but that was already assumed, if not obvious. I was never wowed by the time mechanics in use here because I’ve seen it done in other media before. Doctor Who, Terminator, Bill and Ted, and Click with Adam Sandler.

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