Tenet ★★★★

So much better this time around. The film is still an incomprehensible mess, but the control that Nolan has of every aspect (other than a coherent narrative) is absolutely astounding. There were at least a dozen times where I just sat there with my mouth wide open thinking "How the fuck did he do that?" If you stop considering whether the plot works and just admire how everything is done, it's truly a magnificent experience. Branagh's performance is still a low point and I wish Debicki's character hadn't been included, she's so unimportant to the overall film and her incessant mentioning of her son is incredibly annoying. The editing was still off at times, I can think of at least three different scenes where I had to think to myself "Why did they just cut? There were at least few more seconds needed." The sound worked a lot better this time though (but still flawed), and the score is a work of art unto itself. Overall the film is far from perfect, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone who thinks its absolute garbage, but if you turn your brain off and view it as guilty pleasure with great filmmaking its far better. For me it's a lesser Basic Instinct; a film that I love because literally every aspect of the film is either perfect or laughably bad, so at every point while watching I'm either in awe of the craft or laughing at Douglas' overacting/some terrible writing.

Shoutout to the Big Pic for making me want to watch this again. Listening to them talk about it made me realize I was only hurting myself by viewing it too seriously the first time. I still stand by nearly every word of my original review, but this time I just stopped caring and had more fun. The one thing I'll say I was completely wrong about, though, is the feeling that washed over me in the credits. This time there was no "That's it?" feeling. This time it was "Holy shit".

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