LiamMaguren’s review published on Letterboxd:
Yeah, there’s way too much exposition, but not in regards to the timey-rewindy stuff—more towards the ‘Cold War’ aspect of it. Nolan finds long and complicated ways of saying ‘go here’, ‘find this’, and ‘he’s the bad guy’. There’s enough going on in regards to the gnarly ‘time inversion’ concept; it didn’t need to attempt to be Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on top. Worse still, none of this info-dumping serves the development of these straightforward characters, though the actors do a hell of a lot to give them personality.
It really bogs the first hour down, but once everything kicks off, god damn it’s a ride. Silly? For sure. Kenneth Branaugh’s villain has the most childish motive behind his big plan, but when its inside a film about forward-reverse warfare, I’m a bit more forgiving if the set-pieces deliver. And they do, bountifully. The hallway fight alone is two of the best things I’ve seen this year.
It is painful to feel like there’s a supreme film in Tenet that we don’t get to see; one with more character and a refined story better suited to its concept. But I can also say that concept is so well executed on a spectacle level that I’ve never seen moments like it before.