Tenet ★★★★½

No one knows what it means, but it's provocative.

Like the overindulged smug that he is, Nolan follows the movie in which his signature style of precisely grandiose/gimmicky intricate action spectacle better and more straightforwardly served an emotional logic, with an unyielding, barroquely hollow immensity of categorically nothing but the abstruse exposition and fastidiously brassy set pieces he's most criticized for. Mirroring a narrative that quite literally bends itself inwards, it's an artist stubbornly further leaning into his preferred identifiable mannerisms towards the seeming distillation of a pure formal artificiality. If it sounds like what I'm trying to say is that Chris is, pardon my French, sucking his own dick, it's because that's exactly what this is. Oddly enough, it kind of fucking rips, in the early-007-like OG blockbuster way of the boundless craftiness of an aggressively empty extravaganza shadowing, or actively taking the place of, an obvious halfassed crack at elementary dramatic depth. Can't overstate how far Washington's legit superstar charisma goes with that framework in mind, and the same can be said about the script's still timid, but effective sense of humor, although it surely misses when trades even a vague attempt at sensuality for lackluster motivation.

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