Steve G 🇵🇸 🇾🇪’s review published on Letterboxd:
I had this in my 2021 round-up project until I realised that Tenet actually came out last year and that I really had wished away 2020. How about that.
So, Christopher Nolan. This guy, you know, I was a fan of his for one film when I saw Insomnia at the cinema back when I was at university. Then a couple of years ago he did Dunkirk and I thought to myself, yes, more of this! Tell a simple story simply! Otherwise his films are just a thoroughly perplexing lot.
He's the King of Exposition, but like with all royalty that's nothing to be proud of or applauded. Even so, can he truly be the King of Exposition when his exposition doesn't actually serve to make his films any easier to understand? Or when the exposition doesn't mean anything because the idea he has presented doesn't make any visual or conceptual sense?
Here's this idea that you can, what, go into the past or future backwards and things are inverted. And you can interact with them but only on your terms, not on theirs. They can punch you in the face but you can only suck your first off their face. And you can go back in time and plant gold bullion for your future sense to go back in time to find that gold and then bring it back to the present, only you've got to go forward to the future to ensure that you brought it into the....
Look. If, when you have your characters try and explain the idea it still doesn't make any fucking sense, then it's not a good idea. Don't make a movie out of it, and certainly don't spend $200 million on it. And then don't make it the first major blockbuster release of a pandemic, at a time when people just want to be entertained by something that will take their minds off things. Then, don't put your best scene in a weird elongated trailer before The Rise of Skywalker.
I feel like I'm losing my fucking mind. What is with this guy at all. The first third of this movie is alright! The action's pretty decent and there appears to be the germ of something exciting there. Then it loses the plot, literally and figuratively. It's absolutely incomprehensible fucking nonsense.
The writing's on the wall though - I should have turned it off when somebody in this said, "Don't try to understand it - feel it!" Nice try, Chris. How would you like to feel my boot in your arse. Then Ken Branagh turns up with his most sincere Somewhere Vaguely In Eastern Europe accent, John David Washington starts to look more and more confused, and Robert Pattinson tries to creep into the background as he starts to realise this is so stupid.
Arguably the dumbest aspect of Tenet, though, is because of the way it plays out, it forces you to watch the same scenes repeated but backwards. Like, I didn't enjoy them first time round, why would I want to see the same shit again in reverse? Oh, and I forgot to mention whatever it is Ludwig Goransson is meant to be doing with that soundtrack. Jesus, man, use a triangle or something, give it a rest.
On the plus side, Elizabeth Debicki is 6 foot 3.