Tenet ★★★½

My initial review of Tenet sadly is a disappointing one. I was really excited for this movie and maybe my expectations were too high but it didn’t rise to the promise of the great trailer and premise and "first Nolan movie in 3 years". 

The concept of the movie which is rooted in complex metaphysics that I don’t even wanna grasp to understand — especially not after my first watch — is brilliant and offers a captivating story to tell. It also makes for great action sequences which felt very original and always left mind-boggling questions you’re not accustomed to when following an action sequence. The way in which those questions are answered are also nothing short of brilliant and definitely make you feel rewarded as a watcher.

Unfortunately Nolan decided to coat this amazing concept in a Cold War narrative. And not a new and fresh one (which would‘ve been quite interesting given the USA’s continuous war on former Soviet influenced or communist countries like China, North Korea and co) but the same old and tired Cold War narrative of the super evil Soviets with an heavy accent and an unexplained sociopathic almost nihilistic tendency to utter brutality. It almost makes the movie a generic action blockbuster and had me sighing over the cliches I had to endure watching for the millionth time.

Furthermore it really bothered me how violence against women was a mere tool to make the evil Soviet guy look even more evil and the American protagonist even more heroic in his attempts to save her. We‘ve long figured out that the depiction of women in movies has to change so the fact that I still have to underline this after watching a Nolan movie in 2020 is more than frustrating, it’s angering and more.

John David Washington and Robert Pattinson are the backbone of this movie and their performances individually as well as together carry this movie gracefully and with plenty of charm.

All in all Tenet is a great movie that could‘ve been much more but fell victim to reactionary narratives.

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