Tenet ★★

I saw a Tenet a while ago.

I wondered why it's taken me so long to review it.

To be honest, the answer is pretty simple...............apathy.

Like most folk, I couldn't help but be enraptured by most of Christopher Nolan's films, especially in recent years.

For me, Dunkirk (2017) was a stirring, seminal movie and in my opinion the directors best film in what is an undoubtedly strong body of work.

Now he's done, Tenet.

A film that apparently took him over a decade to work out the nuances of its labyrinthian concept.

Yet we're meant to get it in two and a half hours.

I'm not even going to try and explain the script other than 'Protagonist' (John David Washington) is a CIA man hired by a covert agency to stop evil Russian oligarch Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from destroying the world using time travel technology that allows him to "invert" entropy or 'go backwards' to you and me.

Just off the bat, it has a character called 'Protagonist'? I mean really?? I was just about expecting a 'John Everyman' to pop up too.

Anyway, the diminutive Washington does his best in a James Bond light role but isn't too believable as an invincible fighting machine who is about half the size of everyone else on screen.

Support from Robert Pattinson, who's on a hell of a run right now of impressive performances, and Elizabeth Debicki fare much better though Branagh phones it in, effectively reprising the exact same role he played in 2014's 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'.

The cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema and soundtrack by Ludwig Göransson are staggeringly good but then they should be for $200 million and it's all up there on the screen and coming out of the speakers.

But the story - which in many ways feels like a spiritual knock-off of Nolan's previous mindbender 'Inception' (2010) which though itself was complicated was also far more fathomable and fun - is really just complexity run amok.

Indeed by the end, I had moved from confusion to frustration then onto contempt before settling on humour at how preposterously indecipherable it had all become.

Reading the critics roundly toast it in an attempt to prove how smart they are as they 'got it' without actually being able to explain any of its numerous plot holes has actually proven more entertaining than the movie itself.

I mean I swear a few times I saw the actors eyes roll as they delivered dialogue trying to explain what the hell was going on around them.

Block or Report

Paul Anthony liked these reviews