Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Himesh Patel, Dimple Kapadia, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Michael Caine
Written By: Christopher Nolan
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Warner Bros.
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Christopher Nolan’s latest movie didn’t get the release he wanted because of the pandemic. It still managed to get out in theaters overseas, and a limited release in North America by the Fall. I’m sure I’m not alone but I was pretty freakin’ confused with Tenet. Perhaps a second viewing will be beneficial to me?
Tenet centers around a CIA agent, the “Protagonist” (John David Washington) who unwittingly passed some test while in the Ukraine on a mission. He joins a secret group called Tenet and finds out that some bullets have “inverted” entropy which allows them to move backwards through time. I’ve already lost you but bare with me. He’s tasked with finding the weapons manufacturer of these bullets with a local contact, Neil (Robert Pattinson). They make their way to Russian oligarch Sator (Kenneth Branagh) and his estranged wife Kat (Elizabeth Debicki). The “Protagonist” learns Sator is behind these inverted bullets and weapons and plans to destroy the world with this advanced tech. Somehow. I guess, I don’t know. I’m still baffled on what I just typed.
After watching Tenet, I was pretty confused. I was confused throughout the entire movie. It’s bad when you read the wiki page and you still scratch your head with confusion. Is there a Tenet For Dummies book out there? I think by the end and how much I thought about it since watching, Tenet starts to make sense but my initial reaction was bewilderment. That’s my biggest complaint with the film. Why does a movie need to be so complex that it loses the audience in just the opening sequence? Am I that dumb to not get what I’m watching or is Christopher Nolan so invested in this that he doesn’t know that the story doesn’t flow as well as he think it does? I think I would really benefit with watching Tenet a second time. I keep telling myself that but then I read more about this and I’m feeling like I’m reading another language.
I did like a lot of other aspects of the movie, especially the way it was shot, the action and special effects, the locations and the acting. It’s great to see John David Washington getting lead roles like this. Hopefully people seeing Robert Pattinson in this will give them some hope of him playing Batman. I really liked Elizabeth Debicki and felt like she gave a strong performance as well. I haven’t seen much from her but do remember her in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Kenneth Branagh is Kenneth Branagh so no complaints there. In an interesting and funny side note, it was weird seeing former New York Rangers player Sean Avery playing a “red” soldier at the end.
Tenet felt like a spy movie, well spy movie with a lot of sci-fi type elements to it. I loved the back and forth/time travel kind of things happening throughout the movie but all the stuff in-between just lost me. I did like how things tied together in the end, so in a way makes you want to watch again since you can catch things you missed the first time around. The way this movie was shot looked intense and crazy, all from fight scenes taking places in reverse, cars driving in reverse or them crashing a ginormous plane into a hangar. It also felt like your typical spy / Bond movie because they filmed in 7 countries. Of course, seeing the scenes from Amalfi Coast were stunning. I felt like Nolan wanted to film there just so he can vacation there at the same time.
The one thing people should watch is the Looking At The World In A New Way documentary featurette. Such a great behind the scenes look at everything. A lot of hard work went into making this movie, and it showed. It really made me appreciate the movie more and in fact, made me want to watch this movie a second time sooner rather than later. It’s a Christopher Nolan movie, a lot of shit went into making this movie. A lot of the crew just didn’t know what they were doing the day they went into work. Many of the crew described their jobs as “daunting” so it gives you a grasp of what life was like on the set. I particularly loved seeing them practicing the fight scenes, the stunts and how they were going to do that massive plane crash. Even if you didn’t care for the movie, this is still something to watch. It might change your outlook on the film, honestly.
Overall, this movie is confusing as hell and it will take a few viewings to fully understand and appreciate it. It looks beautiful and the action/stunts were really cool. I still have a problem with some of the story and how Nolan did this. I didn’t think it needed to be this overcomplicated, that it turns off people. I think when you peel back the onion, the concept is there and might just take a few viewings to enjoy this. I did begin to like the movie better towards the end when some of the “twists” came into play. I think when I watch the movie again, I’ll like it better the second time.
Looking At The World In A New Way
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (57.45 Mbps)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, 2.20:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.20:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Thai
Bottom Line: Holy confusing and complicated, Batman
Running Time: 150 mins