'Tenet' Review

'Tenet' Review
A Wildly Original and Endlessly Interesting Time Spy Caper

Rating: ★★★★½

Starting all the way back in 2000 with 'Memento', Christopher Nolan has had a fascination with the concept of time has almost ways been a part of his films. In the aforementioned 'Memento', the movie played backwards, in 'Inception', time moved slower the deep you went into the dreams and with 'Dunkirk', Nolan used it as a storytelling tool, splitting the three different stories into three intersection timelines. But never has he fully explored the concept unlike he has here with the blockbuster epic 'Tenet'. The movie follows a secret agent named The Protangoist as he embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent a disaster worse than nuclear holocaust and World War III combined.

Continuing the trend that has become much more prevalent over the years, 'Tenet' is no stranger to Nolan's signature complex storytelling and his strange obsession of loud sound effects and booming score overshadowing the dialogue. These two elements are the deal-breakers, if they frustrate you, you most likely won't enjoy the movie as a whole. But if you can bear them, you will most likely have a good or even great time. Upon rewatches, the story becomes easier to understand despite its convoluted nature. Scenes make more sense and the ending becomes more satisfying. The one thing that doesn't quite hold up is the sound mixing. There are moments scattered throughout that you can barely manage to make out what the characters are saying, while in others (most notably in the third act) it is near impossible to understand any of the words coming out of the characters' mouths. If the sound effects and score were made a bit quieter and they brought up the volume of the dialogue, it would have been far more tolerable.

Where 'Tenet' obviously shines is its concepts and action sequences. A common criticism Christopher Nolan has received from his earlier films is his inability to shoot action, that same criticism does not apply here. These action sequences are very well-shoot, we can clearly see what is happening on-screen. As well as that, with the incorporation of "time", which to go into any more detail of how it is used is to ruin the surprise, is both mind-blowing and breathtaking.

Those who worry 'Tenet' is going to be a derivative of Christopher Nolan's previous films (most notably 'Inception' and 'Memento') will have the concerns diminished immediately upon watching his tremendously original and wildly ambitious spy caper. Loud, large in scale and filled with interesting and unique concepts, 'Tenet' is a phenomenal film that has solid performances from its cast, beautiful cinematography, excellent editing and a story that is as complex and (due to a lack of a better term) confusing as it is understandable and fleshed out.

Comments