Christopher Nolan’s TENET: A Review

Since July 21st, 2017, I have been patiently waiting. Waiting for the next Christopher Nolan movie to come out, that is.

If you don’t know, July 21st, 2017 was when Nolan’s previous movie, Dunkirk, came to theaters. Also, if you have never seen a Christopher Nolan movie (like Inception or The Prestige), I’ll give you one word that describes them: Mind-bending. His scripts are labyrinthine, even to the point where you have to watch one of his films multiple times to understand it. But, that’s what makes his films so unique.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, was delayed multiple times because theaters everywhere were closed. When the announcement was made that they had a set release date, I bought my tickets right away. At long last, I was going to be able to see a movie on the silver screen again, and it was going to be the action-packed beast that is Tenet.

Now, Nolan is known for his incredible visual complexities, and, like his other films, Tenet did not disappoint when it comes to special effects. While there are around 300 VFX (visual effects) shots in the movie, most action scenes were made using practical effects. Specifically, the production crew bought a real Boeing airplane to blow up in the movie. Crazy, right?

So, a little plot explanation: John David Washington is The Protagonist (yes, that is his real name), who is a spy for the CIA. He is very well-trained (like James Bond on steroids type of trained). Robert Pattinson (Twilight fans, rejoice!) plays Neil (pretty ordinary name to be paired with someone called The Protagonist) who is essentially the Robin to The Protagonist’s Batman. Together, these two must work together to prevent the start of World War III (yay, teamwork!). The twist- they must go back in time by way of “inverted entropy,” which basically means they have to travel backwards to stop events from occurring that have already happened in the future. At the center of all of this? Evil Russian Andrei Sator, a oligarch trying to destroy the world, and his estranged wife Kat, an art dealer.

There’s only one thing about this film that didn’t sit well with me: the excessive use of background noise. I could barely hear the dialogue, even when I stopped sipping my drink and munching on my popcorn. On top of already being confused from the plot, not being able to hear the important details they were discussing made it a little less enjoyable.

So: would I recommend this film? Yes! Aside from Ludwig Göransson’s slightly overbearing score, if you are looking for a good action/spy film, this is a good choice. Also, if you’re going to see it, I suggest you see it in IMAX or RPX, that way you can see Robert Pattinson’s face better on a bigger screen!