Movie Reviews

Tenet (2020)

tenet-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Christopher Nolan

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 150 Minutes

Main Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Martin Donovan, Himesh Patel

Plot: (Okay, it’s now been 24 hours since I started this post and I still can’t sum up the plot coherently by myself. For the sake of having something to fill this section I’m copying and pasting from IMDB! I’m not usually so lazy, I promise)
Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

My Thoughts: I’m going to share more thoughts on Tenet when I’ve seen it again next week (can’t wait!) but I wanted to get my initial thoughts off my chest first. Firstly though, how amazing is it to be back in the cinema for a brand new, big-budget movie?! It’s the only new thing out right now other than The New Mutants which is having previes this weekend, so there are showing every 30 minutes and they all looked sold out to me. Well, as sold out as a cinema screen can be in 2020! I made every effort to not read any reviews before I saw it for myself, and although I promise this post will be as spoiler-free as I can keep it, I still urge you to go in as blind as possible.

What an experience Tenet was. There are elements that I’ve never seen in a movie before, and knowing that most, if not all of those special effects were done in real life (they literally crashed that plane into a building) just makes it all the more jaw-dropping. It’s 2 and a half hours long and throws you right into the action straight away, making it an exhausting watch. The cast is, well, simply stunning, pushing my current obsession aside. John David Washington is a perfect leading man. Elizabeth Debicki is wonderful as always but I can’t help but feel like she’s starting to be a bit typecast. Robert Pattinson is using his natural, British accent which always throws me, I keep forgetting he isn’t American!

We’re specifically told that Tenet isn’t time travel…but I can’t think of any other way to explain it. I ADORE time travel movies. There’s just something so fascinating about the concept, the paradoxes, the implications. Just going to bed afterwards and thinking about how it all works, but oh man, I got way more than I bargained for here. It’s simply impossible to just watch Tenet once and ‘get it’. I thought at one point I’d figured it out, and then it just went further and further. When the credits rolled everyone had that same reaction of ‘that was amazing…my brain hurts!’.

tenet-movie-bullet-inverted-john-washington

Best Bit: Forgive me if I’ve remembered the term wrong but I think it was a Temporal Pincer Maneuver. There’s two of them in the movie and I just can’t comprehend how complicated they are!

Worst Bit: Whoever was in charge of Robert Pattinson’s hair needs to be fired. But on a serious note, there were so many times when I actually couldn’t work out what any of the characters was saying. I was desperate for subtitles. From what I can gather though it’s not a problem unique to me, which leads me to wonder, is it a terrible editing mistake, or is it intended?

Fun Trivia: In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Kenneth Branagh not only had to learn to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent (he is Irish in real life).

My Rating: 4 and a half packs of paracetamol, the exact amount I needed to take after spending all night trying to work out what I had just watched.

tenet-2020-movie-headache-paracetamol

16 thoughts on “Tenet (2020)

  1. I had a hard time understanding the dialogue at times too. Nolan needs to cool it with making people speak through masks, or subtitle it at the very least! But this is definitely a big screen film. The action sequences are amazing and felt to me like Inception 2.0 with a little Dark Knight opening sequence mixed in. At this point Nolan seems just to be competing with himself.

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  2. I’ve lowered my expectations quite a bit after reading reviews, but I do really want to see this. I just don’t know if I feel comfortable going back to the cinema yet since my country has no control over the pandemic.

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    1. It’s definitely divided opinions! I hope you enjoy it when you finally get to see it. The UK isn’t doing that great with the pandemic itself but the cinemas here at least have put in a lot of measures to make people feel safer.

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  3. The trailer for this came up so often in my local cinema, so I’m kind of curious about it. However, from the trailer, things didn’t really make sense, so I’m a bit wary about checking it out.

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  4. I’m glad Nolan pushed for this to be released in the theaters and on on-demand because it is one that deserves to be seen on the big screen. I can’t wait to re-watch this film because there is a lot to pick up on that is easily missed on the initial viewing. It’s not Nolan’s best film but definitely a film worth watching. Great review, Allie!

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    1. I agree completely! I don’t think he could make anything that would top Inception for me. I really hope you get to see it again, I’ve seen it twice now and it’s a lot more fun the second time, you pick up on some details you never would have noticed the first time 🙂

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