Tenet was supposed to be the great savior of cinema. It was the first big movie to be released into theaters to try and get butts back in seats. It is another movie from the brain of Christopher Nolan (check out his Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, or Dunkirk) once again it is a movie of his that is sure to spark many conversations between people who have seen it.
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The Movie Review
The movie is very hard to describe. I guess I could say that Tenet is about time travel. But it is more about time itself than just saying it is about time travel. Our main protagonist played by John David Washington is literally called Protagonist. He along with Robert Pattinson’s Neil is out to stop a shadowy organization from getting up to no good.
There is espionage, amazing action set pieces, evil Russians, and more. It is a movie that has a ton of moving pieces and it is a great popcorn movie. It is the kind of movie that you need to watch twice in order to take it all in. The thing is I would say that Tenet is not as “cerebral” as some of Christopher Nolan’s other work.
I am not flat out saying that is a bad thing, but the movie does take you on more of a wild thrill ride than some of his other more story-driven stuff. Do not get me wrong, as a lover of sci-fi I loved the way he deals with the manipulation of time and thought it was very clever. However, as in any movie that deals with time, you do ask yourself how certain things work.
There are some great action set pieces in Tenet, but it is a bit more “special effects” scaled back from some of his other work. I actually really liked this. The car chases and that epic scene with the jet you see in the trailer are truly edge-of-your-seat stuff. The movie moves at a very, very fast pace and I was into all of it.
One of the most amazing pieces in the movie is a fighting scene where the protagonist is fighting this guy, but the guy he is fighting is moving backward through time! It sounds weird, it looks weird, but man is it a fantastic scene that really stuck with me after the credits rolled.
I have to say that Tenet is the kind of movie you will either love or not. I do not see any middle ground with this one at all. If you go into it as a popcorn movie where you are just going to have fun, you will get a great deal out of it. If you are expecting something like The Dark Knight, Memento, or Dunkirk you will be disappointed, even though Tenet does have elements from all of those other Nolan movies.
One last thing I want to touch on is Tenet being the first movie to try and get people back to theatres. When I went to see it there was myself, my wife and only 6 other people in the theatre. So, while I commend them for being brave and being the first to try and get people back, I do not think this was the right movie to do that.