This Is Not A Review: Tentative TENET Thoughts

Movies In Focus finally saw Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet. Like many, it was my first time in the cinema for a long time – and the way things are going it’s going to be the last visit for another while. This isn’t really a review of Nolan’s film, just a musing. A few thoughts.

I enjoyed Tenet without fully understanding it. The performances were great, the visuals stunning and the plot curious. However,  I’m not 100% sure that Nolan’s film makes sense. The shadow of James Bond looms large over Tenet and if you stripped away the time travel and inverted bullets you’d have a pretty strong spy thriller in the vein of the recent Daniel Craig Bonds. 

John David Washington is a good anchor for the film, commanding the film with burgeoning movie star intensity. Tenet shows that the man has the potential to achieve the same career status as his father, Denzel. I was impressed by his turn in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and I’m impressed again here.

Robert Pattinson‘s supporting role is also strong. This is the first time I’ve seen him having fun in a movie in a leading man sense. He might be a good pick for The Batman after all. Elizabeth Debicki takes a role which could have been slight and adds depth and nuance. Kenneth Branagh chews the scenery, utilising the same Russian accent that he had in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It’s good to see Nolan’s lucky charm, Michael Caine making yet another appearance in a small but pivotal role. 

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema must be praised for his work and composer Ludwig Göransson has crafted the greatest Hans Zimmer score that he’s never composed. The film looks and sounds great. 

The big flaw in Tenet seems to be the convoluted logic with Nolan’s script. Maybe I’ll understand it after I’ve watched it a few more times.