Tenet by Christopher Nolan [6/10]

Every Christopher Nolan film is an event, a kaleidoscopic figurine of overkill expression that either triumphs or plummets. Unfortunately, “Tenet” falls into the latter camp, even if some of the Grand Guignol sci-fi scenes drop the jaw. Pandemic lockdown thwarted me from seeing it in its natural setting, a real cinema, but even on a small screen, the three-hour block-block-buster is very Nolan-impressive. The core plot climaxes churn with tension, down to the ultra urgent industrial music. But the storyline, an amazingly complex, tricksy time travel tale of spies and Russian oligarch baddies and the past interacting with backwards-in-time futures, is a disappointing mush. The plot could have been made to work but in Nolan’s hands, it is simply incompetent; explication is rushed, logic is rushed, complexities muddy the essence. As for the actors, all of them seem miscast and barely adequate, be they Kenneth Branagh as the bad guy, or John David Washington and Robert Pattinson as the goodies. Oh, if only the promise of this had been met … I would have swooned. As it was, I grinned at the colossal fight scenes and grimaced through the remainder of Tenet.

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