top of page

TENET | Non-spoiler Review

If there is any movie to make you literally sprint back into the theatres it's this one.

So yes, I did watch this in an IMAX theatre with the proper safety precautions. I was extremely hesitant at first, however, felt extremely safe at the theatre. There was zero contact, and I even went to a morning viewing to ensure fewer people and the extra reassurance that it was freshly clean. Not only were there 4 seats between each audience member but the entire row in front and behind my seat were completely empty with a total of 12 in my viewing. Staff members were checking distancing in the theatres and everyone wore a mask for the entire film. Will I be consistently going back, sadly not, I've seen too many post-apocalyptic, movies that taught me a lesson or two about pandemics.

I will say, this movie needs the theatre experience.

The speakers were booming, the IMAX screen was large and in charge and the feeling of being back in a movie theatre after months was truly incredible.

Tenet is nothing you've ever seen before.

Without a doubt, the most jawdropping visuals that will make you question all logistical aspects of time and gravity. So pop in an Advil cause this will hurt your brain.

Was this my favorite Nolan Nothing will beat Inception, and a part of me is slightly disappointed. It's most likely not my second choice as well, however.....


BUT, I'm not fully satisfied.

Tenet is all plot and it moves fast. The pacing is extremely rapid, to a point where I felt as if I couldn't even blink without missing anything. The film does not stop or slow down for a second, so it's your job to keep up. Tenet kept referencing this in the dialogue, a witty nod to the audience that I admired.

Half the time your brain is trying to process the science of time inversion that at the end of the film it doesn't even matter. There's an excellent line from the trailer that highlight this "Don't try to understand it, feel it." How it works isn't important, the experience of it is. This has divided audiences because if you don't let go and trust the film you not going to get the best experience. Logistics don't matter, it's pure visual cinema.

The plot, in my opinion fairly quite simple for a Nolan film, the details however are hazy. A lot of people will be completely lost watching the film, and if you had trouble following Inception this is ten times more difficult.

One of my favorite aspects of Nolan films is re-watchability and Tenet is no different. There is so much to be unpacked and discovered with this film, that a repeating viewing will only grow your understanding and admiration for it more.

At the end of the day, the biggest take away from this film is it's impressive nature. The reversal scenes are the biggest draw to the film, and until you watch it on the big screen, it's undeniably mesmerizing. Knowing that some of the scenes were even performed in reverse without editing, is beyond impressive as I couldn't tell the difference between reality and the edit.

I can't discuss a Nolan film without addressing the score, and I love Hans Zimmer but Ludwig Göransson absolutely nailed it. This was the cherry on top during those action sequences. It was exciting and stressful, echoing everything on the screen. From the instruments used to the mechanical sound, it surpassed the Dunkirk score in the time-like soundscape (click here to open in Spotify)

The film, however, is missing a key element that quite honestly disappointed me. The human moments. I felt cold towards the characters as if there only purpose was to move the plot along, with no connection. Tenet lacks relatability. I'm still rooting for the characters and want them to succeed but underneath it all there's nothing tieing me.

This is something I've noticed from his most recent work, and I become worried that Nolan's obsession with puzzling plots and grand scale cinema is distracting him from the quiet human moments most of his work has. I felt a similar way to his last film Dunkirk, just as im trying to conenct with a charcter, time-lines switch, or a large action sequence commences.

Plot-wise Tenet is a solid ten. Character-wise a low 7, and I'm being generous. The main character doesn't even have a name, he's simply referred to as the Protagonist and we know absolutely nothing about him. Do we need to for the plot.... no. Would I like to know...yes. But, if you're watching a James Bond film, is there a 20-minute sequence where we learn about all his life The same rules apply for Tenet.

The film literally starts in a mid-action sequence, dropping you right in the action with zero knowledge. So, basing these characters off past Nolan characters they are very two- deminonsal which hinders this film is becoming an absolute favorite of mine.

The stakes seem low for a Nolan film, which does'nt help it's case. The film seems like a bunch of different sequences, that without a doubt are amazing, but feel as if they are only there to advanced the plot. See this character for this information, breaking into this place to get the thing for the next scene. All very linear for a director obsessed with the arrangement and play of time.

With any Nolan film, I am highly anticipating the epilogue. The big, mind-blowing, satisfying, Inception level ending.... but with Tenet, I ended up feeling a bit underwhelmed.

Without any spoilers, the film managed to connect and wrap everything perfectly, but for me, I wanted it to be imperfect. I didn't leave the theatre with anything to debate about like other Nolan films. Perhaps my expectations were too high, or I'm used to that typical Nolan ending. I did leave the theatre slightly disappointed.

So, Olivia, you said you loved Tenet but you're also slightly disappointed, do you have access to the inversion machine, why are you reserving your comment's, I'm confused.

The main reason why you should watch this film and why I love it is the infectious passion that was put in every frame.

The film feels real because it is real.

No green screen, all practical effects, fight scenes were performed both in proper linear time and reversed without editing, and the talent had to learn to speak backward. You can't fake genuine movie magic, and no one working today can authentically capture real cinematic sequences like Nolan.

Tenet gave me chills. plural. My jaw dropped, and mind blow. I don't know if its because I'm a film lover, film graduate, or a hardcore Nolan fan, but under my mask was the biggest smile for the entire two hours and 30 minutes.

Are there issue with the film, yes. Plot holes....probably the most.

But to disregard the true intention of this film which was to bring people back to theatres and enjoy movies the way they're supposed to be viewed and experienced, then Tenet is a success.

So if your comfortable, go to the movie theatre and watch this. Be safe, wear a mask, and take precautions. If not, go to the drive-in and crank your radio. Do not wait till this is out on Blu-ray or streaming. Experience Tenet the way it was meant to be experienced.




bottom of page