Tenet

Tenet ★★½

Nolan finally made what he wanted all along: a videogame movie. Somebody here on letterboxd said this looked more like a Hideo Kojima game than a film, and that is precisely accurate.
He is so in love with his high concepts he seems to have given up for good about basic cinema storytelling. The editing is insufferable, with cuts that go from a character sleeping to him seated reacting to something; or a character saying "I need to talk to her" and in the next second he is already in a dialog with that other character babbling uncomprehensive words, theories about terrorists bending time and McGuffins (and to the American audience who were planning to see this a second time with subtitles because they couldn't understand the dialogs, I have some news for you: it won't help). Nothing has proper time to breathe and it all feels SO rushed it is obviously apparent that he had a hard time getting a cut below the three-hour mark.

Nolan struggles to simply move characters from point A to point B and move his plot forward without those old boring aerial establishing shots or people on the streets talking and exposing what they're going to do next. It always feels like videogame cutscenes between stages. In a videogame, it works. In cinema, it's just very bad storytelling.

And it is easy to look past the lack of character depth in Nolan movies because he was never really good at it anyway and sometimes his films kind of justify that, being focused on set-pieces. But damn, Kenneth Branagh here is almost as bad as Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending and Elizabeth Debicki is only there to be the abused wife. And is kind of ridiculous that the main character care so much about her and a kid we never properly see (in Nolan universe, mentioning a kid is enough for building emotional engagement. I guess he probably doesn't know some of us don't have kids and we need more storytelling around it).

I had to laugh when John David Washington's character, who is a smartass and knows the answer to every question (for exposition sake, of course) does not know about the grandfather paradox, probably the only thing in this movie most of the audience had some knowledge beforehand. LOL.
Lucky for him he got this great cast and we get talented and handsome actors like Washington, Pattinson and Debicki to guide us through all the confusion.

The best scenes are arguably the ones using the "inversion machine", which only made me wonder what a better film it would be in a more focused, concise and short film that was only around that instead of this gigantic, epic hollow mess.

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