Tenet ★★★★

As many have said, this is Nolan’s Miami Vice in that it’s a film by an icon being given free reign to do whatever the hell they want and prioritising feeling and visual aesthetics over scene-to-scene clarity and coherency. It’s basically Miami Vice’s nerdier, richer older cousin. Nolan doesn’t care about the audience fully processing any of the technical jargon or the minutia of the seemingly never-ending plot strands introduced. It’s far more rewarding on second viewing and knowing how the plot beats will unfold. When Clemence Posey’s character says, ‘don’t try to understand it, feel it’, that’s Nolan directly delivering his thesis statement to the audience. It’s Nolan’s gleeful self-indulgence seeping onto the screen. It feels like the most fun he’s ever had making a film, finally getting deliver the Bond-like extravaganza that he’s been building to. It’s almost certain to be Nolan’s first box office disappointment, not only because it’s being released during a pandemic but because it’s almost entirely inaccessible to general audiences on a first viewing who’ll expect to have their hand held and demand overt scene-to-scene clarity.

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