Tenet ★★★½

Theres so much to love about Tenet, the performances are top notch including Washington as our blank slate protagonist with a moral compases as his most defining trait that works in the context of the story, Pattinson as the charming agent with a hidden agenda, Brannagh's scene-chewing Russian villian (which for some will not work but for it did, because he was having a blast), and Debicki's who is the emotional core of what otherwise would be a very dettached movie.

Nolan's direction of the action sequences are some of the most creative I've seen in recent years, that take fully takes advantage of the whole rewinding time in an impressive marry of mostly pratical and digital for both large scale set pieces, and smaller scale fight scenes (the choreography being impressive for 2 in particular).

The synth heavy music by Ludwig Göransson was amazing and definitely inspired by Hans Zimmer compositions while still remaining as his own in being more experimental, and Hoyte van Hoytema cinematography continues to prove he has a knack in depicting sci fi worlds. The story may not break new ground but seeing Bond meets time travel through Nolan's vision makes this stand out and manages to remain intersting for the most part.

But man, theres more than a few flaws that prevent it from reaching greatness.
The first 40 min are rough to get through, despite its gripping opening scene, mainly because of weird sound mixing, making its heavy on exposition dialogue difficult to understand (even if I was watching it with subtitles) and editing that doesn't give the scenes enough room to breath. Really feels as if Nolan wanted to get through the first act quickly to get to the good stuff, because once those 40 min are gone the movie slows down and eases you much better at the world and what the characters want to accomplish, and from that point onward I was completely invested.
Though I will admitt that latter expository scenes almost started to become too much to take during the second and third acts (with one line: "including my son" being involuntarily laughable) , and I can certainly understand why someone would tune out by then.

Nolan's previous movies achieved a good balance of being logical but with enough sentimentalism and caracterization to have some humanity, yet in Tenet the human element in the form of Kat and his son, while fine, does lack depth, which isn't helped by the fact that Debicki is Nolan's steoreotipical underdeveloped wife character. He definitely could have fleshed out that relationship or the protagonist and Pattinson's camaraderie as well, so that a scene between them at the movie's end had more weight, although it still was pretty effective.

Could Nolan being on full creative control could go off rails like Lucas or Kojima? Maybe because this does feel overindulgent of his part, but as of right now, this isn't a bad film in my eyes at all.
The ideas of Tenet may not be new (the whole Temporal Cold War and temporal agents reminded me of Star Trek Enterprise, which makes me question if Nolan is a Trek fan, as Interstellar had Trek elements in it), but the execution is still unique enough that makes this absolutely worth watching.

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