Tenet ★★★½

I completely disagree with the "don't try to understand it, feel it" idea: I don't think that watching Tenet solely as a fun blockbuster would make for a fulfilling experience, because imo Tenet doesn't excel in neither plot nor spectacle. Its strength is its complexity and how hard and satisfying it is to piece everything together and to understand how all the inverted set pieces work. That's why I'm still thinking about it days after I saw it, and surely not because of its themes or its action.

While the set-pieces are like intricate physics puzzles that I keep coming back to try and figure out, that complexity does not affect the plot in thought-provoking or meaningful ways. The more I think about the single set-pieces, the more fascinated I am by the time inversion mechanic and all the small details I find; the more I think about the plot, the less I like it, as it goes from nice but simple time inversion "plot twists" to basic (sometimes underwhelming) espionage missions to straight up goofy sections (the catamarans? the sun screen?).

And I still haven't seen anyone complaining about this, but honestly the action, while amazing by the action movie standards, was underwhelming by Nolan's standard: the stunts were not as effective or spectacular as I was expecting and I hated that they were all pretty much already shown in the trailers.

To make a comparison, it's as if Inception was stripped of its emotional core, thematical depth and jaw dropping, innovative and memorable set-pieces, leaving only the multi-level dream timeline (but way more intricate) and the basic general plot.

But somehow, believe it or not, I still can't dislike Tenet. As a Nolan fan I admire this movie for all the usual reasons: the practical action, the cinematography, the mindfuckery. And even if I was surprised by how thematically non-ambitious it is, it's still a breath of fresh air and a very challenging movie for the average moviegoer. So in the debate about this movie, count me on Tenet fans' side, even if I agree with so many of the complains by the haters.

Can't wait to rewatch it to see again all the set-pieces at work, even if I fear that I'll find the rest of the movie straight up boring. Guess we'll see (:

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