Tenet

Tenet ★★★★½

Even the dead need allies.

This is officially my movie. I don't mean that to sound selfish, I mean it more in the sense of this is one of those movies released in recent times that matches up with big-budget filmmaking equating to exceptional quality. It's exactly my type of thing, and I have come to connect with that more on each viewing, as well as the fact that since I first saw this in theaters, I genuinely do not think a day has gone by without me thinking about something from it at least once a day. (Films like Uncut Gems, The Lighthouse, and Blade Runner 2049 are other examples of that super specific type of movie for me. On that note, happy birthday to Pattman, nice I just so happened to watch this today.) Several scattered moments in this that still either make my heart race or give me the most genuine type of smiles on my face. I watched this nice and loud on a decently sized TV, and throughout that just incredible opening opera sequence, I was wondering if this could go up to five stars. I am not pulling the trigger on that, as I do have my scattered issues with some structuring and pacing around the second act in particular. That said, in the way of comparing and contrasting movies with each other that makes up the majority of modern film criticism and analysis, the movies Tenet reminds me the most of in terms of feeling and my personal place with it are Michael Mann's Miami Vice and Blackhat. In particular, I have read many reviews for Miami Vice on this website, and I do enjoy how much people on here love that thing, but I cannot for the life of me get myself on the same wavelength of its unique emotions and style. Tenet is my Miami Vice in the sense that it hasn't been all that well-received in the realm of general filmmaking or when looked at the filmography of its prolific director, yet I love this and place it up high in Nolan's work because it throughout its runtime feels like the fullest realization of everything Nolan is fascinated with in moviemaking. Toying with time, explosions, living in a world where things seem just slightly off, the bloody thing opens in an opera because this shit is unabashed blockbuster operatic motion. Operas are not fully taken in to understand them, you give yourself over to the designs and the music, and when you connect with it, that's when the understanding comes. I have my own understanding I have given to this movie and its motions, and therefore, I love it to pieces and I'm just happy that it exists for me to likely watch over and over again for the rest of my life. (I mentioned Blackhat alongside Miami Vice because I do also really like that movie, and if I ever get the chance to program some sort of double feature at a theater, I'm absolutely pairing Mann's tech thriller with this insanity.) Göransson's score is one of the best in modern film, the singular Oscar was wholeheartedly deserved, Washington is a star, this movie rules.

9.5/10

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