Tenet

Tenet ★★★½

I had to do it... I couldn't let Cats be my last (and only) theatergoing experience in 2020. I had to make this year better.

And Tenet's a real good movie. Christopher Nolan is one of cinema's real magicians, building up a vocabulary to help absorb audiences in this new world, and then pulling the rug out from under them just when they're comfortable enough. The second half of this movie is insane in some incredible ways.

But... the script isn't exactly the strongest thing in the world. John David Washington absolutely nails his 007-lite role but the script is incredibly convoluted and not just in the sci-fi parts. The amazing parts make up for the stupid parts, but I can't ignore some of the contrivances that drag the movie (sadly I can't elaborate without spoilers). And, this isn't a knock against the film's quality, but there wasn't really a single twist that really surprised, a huge departure from every other Nolan thriller. Maybe it was all just softballed to make us feel smarter...

Like I said, once the time stuff really starts going, it's astounding filmmaking. But it takes a long time to get there, and while it's all well-made, the characters aren't strong enough to lift this above "very good."

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