Tenet ★★★★

Nolan finally made a movie that is literally nothing but temporal logistics and somehow it's the most disorienting film he's made. I have no fucking clue what happened, but it felt like watching an ouroboros tie itself into various strange, beautiful, abstract knots while eating itself. With regards to some people comparing this to Michael Mann's Miami Vice/Blackhat: not seeing it outside of some surface-level VIBES, which is maybe what those people mean. Those films to me are defined by a certain kind of sensitivity, vulnerability, and romantic existentialism that exists in the modern digital/professional world. This is something else entirely. More of a logical, tangible disarray drawn outside of time but experienced within it.

There's very little interiority or emotional expression happening, just a constant sense of action (here depicted as a changing sea of unfolding information) and reaction (the interlocking physical movements they inspire), which is then developed into this bizarre, confused momentum that captures the instinct to act inside predestined images. Feels only interested in its own espionage narrative/dramatics as it serves the feelings of its spectacle, and I've definitely never seen anything quite like the spectacle here. At its best, the action reminded me of the simultaneous past/present car chase in Tony Scott's Deja Vu, only stripped of its messier, more romantic qualities and replaced with Nolan's clockwork precision and cold maximalism collapsing into each other, which is its own sort of romantic mess in a way.

Full discussion on my podcast SLEAZOIDS.

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