Tenet ★★★½

I rewatched this last night and I will also watch this four days ago. This will be my last time, however. Or... was it my first? After all, life can only be understood backwards. We’re just forced to live it forwards. And I really don’t think Tenet can be broken down or understood until your entropy is reversed and you live through it again. The only problem is, it’s not worth the radiation. Nolan has essentially executed a temporal pincer movement on the cinematic form itself, outflanking narrative and audio-visual representations of time with his own fevered ethic. The logistics are astounding, easily my favorite part of the film, the way narrative and perception dictate the specific temporal direction of several scenes. One could call it brilliant. But once the intentional fog of practicality and spectacle dissipates, you’re really just not left with much. For a movie so obsessed with the engineered orchestration of time — time as the soul — there is very little soul to be mined. What soul there is remains wrapped up in the aforementioned logistics. So, it’s a film that begs you to merely feel the surface hum, rather than digging in deep, however it ultimately lacks the nerve to feel anything other than superior in its own confused apocalypse of inversion. I am glad I was able to finally understand it all, even though there isn’t much to grapple with past the initial conceit. What is the most to grapple with? Choosing Kenneth Branagh as your intimidating villain, only for your costume designer to dress him in a yacht array of Nautica shorts and jelly flip flops. Come on now. He’s supposed to be a scary Russian time terrorist, not some rich abusive alcoholic dad.

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