Movie Review: Tenet

September 21, 2020

Details from IMDB:

Tenet (2020)

PG-13 | | ActionSci-Fi | 3 September 2020 (USA)
Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.


 Christopher Nolan

Initial Thoughts:

This was a nice treat, to actually see a new movie in theaters! Again that is not a sentence I thought I would write even 8 months ago, but COVID has changed the whole world. I have seen (almost) all of Christopher Nolan's movies and I am certainly a fan. So there was no doubt that I would see this one as well (especially since I had just re-watched The Dark Knight Rises in theaters).

Main Points:

Nolan is known for making complex movies and this is certainly one of them. It's a strange thing for a movie with complicated ideas of not just time travel but objects moving backward in time to move so quickly. Most of the movie speeds by quickly and there is little time for character development or for much explanation of what is going on.

I thought the acting was excellent throughout,  John David Washington is very good (I only just discovered that he is Denzel's son!) and Robert Pattison is also surprisingly good (it gives me hope to see what he does with Batman). Special effects, as always, are excellent and there are some very creative (and intense) action scenes.

The movie has a few major problems, however. One of them is the complexity, I've seen hundreds of movies with time travel and almost always it never makes any sense. While that's being a little harsh, I think I would have to see this movie at least twice to fully understand what's going on and that's a serious problem most viewers won't bother to fix. Second is this really annoying thing where the sound (both music and just creepy/dramatic instrumental tones) overwhelm the dialogue. I realize some times in this movie it's intentional but other times it's just frustrating! I'm not that old and I found the music also to be way too loud at lots of points, I'm sure it was just to build suspense/mood but it didn't work for me. And lastly, as with many of his movies, it is just a little too long. I firmly believe that 90% or more of movies should be done in 2 hours or less, often more than that just makes it dragged out.

Final Thoughts:

So despite all of what I said I did enjoy this movie. Excellent performances, cool special effects, interesting action and a story that certainly makes you think did ad up to an enjoyable experience. It's just what could have been a great movie for me just became mediocre. So I give it a 7 out of 10 and only a mild recommendation. Some movies you can tune out, be drunk/high/go to the bathroom/whatever but not this, if you're going, you need to pay attention. Also, this is certainly not for kids with plenty of coarse language, violence, and blood, ages 14+.