After Christopher “Chris” Nolan finished his Oscar nominated World War II epic “Dunkirk,” he immediately commenced development on a sci-fi spy thriller titled, “Tenet.” Prior to its intended release July 17th, the ongoing coronavirus forced Chris & Warner Bros. (WB for short) to delay the film thrice. Tenet finally marked its September 4th release worldwide. Many movie theaters are following strict rules to cut back seat capacity to prevent further cases from happening, cleaning an entire screening room once movie goers leave the area and both employee and customers are required to wear a mask for safety measures.
Tenet is currently out in theaters. It received positive reception from critics. So far, it’s making money at the box office. Tenet needs to make half a billion in order to break even. Plus, Chris is expecting to make 20% of the gross similar to Dunkirk which made him a lot of cash.
Today’s review won’t contain crucial SPOILERS. I’ll give everybody a chance to see it. Is Tenet worth the wait? Time to find out if my number one anticipated movie of the year is a hit or miss. By the way, this is my 500th post. I’ve been saving it up for a quite awhile.
Forward & Backward Qualities
Forward: John David “JD” Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh & last but not least, Chris’ good luck charm Michael Caine all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Chris handpicked JD for the lead role after watching his performance in “BlacKkKlansman,” believing he has full potential like his dad, Denzel.
Christopher Nolan directed, co-produced and wrote the film. He did a fantastic job taking full responsibility to make his unique take on the spy genre.
Chris’ wife Emma Thomas helped co-produced the film.
Action Sequences managed to keep me on the edge of my seat.
Ludwig Göransson (Creed, Creed II, Black Panther, The Mandalorian) replaces Chris’ fellow collaborator, Hans Zimmer as composer. The latter composer was busy writing music for several projects like “Wonder Woman 1984,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run,” “No Time To Die,” “Dune,” “Top Gun: Maverick” & “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
Cinematographer Hoyt Van Hoytema (Interstellar, Spectre, Dunkirk) shot the movie with a variety of camera techniques to immersive viewers.
Practical Effects were heavily used to build action scenes. According to some news articles, Tenet has less visual effects (VFX for short) shots than many romantic comedies. Quite an achievement Chris is pushing boundaries in special effects. He doesn’t like computer animation.
Time Inversion plays a key role. Although I’m not a physics teacher, but the way Time Inversion is depicted, reminds me of the video game, “The Prince Of Persia” when the main character uses a dagger to reverse time a few seconds if he accidentally made a boo boo.
Story involves JD as a secret agent tasked to prevent World War III from happening. I never got bored with the premise. I’ll plan on rewatching it to figure what I missed.
Although he never screened any movies to The Cast & Crew for preparation, Chris mentioned the classic western “Once Upon A Time In The West” as a primary influence to Tenet. The film was also an influence to HBO’s “Westworld.”
Brad Dourif’s real life daughter Fiona, factors in helping JD’s character.
Remember that plane crash depicted in one of the trailers? It reminds me of that plane crash scene from “Face/Off.” By the way, this was done using an actual plane, not C.G.I. Again, Chris dislikes computer animation.
Without giving too much away, a Plot Twist (courtesy of Mr. Nolan) is revealed towards the end of the film. A better twist than M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass.” Too bad it was a lackluster disappointment.
Travis Scott (yep Kylie Jenner’s ex) wrote a song titled “The Plan.” It’s heard during the end credits. At least he didn’t interject SpongeBob’s “Sweet Victory” at The Super Bowl. If Cardi & Megan Thee Stallion collaborated together for the film, I would’ve boycott them and this movie. I’m happy this never became a reality.
Backward: The film can be very difficult to get certain aspects of the mythology surrounding time inversion. If I were you, make sure to pay close attention without turning your brain off. Trust me, Chris’ movies can be a pain in the butt when it comes to a thought provoking mystery.
If you have sensitive ears, the sound is pretty loud. Maybe it’s because I haven’t went to a theater since March. I managed to endure loudness like going to a Metallica concert.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
As a mega fan of Christopher Nolan, he nailed it outta the park yet again. Some of the positive things I’ve listed, indicates Mr. Nolan hasn’t ran outta gas. He’s still pushing his creativity forward with brilliant ideas to make them a reality. If you have no plans whatsoever, I strongly recommend it. If you felt kinda lost upon first viewing, a rewatch is suggested to get what’s going on the first place.
Mr. Nolan if you’re reading this article? I just want to say bravo and thank you for keeping movie theaters alive during the pandemic. I appreciate your passion for cinema. I wish you and your friends and family to stay safe. Don’t be mad about Anne Hathaway’s claim you ban chairs on set. She was just trying to cheer you up by giving you a chuckle. You know how friends can be a joke whenever a setback puts anybody on halt. Anyway, as a lifelong fan of your work, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for your possible 12th film.
Sincerely, Nick Kohler/Nick The Movie Critic