Review: Tenet offers confusing, action-packed entertainment

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Originally aiming for a June release, the film was postponed to September

The first tentpole film since March doesn’t disappoint

‘Tenet’ has had quite the long road to release. Writer/Director Christopher Nolan went right to work after his 2017 effort ‘Dunkirk’. Over those three years, Nolan’s mysterious “event film” raised more questions than answers regarding the cast, genre, and even the film’s general plot. One of the aspects most shrouded in mystery aside from the film’s story was that of the official release date.

With COVID-19 racing across the globe throughout the majority of this year, theater analysts didn’t even have a clue as to when our communities would finally be safe enough for this film to see the light of day. After quite the journey, the film is finally here, and it doesn’t let audiences down.

It’s not until after seeing this film that audiences understand why the film remains covered in a veil of mystery. Whether it be the various plot twists and turns in typical “Nolan fashion,” the inability to explain the depth of the plot or the simple confusion the audience faces no matter the attention paid, it’s challenging to give away this film to anyone.

Filmed across seven countries with less visual effects than the average romantic comedy, it’s considered one of the director’s most ambitious feats yet. From a film standpoint, the crew did not disappoint. Nolan chose his roles wisely for the film, with Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh delivering impressive roles that are sure to be remembered come awards season.

Along with the stunning performances, the film’s score is another key component of this success. With Hans Zimmer (frequent Nolan collaborator on most of his films) turning down the offer to score the upcoming film Dune, Nolan had to bring in fresh blood.

Swedish producer Ludwig Göransson, who’s previous work includes The Mandalorian, Creed, and Black Panther has brought a new sound to Nolan’s films that are both experimental and loud (in the best way possible). A musical backdrop to an action film of this nature is yet another reason to see this film in the largest auditorium possible.

While the film doubles down on story and overall “Nolan” confusion, it tends to lack both heart and emotion that some of his recent films, such as 2014’s Interstellar. While it’s harder to connect to the main character who’s simply known as “The Protagonist,” audiences are still used to having an emotional connection to a character to root for them. The film isn’t cold-hearted, per se, as Pattinson’s ‘Neil’ brings a certain charm to the screen. It simply lacks the motive to root for “the good guys.”

With all of the hurdles in the film’s production and release finally overcame, it seems to have been a success. With a $205 million budget, the film made $100 million internationally in its first week alone. Furthermore, reports have broken that people are crossing state lines to see the film in areas where theaters are open.

With a convoluted story and lack of depth in some areas, the film still manages to throw as much action at the viewer as possible. While it may not be Nolan’s best work to date, it’s a satisfying and refreshing return to cinema on the silver screen.

Review: 4/5

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