Cinema Saturday, 12/18/21

Tenet

Year: 2020
Runtime: 2h 30m
Rated: PG-13

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Christopher Nolan

Stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki

Initial: Christopher Nolan is kind of hit or miss for me. I appreciate the ambition of his projects, but (hot take) I don’t think he’s actually a very good director, especially of action. Hence, I like Memento (2000) and The Prestige (2006) and think Inception (2010) is half of a good movie, but I’m not at all a fan of the Batman movies. Which means, my initial thoughts about this movie were mixed.

Production Notes: I’m kind of sad that this movie got hosed by the pandemic. Much of the narrative around the film’s release was more about the film being released in theaters in the summer of 2020 (which was hilariously optimistic) than the film’s actual quality. And it would have been a much bigger film, I think, with a pre-pandemic release. I was planning on seeing more movies in theaters in 2020, pre-pandemic; Tenet would have been one of them.

What Did I Think:
I liked Tenet, probably more than I like Inception.

Many of the things that got criticism are things I actually liked. I really dug John David Washington’s character being “the Protagonist.” I mean, I’m a Doctor Who fan so I’m good with heroes with no names. I’m also fine with a lot of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff. Yes, the characters wear a lot of masks that make them (very occasionally) difficult to understand; that’s how the characters have to be sometimes. I’m also good with the escalating grandeur of set pieces. Many reviews went down the road of “Well, if you can do X, why not Z instead of Y?” but that’s kind of like arguing with any plot. The plot Nolan gives us is just fine.

Also, I really wouldn’t be mad if John David Washington were the next 007. Just saying.

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