"We heard you like Christopher Nolan movies so we put a Christopher Nolan movie inside your Christopher Nolan movie inside your ..." Tenet is Nolan's Inland Empire, the sort of sublime, idiosyncratic misfire only possible when a large-brained "auteur" is operating at maximum power and minimum oversight. Obviously incomprehensible and spectacular, the fight scenes are the best Nolan has ever conceived, but so are the exposition dumps, delivered by not characters but information nodes whose sole function is logistical. Literally: we’re talking shipping containers full of information. It's not the first movie to treat plot as something optional but the first I know of to do so by foregrounding the plot at the expense of all else, such that Narrative becomes an ambient miasma through which the action scenes must cut. One of the many things the movie has in common with recent Hideo Kojima games is that it somehow feels both way too long and rushed. What does it all add up to? Nolan tries to back into some dad-core climate anxiety, but this almost feels disingenuous. In a movie about Protagonist versus Antagonist, your only purpose is Audience.
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