Christopher Nolan's TENET (2020)

His fans want to watch the movie a few times to absorb everything. Someone has to make that kind of movie for them.

But that end battle, I still do not like. The city and the desert around it is flat and featureless. The enemy soldiers are mostly invisible inside the buildings, and the good guys are walking everywhere and wearing helmets so they look the same. You have little idea where the fight is happening in the city or how well it’s being defended. There are almost no heroic actions, nor heroic words, and also almost no deaths or injuries from the good guys. It actually makes me feel almost claustrophobic watching it, like in a dream where things aren’t responding the way they should. It was a relief when the scene was reduced by the mine shaft, because then we got heroics, deaths and dialogue, and still had cool time inversion mechanics.

In a different movie, a more accessible, and very interesting, battle might have had teams wading through the city over a much longer period of time (hours, say), with more identifiable objectives and time for the forwards and backwards teams to both discuss and plan around them, and more time to portray setbacks and heroic improvisation. I’d watch that 90 minute streaming original.

I loved the movie, but Nolan is really, really bad at largescale battles for some reason. It was the same thing in Inception when they invade the complex in the snow. I had no idea what the heck was going on. And of course, anything with emotion – he just can’t not f*** it up.

I have to agree with that, while Inception blew my mind in a number of good ways, I do remember the rando White Suit Fighters sequence to be pretty awful. It felt like a Roger Moore Bond opener.

The Roger Moore Bonds were way better than the horrible scenes in Inception. I knew exactly what was happening in each scene in a Bond movie. I had no clue what the random snow fights were in Inception.

The funny part was listening to Nolan on the commentary track during that sequence. Instead of being embarrassed at how confusing it was, he was really proud of the fact that he did those himself with his brother instead of handing it off to a second unit director like most directors would have done.

I didn’t think there was a comment track on Inception… do you have a link?

Maybe it was a making of featurette? It’s been a while.

Ah, no worries. Got my hopes up there!

That would make a lot of sense. I guess he’s blind to these aspects and therefore falsely believes his brother can do them justice (which he obviously cannot).

not sure about that. There was a lot of human drama and emotion in Dunkirk, really strong scenes. Scenes between Rylance and the boy, the scenes with Cillian Murphy. Or scenes without words between the french and english soldier… He can do it, if he wants or needs it. Also some pretty strong emotional scenes in Prestige.

But not in Tenet. Maybe he did not want to dillute his film with human drama…

I thought the scenes between Debicki and Branagh landed pretty well.

Yeah good examples. I guess I’m thinking mostly of the godawful speech about love from Interstellar.

That’s because within the conceit of the movie you can’t kill anybody on an inverted timeline than yours. Which makes a lot of the stuff stupid, shooting can, at most, resurrect the enemy for your POV (tbh you can injure people and take them out temporarily, but still, by shooting you’d be healing them).

You just shot me with a nice time travel mechanics headache feeling that took me right back to 2020.

I thought you could shoot people with inverted bullets (or inverted people with regular bullets) and the “radiation” made the wounds worse. That happened to Debicki’s character. Plus there were both regular and inverted enemy soldiers at the battle so both teams could shoot someone going the same direction. Not that they let you keep track of any of those or showed a second of red/blue prioritizing one kind of troop or coordinating other than the building at five minutes.

Basically, shooting somebody in the opossite direction will “heal” them in their own direction, so it makes no practical sense to do so. In general interaction between the two directions makes little practical sense in the setting.

My wife and daughter had a confusing argument tonight about watching Tenet. Turned out my wife was thinking of Rent.

🎶setunim 006,525

I just watched this and enjoyed it, for the most part, though the end battle was incomprehensible. It occurred to me 1/2 way through that it would have been better as a TV shown with 10 episodes or so.




I saw it in a movie theater when it first came out, and the mix was a lot better. I guess Nolan only gives a damn about the theater experience.

A friend saw it and said he couldn’t understand half the conversations. And it was probably only at that point because of test audiences. I read that Bane was basically impossible to understand by test audiences for Nolan’s last Batman movie.

Going by audio only, Bane was easier to understand than the principals in Tenet. If he was hard to understand, the masked mouth and perhaps accent must’ve contributed.