Tenet

Tenet

A while back I said I would write of Tenet, and didn't - in large part for the selfsame reasons that John C Wright points out in the beginning of his multi-part review of the movie, that to say almost anything of it is to spoil it. I generally don't believe in spoilers, and the movie holds up to multiple viewings, but I also want to maximize how much of it is caught fresh the first time, so I'll try to stick with what is obvious, or at least strongly implied, by the trailer.

It starts as a spy thriller - and things get weird from there.

From the trailer, there are several dead giveaways that something is off - ships moving backwards as if in rewind, cars un-crashing, and a comment that bullet holes in plexiglass are from a fight that hasn't happened yet.

Yes, Nolan is playing games with time again. Masterfully.  The nature of these games is given away in the title, TENET. It is not only a palindrome that reads the same backwards and forward, but part of one of the more famous ones.

As Wright points out, there are a few inherent weaknesses to any time travel story. Nolan avoids them, even if at times by redirecting your attention, and manages to tell a story with faith, loyalty, heroism, friendship, and sacrifice.

At the same time, I got a chuckle out of the fact that our protagonist is just that - the protagonist. No other name.

It's not Interstellar, or Dunkirk, but it's also better than much of his other work, with characters you can root for far more than the broken man in Memento, or the con man of Inception.

About Last Redoubt