Here we are then, my first visit to the cinema since before lockdown. And what better movie to blow the cobwebs away than Christopher Nolan’s latest epic – TENET? Nolan is famous for his dislike of green-screen and CGI, so we were looking forward not only to the story, but the ‘set pieces’ too. Apparently, it’s more like Nolan’s Inception than his recent Dunkirk.
Short and sweet! A secret agent must manipulate time in order to prevent World War III.
It’s written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and Dunkirk) who produced it with Emma Thomas. A co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, it stars John David Washington, Robert Patti
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ives
Andrew Howard as Stephen
Clémence Poésy as Barbara
Dimple Kapadia as Priya
Elizabeth Debicki as Kat
Fiona Dourif as Wheeler
Himesh Patel as Mahir
John David Washington as The Protagonist
Kenneth Branagh as Andrei Sator
Martin Donovan as Victor
Michael Caine as Michael Crosby
Robert Pattinson as Neil
Wes Chatham as Sammy
Jo, Janet and I set off for Cineworld at Rushden Lakes for the socially-distanced 7pm performance – the IMAX version of course! 👍 (What? You’ve never seen a film on an IMAX screen? – more details HERE).
All the hype about this movie suggested a brain-scrambling plot involving time-travel, and that’s all we knew. The cinema-screen was about a third full and everyone seemed to be observing the wearing of masks (until the lights went down because obviously, COVID can’t travel when it can’t see! 🙄). After sitting through what seemed like a million cycles of Cineworld’s ‘unlimited’ advert, the main event finally began – that massive IMAX screen looked fantastic but the centre (voice) channel was a bit muffled.
How Was It?
In true Director style, Christopher Nolan’s cinematography was epic featuring scenes that made the most of the big-screen. If our hero (‘The Protaganist’) doesn’t win an Oscar for his performance then he’ll surely win the ‘Most Perfectly Manicured Beard’ award! 😁.
Nolan has a habit of always casting Michael Caine in his movies, but in this outing, his part was small – albeit significant. Kenneth Branagh was the baddest (and nastiest) bad-guy I’ve seen in a while.
Why crash a jumbo-jet using the latest post-production SFX when you can use the real thing – and with car-chases a staple of many films of this genre, to stand out from the crowd, Nolan does the same – but films much of it backwards??! 😮 Standout moments for me were the ambushing of the security vehicle involving a perfectly choreographed 10-minutes of multi-vehicle manoeuvering – remember, no CGI here, just good ol’ fashioned planning and precision, perfectly executed.
TENET was one of those movies that demanded that you pay attention. A quick visit to the loo could spell a disaster in that every minute was relevent to the story.
With the actress and the bishop on standby, apart from Michael Caine’s ‘small part’, it was a really long one (ooo err!), coming in at a whopping 2 hours and 30 minutes!
Overall then? Well, I guess this film might be looked back on in years-to-come as either a masterpiece or a complete dud. For us three, and me in particular, it felt like the latter – a totally incomprehensive mess, clever in concept, but completely confusing with a plot that demanded a very large brain and 199% attention! The poor sound quality of the narrative channel didn’t help things either.
If you’re looking for a Saturday-night-style blockbuster, this IS it, but if you want a coherent plot with a beginning, middle and end – this ISN’T!
In short, BIG and BAFFLING and totally BANANAS! 🤔🤔🤔