Writer/Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh
Christopher Nolan has always had this air of pretentiousness about him as a director. By that I mean that he makes movies that don’t spell things out to audiences and he makes no apologies about it. Either you are smart enough to “get it” or you’re a dumb fuck who has to play catch up with the rest of the smarties. I mean, all his movies are like this. Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), hell, even his take on Batman had that air of smarty pants about it. Me? I always found his movies wanting to appear smart, but truthfully just hiding behind a lot of meaningless dialog disguised as intelligence. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m not a Nolan fan. His movies feel like a giant asshole of a film snob made them, you know the kind that won’t talk to you because you don’t know who Jodorowsky or Kubrick is? You don’t deserve to “get it” if you’re not on his level, if your're not in ‘the know’.
That’s how Tenet feels. It’s as if Nolan said I’m gonna brush up on my time travel and quantum physics and then I’m going to make everyone feel like an idiot for not getting it. This is his most pretentious one yet folks! His attempts at getting us to understand what the hell is going on in the film are feeble. I mean, how do you know this is a convoluted film? When a scientist whips out a white board to explain something to us that’s how. Last time I saw that was in Back to the Future II (1989), when Doc Brown attempts to explain alternate timelines. Tenet feels like this one time I took a university class, but the professor was a shitty professor who didn’t care if you understood what he was teaching or not. I remember raising my hand an asking “this is an introductory class?” I mean, I could attempt to explain to you what this three hour movie was about, but I tell ya, for most of its running time I had a sand grain of an idea of what this movie was about!
And I get it when directors don’t want to spell things out. It’s supposed to be a good thing. Because it means the filmmakers aren’t taking us for granted. I can accept this to a degree, but come on, any filmmaker must understand that you have to explain things in an understandable fashion to your audience so they can come along for the ride. So they can buy into your logic. This can be done without spoon feeding your audience. But Nolan’s way is no explanations given. About half way through you’ll be saying “dear god, I better start getting it soon because its been two freaking hours already!” Now here’s the deal with Tenet, even though I was frustrated as hell and I just wanted for everyone to stop talking all this white noise bullcrap, I stayed glued to it till the end. I didn’t get up and walk out, though the idea did pass through my mind. Did I get what the movie was about when it reached its end? Well, sort of. It was about girls right? Kidding.