Tenet Review

Salvador Zamora, Entertainment Editor

2020 brought many surprises in the entertainment industry, pretty much everything got delayed. However, one major budget film was dropped in the late summer/early fall of the year. If no one knows what that film is, well it is Tenet, and I believe it’s pretty obvious not everyone has seen it. 

Tenet is a 2020 action/sci-fi film directed by Christopher Nolan who is known for his mind-bending features such as Inception and Interstellar. 

So that pretty much concludes what type of story you’re in for, something that will essentially take more than one viewing to understand yet one complete view to admire. However the film doesn’t start out with admiration, instead, it struggles with set up and introduction to characters. Not to mention that there seems to be so much exposition throughout when visuals seem to actually capture the storytelling better. Although some explanation can work, most of the time it bogs down the excitement and realization that comes from the visual set pieces that honestly the movie along with the action stands upon. 

But that’s just putting it lightly because the sound mixing in the film kind of takes away from the actor’s performance and action scenes as dialogue and the focus on conflict become distracting. Whether Nolan intended that or not could be debated but it takes away from an average experience. 

In other scenes and essentially throughout the film, John David Washington’s Protagonist and Robert Pattison’s Neil carry the film with their strange yet investing relationship. I wish the same could be said about Elizabeth Debicki who’s character “Kat” felt like a subplot upon the first viewing but seeing the film again actually surprised me that I found her storyline pretty interesting but the same cannot be said about her husband; the villain of the movie. Although Kenneth Branagh plays his role perfectly as ‘’Saturday’’ the audience doesn’t really care for him and that’s why, to put it simply, he sucks.  

It sounds like there is barely anything concretely “nice” to say about Tenet but that’s the reality of the film. Overall, I would say it was an enjoyable experience despite the messy and over-complicated plot work in the first half. The score by Ludwig Goransson was a highlight when sounded properly in the film. The second half of the film is good, and the action sequences and cinematography similar to the airport scene, in the beginning, is actually top-notch. However, that doesn’t stop the film from being bogged down by the horrible sound mixing, the overload of exposition, and the mediocre basic villain.  

In the end, I did have fun with Tenet, trying not to think too hard about the movie; after a few watches (movie clips) I’ve come to understand the potential and appreciate the effort, this film attempted to produce. It’s not the Oscar-worthy standard Nolan has put out before but it sure is heavily decent. Tenet is available to rent/stream for six dollars on YouTube, Vudu, Google Play Movies & TV, and Amazon Prime Video. It should be streamed as many times as possible as it is worth the rent price tag for a sadly decent action/sci-fi film. To buy Tenet, that price is too high (around twenty dollars) for first-time viewers. As always there are different views towards a film but,  given all its problems, I wouldn’t put it past the rent price; Tenet is rated PG-13.