This was clearly made for Nolan fans, through and through, they will love every single minute of it and it’s also his best movie since “Inception.” It’s akin to Scorsese going back to mob movies or John Ford making another Western. A sort of back-to-the-basics approach for Nolan after making “Dunkirk.” There are so many twists and turns in “Tenet,” it has a puzzle-like nature to its story and the weight of the action scenes is enormous. The 150 minutes just flew. Quite honestly, I still don’t fully grasp a few things within the story, a second viewing will help clear a few things up but it’s very much a time-travel movie done in the most deliberately complicated of ways. If Inception was about dreaming, then “Tenet” is about reversing time and righting the wrongs of the past. The locations are also stunning, this was shot on-location in many countries. This will probably make a boatload of money because it gives Nolan fans exactly what they want and the final scene does bring the need for multiple viewings.
“Contrary to mainstream moviegoers, I am not an unabashed fan of Nolan’s movies. For example, I find his best work was actually “Dunkirk,” in that movie he tried to abstain from giving us his usual puzzle and just made this masterfully technical and minimalist vision of WWII. Other films of his I like are “Memento,” “Insomnia,” “The Prestige” and “The Dark Knight (up until the final 20 minutes). No, I don’t particularly love “Interstellar” and “Inception,” they felt like forced visions to me, as if he was trying to show off, purposely confusing us in the process, rather than just telling his story in coherent fashion. I also never thought he was that great at shooting action, he doesn't like lingering on a shot for too long, always cutting from shot-to-shot. Regardless, “Tenet” is not “Dunkirk,” but we already knew that would be the case, it is, however, far better than “Inception” and “Interstellar” because a) there isn’t as much exposition b) the actors actually act, especially a stellar John David Washington, I also loved Elizabeth Debicki’s role, Robert Pattinson is the cool and calm demeaned fella ala DiCaprio in Inception c) the reverse-engineering plot device is actually not that complicated, you can actually follow this movie and not get too lost. Yes, much like some of his other movies, “Tenet” plays a lot with time and fate, but it does so in refreshingly concise ways. The action scenes are also flat-out great, It feel like Nolan has learned a lot from his experience in “Dunkirk,” he’s now much more confident in the way he stages his action, there’s barely any overreaching, it all feels very effortless.