Film Review – Tenet (2020, Second Opinion)

A film by Christopher Nolan is not just a movie it is an extraordinary event, it also generally means secrecy and from conception to release, thankfully not a lot of details made themselves known.

So, rest assured, at the time of writing this I’ve seen it twice but will not reveal spoilers.

Unlikely to be the movie to save cinema, hopefully my endeavour to you when reading on will only enhance your enthusiasm.

Pay close attention and be rewarded.

Uniquely riveting from start to finish, a spy movie like no other.


Outrageous action sequences within a tangled plot line not easy to follow.

Following the adventures of a man with no name (John David Washington) recruited into what we are told a new ‘Cold War’, ice cold!

From a crash course of inverted weapons by a thoughtful instructor (Clemence Poesy) to airport freehold heists and diversions with his dashing wingman in Mumbai (Robert Pattinson) it’s all happening.

Viewers mind may go into turnaround with the characters on screen, sound mixing is amazing in car chases, helicopter drops and many explosions, although dialogue at times mumbled. This may be intentional?

Kenneth Branagh rarely plays a villain, he’s progressively evil here, tall drink of water Australian Elizabeth Debicki, solid alongside a dedicated all-round cast.

Special mention to fantastic Fiona Dourif and Sir Michael Caine in limited screen time.

As one would expect the score is thunderous.

Pushed to the limit practical stunts are cinematic splendour, then there are reverse action sequences, paradoxes or as explained by military grunt, Ives (Aaron Taylor Johnson of Nocturnal Animals, an unsurpassed role he was robbed an Academy Award of) temporal pincer movements.

These preposterous sequences glimpsed in the trailer are only the beginning to keep one’s eyeballs in rapid movement.

Nolan has high ambitions and no limits since given the keys to Warner Bros studios after his triumphant Batman trilogy, Dunkirk and of course, Inception, a kind of companion predecessor of, Tenet.

Not perfect, at just under three hours it seemed chunks were edited out. Leaving a little exhausted will be mandatory, confusion even, never the less open for discussion, I really enjoyed this movie.

★★★1/2 | Shane A.Bassett

Sci-fi, action, | UK, 2020 | 12A | 26th August 2020 (UK) |  Warner Bros Pictures  | Dir.Christopher Nolan | John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh