After endless delays and continuous doubt over it being released this side of Christmas, Christopher Nolan’s latest sci-fi juggernaut Tenet is finally here, and boy, was it worth the wait.
Star of BlacKkKlansman (and son of Denzel) John David Washington is fantastic as the unnamed Protagonist. He plays a CIA agent who finds himself caught in a world of ruthless arms dealers, hitmen and assorted criminals as he navigates a complex time-bending plot against humanity.
In order to halt the start of World War 3, our hero teams up with the enigmatic CIA operative Neil – Twilight’s Robert Pattinson in his best role yet – and Kat (Elizabeth Debicki), the ex-wife of criminal mastermind Andrei Sator (played by Kenneth Branagh).
Nolan mixes classic spy tropes and clever modern sci-fi to give us a handsomely made film packed with twists, turns and stunning action set-pieces. Those familiar with his other complicated narratives like Inception or even Interstellar will be relieved to know that Tenet is in the same vein. While the plot here might require more concentration, there is still much to enjoy even if you find yourself baffled by the highly complex premise.
Composer Ludwig Göransson, who has taken the place of Nolan’s longtime musical collaborator Hans Zimmer, provides an oddly, but appropriately Zimmeresque score.
Meanwhile, Dibecki and Washington both perform magnificently, she as the femme fatale willing to do anything to be free again and he as the man who hold humanity’s fate in his hands. For me, however, it’s Pattinson who truly nails it as Neil, impressive and beautifully measured.
Tenet plays around with ideas of space and time, but at its heart is an oddly traditional spy thriller. The result is admittedly uneven, but by far Nolan’s most ambitious film yet. Just don’t think too much about it and enjoy the ride.
This review was first published in The Daily Mirror on 28/09/20