Tenet Film Review

Hunter Horan

Tenet, the new film from visionary director Christopher Nolan, is the perfect date-night movie if you want to leave your date deaf and confused.

While most new movies are now being released straight to on demand, this is the first big blockbuster to be released in theaters since the pandemic hit. While successful by pandemic-film-going standards, it is not making the big bucks usually expected for movies like this. The person I saw this with and I were not only the sole pair in the screening room, but the only two attendees in the entire theater itself. The jury remains out on when theaters will lure massive audiences to return.

What is certain is the technical mastery of this film. Every shot feels genuine and real because of how almost every part of this film is done practically instead of using computer effects. The action scenes are incredibly entertaining and unique, with the film using time in these scenes in ways never done before. While most people will be entertained by the spectacle of Tenet, the number of people able to follow along with its plot is up in the air. This is not an easy-going experience where the viewer can turn their brain off. This film demands the viewer’s attention and moves fast with plot developments while showing complicated ideas at the same time.

This movie being difficult to follow is partially due to how complex it is, but it is also due to the film’s sound design. Tenet‘s score is great and epic (and contains a pretty neat Travis Scott banger), but is so loud that the viewer can barely hear what the characters are saying. While I was able to grasp this film’s ideas about time and reversing entropy, I still don’t know why certain characters went to certain locations. The gunshots and explosions in this movie are also very loud, sounding borderline realistic (probably not the best movie to bring grandma to). Watching this in a drive-in would probably be rough with the lower quality car audio making it harder to hear what the characters are talking about. Watching this with subtitles with a high quality sound system would be the best viewing experience possible in my opinion.

Even with these gripes, Tenet is incredibly unique and stands apart from all of the current superhero action movies. The filmmaking mastery, action scenes, and awe-inspiring ideas make this by far the best movie I’ve seen so far this year (granted it is one of the only movies to come out this year).