Tenet review round-up: Christopher Nolan’s tentpole ‘dazzles’ but ‘does not move the heart’

Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated directorial rates Tenet with just two stars and criticised Pattinson’s character as “some bloke who’s got drunk in Banana Republic’s scarf department.” Shoard commends the action sequences of the film, she notes “You exit the cinema a little less energised than you were going in.” She further writes that “for all the nifty bits of reverse chronology, there’s little that lingers in the imagination in the same way as Inception or even Interstellar’s showcase bendy business.”

Anna Smith of Deadline also gives Tenet a not-so-favourable review, writing that the film will be favoured mostly by passionate Nolan fans. She lauds Washington and Pattinson’s performances: “His everyman quality serves him well, and he’s as good in the fast-paced action scenes as he is bonding with Pattinson’s Neil, who brings a light, genteel touch: These two could both compete to play rather different James Bonds.”

She concludes, “It may be hard to find Tenet’s dense sci-fi concept truly exciting on first viewing—frankly, there is so much else going on demanding your attention. But it is easy to sit back and revel in the wonder of the big-screen experience, and to immediately want to see the film again. And again. Those who love the challenge set by a complex audio visual puzzle will be well served—and with little else major to compete at the box office, time is on their side.”

New York Times’ critic Jessica Kiang says that Tenet “dazzles” but “does not move the heart.” “Seek it out, if only to marvel at the entertainingly inane glory of what we once had and are in danger of never having again. Well, that and the suits,” she states.

Adam Woodward for Little White Lies says that the basic storyline and structure of the film are “straightforward”. He notes, “If Nolan has out-Nolaned himself, it’s in the action set-pieces which, despite being of head-scrambling technical intricacy, are sharper than Occam’s razor and carried off with astonishing economy. He may be stuck in a thematic loop, but Nolan continues to push the craft of in-camera special effects forward, once again engineering immersive, seat-shaking spectacle in crisp 70mm widescreen.”

 




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