Tenet – A Two and a Half Hour Migraine

By: Corey Lack

So, yesterday, I went to the theaters for the first time in months and let me say, that alone was a unique experience. Between picking up an order made over the phone at one of the snack booths, the theater being practically empty despite it being 2 in the afternoon, and having to wear a mask at all times unless I’m eating or drinking, this was all very different for me, a normally frequent guest to my local theater. However, let’s talk about the whole purpose of my visit to the theater: the movie Tenet. So, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Tenet is about a CIA operative stumbling upon a secret “temporal cold war.” This operative, played by John David Washington and who is known only as “The Protagonist,” seeks to prevent the world being destroyed by a mysterious force from the future.

So, in regards to the plot, well, it’s…complicated to say the least. As I was going through the story, I had trouble following along with what was going on and to be honest there were times that it seemed like my head was going to explode trying to follow it. The concept of time paradoxes are heavily involved in this movie and those are always tricky to follow. For the first half, the story works like a spy thriller with the Protagonist trying to find the source of “inverted” bullets, which are bullets that travel backwards in time, but as we follow him further down the rabbit hole, the movie gets more complicated, especially with the introduction of inverted people. Even the big twist at the end, which I called about halfway through the movie, made less of an impact because I was still trying to figure out portions of the plot. In fact, this may be the most complicated movie I’ve ever watched.

The fight scenes were pretty good and they were certainly exciting and well produced, even if it was hard to keep track as to why they were fighting. It was clear that a lot of work went into making this movie, especially in the scenes where the inverted and the normal are on-screen at the same time.

I wish I could tell you that they were good at acting the parts, but I can’t. I can’t say they were bad either. There just wasn’t enough of it for me to make a real decision. The fact is that there were multiple times where I could just not hear what the characters were saying. I’m not sure if this was due to the theater’s speakers or if the movie itself had volume issues. Maybe I’d have a different opinion if I could turn on closed captions or something, but I couldn’t, so I don’t.

Tenet had all the makings of a big name movie, but with its volume issues and extremely complicated plot, it just wasn’t as good to me. I’d give it 6.5 caught bullets out of 10.

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