Tenet 4/10 tedious macho BS


Tenet was my first cinema visit since ‘onward’ back in March. I wish I’d stayed home.

If you want guns, violence, explosions, and sub-Bond macho bullshit then this is the film for you. It even has Kenneth Branagh playing a cookie-cutter Russian oligarch villain intent on destroying the world.

‘Temporal pincer manoeuvre’ is a phrase you might hear at least as often as ‘tenet’ in the movie. Just a reminder that this is a high-concept thriller where ‘you need to think beyond 3 dimensions’. Nah, it is a trite mashup of familiar ideas thrown into a blender and poured onto the screen pretending to be a Jackson pollock.

At one point such a ‘temporal pincer manoeuvre’ has a 10 minute countdown to its explosive conclusion. If time for the characters runs at the speed it seemed to for me as a viewer then that might be the longest 10 minutes of their lives. They will welcome the end.

The airport heist is perhaps one of the neatest scenes. Though it does go on a bit in its preparation, execution, and repetition. Some of its staging couldn’t be less obvious if there’d been neon signs pointing out the future ‘twist’. If you’ve never seen a movie or TV thriller before then prepare for a surprise.

The car chase heist is perhaps the most tedious action piece. It all seemed very familiar. Almost a shame that the flow of time here prevented characters from making Matrix-like exclamations of “déjà vu”.

It’s not without merit. It is an action movie. And an action-packed one. But for all that it lacks so much. Things like convincing dialog, credible characters, any real sense of purpose, or just something more than a weak premise and characters backed up by guns, explosions, violence, and more macho BS.

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