Tenet (2020)

Throughout the story we follow a man who we call ‘The Protagonist’ (John David Washington), an ex-CIA agent. After an undercover mission turns into chaos, our leading survivor is invited to join a top-secret group known as Tenet. While working for Tenet, it is up to The Protagonist to save the entire world and make brand new discoveries surrounding time. Thankfully, our hero is not alone, and he is joined by Neil (Robert Pattinson), who is equipped with a unique skill set and knowledge.

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I have done my best to keep the plot details vague. For two reasons, I am keen to keep this film’s plot secretive, plus it is also not easy to write the film’s story on paper.  I cannot deny Tenet has lots going on from the very first opening scene. For most of the movie’s opening, not a lot makes a great deal of sense. Tenet requires its viewers to be patient when it comes to the plot. Many elements are not spoon-fed to the audience, or easy to understand, especially during the first and initial viewing. While the story may seem tricky at first, I cannot deny how much I still enjoyed it. Even if every single element does not make sense, I feel like there is enough here regarding the plot that I had a solid understanding of the film’s journey. The film introduces several mysteries, and while most of these twists are pleasing, I was able to pick what some of these reveals were. While watching this film, I was also reminded of another movie from 2006 (the title which I will not state in this review), which also had similar reveals and twists.  This similarity was a slight disappointment.

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Visually, Tenet is an absolute stunner. Once again, director Christopher Nolan delivers a film loaded with many sequences that are guaranteed to leave its audiences speechless and surprised. Like the plot, even when an element does not make sense in the moment, it is still incredibly pleasing to view.

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As for the audio, the dialogue between characters at times is very rushed.  This isn’t necessarily because of the way our characters are talking to each other, but because of the way the film has been edited. This film requires zero distraction when watching as the plot moves so quickly.  There was at least one scene that moved so fast I felt slightly confused by the end of it. The audio track is something I have heard many discuss (and complain about). It is no secret that the film’s centre track containing lots of dialogue is quieter than the other audio aspects of the film. I was surprised when witnessing the opening scene to find how loud the music and sound effects were, and that the spoken word was so much quieter than the rest of the audio. Granted, there are moments where characters are wearing a mask or located in a noisy situation, but I do feel the director has created this audio experience for a reason. I had the honour of viewing this film for the first time on the 4K disc with good quality home cinema setup.  That being said, there was still one scene which I did re-watch again without subtitles, and no matter what I did, I could not understand what was being said. It is an unusual choice from the director and it is a deliberate decision unlike anything I’ve experienced in film before. I also will state that I did feel the vocal track improving as the film moved along. This could be because of the way the director released the film, or it could be something that I got used to and simply thought the audio had improved over time.  I honestly do not know.

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Character performances are quite pleasing even though most of them are given little back story. Another positive element which I loved was the film’s soundtrack. The soundtrack is powerful and at times even felt slightly quirky. The soundtrack, like the plot, is something I would suggest viewers pay attention to as it plays a critical part in this film, particularly when it comes to added elements of mystery.  Like most of this film, the soundtrack provides a fun and creative experience, again, unlike anything I have heard before. I also found myself playing the soundtrack at least twice the next day after viewing this film, and I have found it to be a current favourite of mine.

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Overall, Tenet is a stunning film. Visually this film is flawless as it provides some new and creative action sequences unlike anything I’ve witnessed in cinema.  Director Christopher Nolan has made many new and unique choices in this film which will either please or disappoint movie lovers. The plot is undoubtedly complex and heavy. Opinions and thoughts will differ even after a second or third viewing. The film’s soundtrack is outstanding and currently one of my favourites. In the end, can I explain and confidently understand everything I saw in this film upon my first viewing? The honest answer from me is no.  But the film has stayed with me, and I found myself processing a lot of details.  No matter, I did still enjoy this film a fair bit, and the overall experience here is fantastic.

8.7/10

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Review Written by Peter Walkden

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The film follows nine best friends who come together to celebrate a five-year high school reunion. The entire group are out camping at night in a forest, allowing us to witness the nine interacting with each other. While the group is having a good time chatting,...

A Violent Separation (2019)

Set in 1983 in a slow and quiet town, the film follows a deputy named Norman Young (Brenton Thwaites). Norman is known as a good man and a good deputy within his local community. On the other hand, his brother, Ray (Ben Robson), is known for general mischief and is...

The Furnace (2020)

Hanif (Ahmed Malek) is an Afghan cameleer who has desires to leave the Australian outback. At the start of the film, we witness a horrific moment in Hanif's life that makes him fed up with his current ways, including his beliefs regarding religion. This tragic moment...

Twist (2021)

Twist (2021) - Movie Review 27th April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden Based on the well-known novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, here we have a new modern style on the classic tale.  The film introduces us to Oliver Twist (or Twist for short), who grows...

Who is Gatsby Randolph? (2019)

This is not based on a true story; this is a true story. The film introduces us to the legendary Gatsby Randolph through interviews by William Geoffrey, host of the TV show Lifestyles of the Elite & Famous.  William is invited into Gatsby's stunning home not...

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat (2021) - Movie Review 22nd April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden Mortal Kombat (2021) follows Cole (Lewis Tan), an MMA fighter who tries to earn cash by putting on a good show in the ring.  He also fights to make money for his partner and young...

Land (2021)

Land (2021) - Movie Review 21st April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden Edee (Robin Wright) is dealing with a significant personal tragedy in the present day. Her sister encourages her to get counselling, which she tries, but nothing helps Edee's wounds and current...

The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (2021) - Movie Review 21st April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden The United States Vs Billie Holiday follows the career of the talented jazz singer Billie Holiday.  We witness many highlights from Billie's life, including...

Six Minutes to Midnight (2020)

Based on actual events from the year 1939 and a couple of weeks before WWII begins. A strange event occurs with a teacher working at a German all-girls boarding school, Augusta-Victoria College, Bexhill-on-Sea. The teacher, along with his camera, has vanished without...

El Americano: The Movie (2016)

The film follows a small, male, Mexican parrot named Cuco. Cuco and his family are part of a well-known circus, but Cuco is sick of being in the family business; instead, he would rather become an ultimate crime fighter. When Cuco isn't working with the family circus,...

The Dry (2020)

Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) is a detective located in Melbourne, Australia. He receives word that one of his childhood friends has committed suicide after murdering his family. Aaron returns to his hometown to pay his respects, but what he hoped would be a short visit back...

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

A stranger is driving along a road when his car breaks down. Upon investigating, he finds spikes were laid on the street, popping all four of his tyres. He accepts a ride with someone who inspects his car, letting him know it will take $1,000 to fix.  Leaving his...

Nobody (2021)

The film opening shows us a stranger locked up in an interrogation room with a small kitty cat.  When questioned as to who he is, he answers that he is, in fact, a Nobody.  We are then shown flashbacks, telling us that the man's name is Hutch (Bob Odenkirk),...

Ascendant (2021)

Ascendant (2021) - Movie Review 14th April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden A young woman named Aria Wolf (Charlotte Best) wakes up in an elevator, finding she is tied up and blindfolded. She soon breaks free from her bindings and discovers that she is alone in a...

Gunda (2020)

Gunda is a documentary that examines the daily life of several animals living on a farm. Some of these animals include a large pig, a couple of cows and a one-legged chicken. The film takes its audience on a journey while watching these animals doing various...

Voyagers (2021)

Voyagers (2021) - Movie Review 11th April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden Based on a novel by Stephen King, The Dead Zone follows Johnny (Christopher Walken), a teacher who is head over heels in love with a woman he hopes to marry in due time. But things go wrong when...

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020)

- Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula - Photo Credit: Jake Jung/Shudder Following on from Train to Busan (released in 2016), the film reminds its viewers of what has happened in Korea after a deadly virus changed the world forever. It has been four years since the...

Shadow in the Cloud (2020)

Set during WWII, Captain Maude Garret (Chloe Grace Moretz) is given urgent orders to hitch a ride on a B-17 bomber plane and a mysterious cargo package to carry. Her orders also include protecting the box and not allowing anyone on board the flight to open it at all...

Run (2020)

The film begins with a patient in the hospital, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane has just given birth to a baby girl named Chloe. But as Diane wakes up after giving birth and having an operation, she receives an update from the doctors about her baby, leaving her eager to...

Embryo (2020)

In this film, many mysterious happenings involving extraterrestrials have occurred around Snowdevil Mountain, Chile.  This film introduces one of these bizarre and twisted stories. The leading case we follow is about a young couple, Kevin (Domingo Guzman) and...

Two by Two: Overboard! (2020)

Two by Two: Overboard! (2020) - Movie Review 4th April 2021 Written by Peter Walkden A flood has occurred on the Earth, and Noah’s massive Ark is still drifting with every type of animal onboard, including good buddies Finny and Leah. But with the Ark drifting for...

Tom & Jerry (2021)

The epic battle continues between Tom (the cat) and Jerry (the little mouse), this time in a movie based on the well-known cartoon series. After the two's most recent battle, Jerry decides to hide in the famous Royal Gate Hotel, hoping to begin a new life. Naturally,...

Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021)

Continuing from Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019), Godzilla continues to hide from the world, and years have passed. But suddenly, Godzilla comes back to the surface and unexpectedly destroys a massive high-tech company. The world is now in fear as Godzilla makes his...

At Close Range (1986)

Based on a true story. Brad (Sean Penn) is a young man who enjoys doing very little in life other than hanging out with friends, drinking and smoking. He has no interest in getting a job unless he needs to buy something such as a nice car, but otherwise, he is...

The Witches (2020)

The film begins with a narration (surprisingly by Chris Rock), who talks to a group of young kids and warns them about the existence of witches. The film then goes back to the year 1967 and introduces us to a young boy (played by Jahzir Bruno) who sadly lost both of...

Kajillionare (2020)

Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) lives with her parents Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins).  The family of three are con artists who are willing to do anything and everything to scam and steal at every single opportunity.  You see, Theresa and...

The War with Grandpa (2020)

After getting in trouble at his local supermarket, Grandpa Ed (Robert De Niro) is encouraged by his daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) to move out of his old home and in with his daughter and the rest of the family. Naturally, Grandpa is not overly fond of the idea and...

Hunter Hunter (2020)

We follow a family who lives in a cabin in the wild woods.  Joseph (Devon Sawa), Anne (Camille Sullivan), and Renee (Summer H. Howell) work as fur trappers and are struggling to make ends meet financially. Anne suggests to Joseph they move away from the woods and...

The Reckoning (2020)

A horrible sickness is plaguing the land of England. The Reckoning follows Grace (Charlotte Kirk), who makes the awful discovery that her husband killed himself after becoming sick.  Feeling it was the only way to protect Grace and their child, he left her alone to...

Centigrade (2020)

Inspired by actual events, Centigrade follows Naomi (Genesis Rodriguez), a novelist travelling with her husband Matt (Vincent Piazza). While the two are travelling to Norway for a book tour, they decide to stop their SUV and get some rest.  They also cannot drive...