Tenet Impression

I’m a little late to the show, but my wife and I enjoyed watching Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic experience recently, Tenet. If you say it while inverted, it won’t really get you anywhere. As for the movie, I’m thinking of playing the whole thing in reverse to see if it makes more sense, like playing an audio cassette backwards to find the “hidden lyrics” or something. The movie was fun and cool, but I think it hurt my brain. You are entering a spoiler-free zone.

Overall, yes, Tenet was worth the 2.5 hours of my life because they really flew by. I was hooked from the start. Despite scratching my head most of the time, wondering what was going on, I couldn’t escape its storytelling grasp. Action sequences, special effects, cinematography, decent characterization, and a crazy soundscape combined to impress and immerse all my mind. And also melt it.

I love a good sci-fi film, especially one that makes you think — like The Matrix, whoa — and Tenet stands up with the best. Time travel is always a tricky thing in a story. But Tenet puts a new-to-me twist on time travel that lit up new circuitry in my head. Characters don’t travel back through time. Instead, they continue on the timeline moving forward but inverted, so it’s like going in reverse. The past replays itself as you, once again, travel through its time, just in reverse.

Sorry, my explanation isn’t helping anyone, I’m sure. Plus, my understanding is weak; I’m grasping at straws here.

And that’s the thing. Tenet makes your brain try to figure out things, like an enigmatic puzzle, a paradox, or some strange irony. It’s not just action, fight scenes, and physics mumbo-jumbo. It’s cerebral, intellectual, and also a suspension of reality for high-caliber escapism.

So why did I wait so long to see the film? As you might recall, it released to theaters in 2020 when Covid was relatively new and, well, show-stopping. Then I kind of forgot about it. But this week, I noticed it was on sale for just $8 — in 4K — via Apple TV/iTunes, so I grabbed it. I knew I would want to rewatch the film a few times to wrap my head around it, so purchasing at 2x the rental price was a bargain.

Have you seen Tenet? What happened to your brain afterwards? Thumbs up or down on the film?