It’s up to Christopher Nolan to save the world – and the moviegoing experience.
“Tenet,” the highly-anticipated spy thriller that is set to premiere on Sept. 3 in U.S. theaters, follows John David Washington as he fights to prevent World World III. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nolan’s latest film was delayed three times, initially having been planned for release July 17.
Did critics believe the espionage epic blew their minds? While “Tenet” scored 87% on Rotten Tomatoes as of Friday, the reviews were mixed.
Variety’s movie critic Guy Lodge lauded the “futuristic throwback” for bringing some excitement amid the global pandemic.
In his own words, the highly awaited film is “a big, brashly beautiful, grandiosely enjoyable one that will provide succor to audiences long-starved for escapist spectacle.”
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Jason Gorber from Slash Film called it “the most Nolan-y of Nolan’s own films,” praising the filmmaker’s visuals and soundscapes
In his own words, “no other artform could quite present such a collision of time, place, idea and emotion, and it’s clear that Nolan’s pure intent is to give us the utmost of what this medium can uniquely provide.”
BBC’s critic Will Gompertz gave the epic action movie four out of five stars.
He writes that ” ‘Tenet’ delivers.” From the stunts to the camerawork, Nolan’s work of creating an action-packed blockbuster filled with spies, physics and explosions, is indeed “impressive.”
But not every critic had such high praise. While Jessica Kiang from The New York Times called the film “undeniably enjoyable,” she noted some faults, most notably that it “dazzles the senses, but it does not move the heart.”
“It’s not just lack of heart that holds ‘Tenet’ back. Nolan imagines impossible technologies but won’t explore their deeper implications,” she writes, adding that Nolan “retreats to the relative safety of spy movie convention.”
Indie Wire’s critic Mike McCahill had a less optimistic review of the movie, which he calls a “humorless disappointment” – one that he awards with a grade of C-.
” ‘Tenet’ is like witnessing a Sermon on the Mount preached by a savior who speaks exclusively in dour, drawn-out riddles,” McCahill says. “Any awe is flattened by follow-up questions.”
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