Tenet Review Round-up: What the critics are saying about the Christopher Nolan film
Early reviews of the film have been released, and they are mostly mixed
Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated directorial, Tenet, is set to arrive in more than 70 countries on Wednesday, 26 August. The sci-fi thriller will open in the US about a week later on Thursday, 3 September.
Early reviews of the film have been released, and they are mostly mixed. Review aggregator platform Rotten Tomatoes displays 79 percent likability from a total of 42 reviews.
Here is what the critics have to say:
Catherine Shoard of The Guardian rates Tenet with two stars and criticises Pattinson's character as "some bloke who’s got drunk in Banana Republic’s scarf department." Shoard commends the action sequences of the film, she notes "You exit the cinema a little less energised than you were going in." She further writes that "for all the nifty bits of reverse chronology, there’s little that lingers in the imagination in the same way as Inception or even Interstellar’s showcase bendy business."
Anna Smith of Deadline also gives Tenet a not-so-favourable review, writing that the film will be favoured mostly by passionate Nolan fans. She lauds Washington and Pattinson's performances: "His everyman quality serves him well, and he’s as good in the fast-paced action scenes as he is bonding with Pattinson’s Neil, who brings a light, genteel touch: These two could both compete to play rather different James Bonds."
New York Times' Jessica Kiang says that Tenet "dazzles" but "does not move the heart." "Seek it out, if only to marvel at the entertainingly inane glory of what we once had and are in danger of never having again. Well, that and the suits," she states.
Nicholas Barber of the BBC gives it a three star rating and writes : "Tenet is a Bond film which squeezed Back to the Future 2 and Edge of Tomorrow into its last half-hour and collapses under the collective weight of all the concepts and numerous plot lines that have been stuffed into the narrative."
IndieWire's Mike McCahill says that the plot lacks substance and with his Tenet the director "is ever more caught up in his own machinations: Nolan deploys his actors like spokespeople, appointed to field and deflect queries from his client base." While Nolan established himself as an "artisanal puzzlemaker" in Memento and Insomnia, "here he seems more like a businessman and a brand."
Adam Woodward for Little White Lies says that the basic storyline and structure of the film are "straightforward". He notes, "If Nolan has out-Nolaned himself, it’s in the action set-pieces which, despite being of head-scrambling technical intricacy, are sharper than Occam’s razor and carried off with astonishing economy. He may be stuck in a thematic loop, but Nolan continues to push the craft of in-camera special effects forward, once again engineering immersive, seat-shaking spectacle in crisp 70mm widescreen."