Tenet 01/17/21

I watched Tenet this evening. It’s a time travel movie directed by Christopher Nolan, best known for the Dark Knight films and that loud noise we heard in every trailer from 2010-2017 or so.

The plot of the movie revolves around a man named The Protagonist, a secret agent type trying to track down a Russian gangster who is trying to end the world by “reversing entropy,” essentially making death and destruction flow backwards in time. He’s going to do this by planting a three-dimensional algorithm underground in Siberia. Then he’s going to seal it underground. And then, uh…are you still reading?

Nolan likes to shoot groups of heavily-armed men running down cold hallways, usually set to fast-paced electronic music. He likes images, and he’s very good at stringing those images together. He likes it when characters first meet each other in sweaty, exotic locales. Robert Pattinson’s spy character, when we meet him, is sweaty and drunk, probably because Nolan likes that image, probably because it reminds him of le Carre or something.

Hey, I liked the movie, but I am very capable of turning my brain off when I want to. It’s confusing…people move back and forward in time…I was never really sure of how the physics of the things worked, but I dig that kind of thing. Fuck it, sure, make the bullets go back in the gun. Early on it seems like that might be a power the characters have…it’s never followed up on. See, instead they get into a machine and…never mind.

Nolan also likes the extremely wealthy, or at least the aesthetic trappings of such. There’s fine art, orchestras, yachts, expensive planes that run over expensive cars. He likes to see that money up on the screen. That makes it a little hard to care about the characters. I have this issue with a lot of movies that circle around the hyper-rich…I don’t care. The “love interest,” if you can call her that, in this movie she’s stuck with the Russian gangster, to protect her son. I don’t know. Didn’t care.

If you want to spend two hours and thirty minutes of time God gave you on this earth watching cool time heists, you could do worse! This has been JDO’s movie corner.