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Just got back from seeing Tenet...

At one point early on in the film, our protagonist is told by a science type minor character that she is there to tell him the how, not the what. Having watched it, I’m still not sure on the how or the what, and I’m pretty hazy on the who, why and even when of a lot of it.

We’re also told not to try to understand it, just feel it. But there isn’t really much to feel. It’s an experience, certainly, but not an emotional one. Characters have little development, motivation or chemistry between them, which makes it so much harder to care.

It’s certainly a spectacle on a grand scale, in a ‘look how much money we spent on fancy yachts and smashing up buildings’ kind of a way. I liked that although there were obviously special effects employed for some of the wibbly wobbly timey wimey backwards stuff, a lot of it is real and practical and not green screen. Great that it was an original story rather than yet another sequel, remake or comic book adaptation. But ultimately it wasn’t quite original enough - very 12A/PG-13 blockbuster- generic: sexless, bloodless and unfortunately humourless, with a cliched Russian villain. Big, but not very clever.

And it should have been clever. The central concept is intriguing but is never really developed enough. It’s all very well keeping things mysterious, but it just felt more underdeveloped. Where there should have been ‘oh!’ moments, it just felt more like a rolling train of stuff happening and more stuff happening. All plot and no storytelling. Some of the dialogue sounded like filler lines to be redrafted later but they didn't get round to it.

The second half of the film, where the time travel kicks into play a bit more and events sort of fold back on themselves picked up a bit. It was an enjoyable ride, for the most part. I certainly didn’t know where it was going, but only because a lot of the time I didn’t really know where it was either.

The soundtrack was awful and annoyingly intrusive. The film starts with the sound of an orchestra tuning up and then some gunshots and honestly it stays like that pretty much all the way through the film.