The First Reviews For Christopher Nolan’s Spy Thriller Are In, And They’re A Little Confusing

Published On August 21, 2020 » 165 Views» By Z-rowe »

Thanks to the coronavirus, the release date for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet‘ film was pushed back a handful of times. After the second or third delay, the studio decided to go with a different approach.

Instead of one big release date, they would do a sort of staggered release. They’d release the film where theaters were open, and slowly spread to more locations. Their plan is to be in theaters for a longer amount of time.

And the start of that experiment begins next week, with the film premiering in multiple international markets. It’ll then be released in the states in early September.

The first reviews of the film were released today, and while most of them are positive, the response isn’t as unanimous as we’ve come to expect for Nolan films.

The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin loved the movie:

The depth, subtlety and wit of Pattinson and Debicki’s performances only becomes fully apparent once you know where Tenet is going, or perhaps that should be where it’s been. Still confused? Don’t be. Or rather do be, and savour it. This is a film that will cause many to throw up their hands in bamboozlement – and many more, I hope, to clasp theirs in awe and delight.

As did the Empire’s Alex Godfrey…

Once again seizing control of the medium, Nolan attempts to alter the fabric of reality, or at least blow the roof off the multiplexes. Big, bold, baffling and bonkers.

But The Wrap’s Nicholas Barber wasn’t as hot on it…

It’s exhilarating, in a ‘Fast & Furious’ sort of way, especially as so many of the stunts are done for real rather than with CGI. It helps, too, that the swaggering Washington and the smirking Pattinson make a likable double act. But it all happens so quickly, with such brief explanations and so little breathing space, that the story is tough to follow, and therefore tough to care about.

Same goes for Indiewire’s Mike McCahill…

What kind of picture is it? Big, certainly: IMAX-scaled, and a hefty 150 minutes even after a visibly ruthless edit. It’s clever, too — yes, the palindromic title has some narrative correlation — albeit in an exhausting, rather joyless way. As second comings go, Tenet is like witnessing a Sermon on the Mount preached by a savior who speaks exclusively in dour, drawn-out riddles. Any awe is flattened by follow-up questions.

So is Tenet worth the coronavirus/theater risk? Depends on who you believe.

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