TENET
SFX|January 2021
You Only Live Twice
Nick Setchfield

RELEASED OUT NOW! 2020 | 12 | Blu-ray (4K/standard)/DVD/ download

Director Christopher Nolan

Cast John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki

“Try and keep up” tweeted Warner Bros as Tenet played in pandemic-emptied cinemas. It was a line plucked from the screenplay but also a canny piece of marketing judo, using an opponent’s own energy against them. Supposedly the miracle tentpole that would save the moviegoing experience, the film found itself criticised for a brain-ache of a plot and a wilfully obscure sound mix. The tweet flipped that carping into a challenge: are you smart enough for Christopher Nolan’s knottiest blockbuster yet?

Now Tenet arrives in the home, its IMAX-scale ambitions diminished but finally freed from the saviour narrative that clung to its theatrical release. Here, then, is a chance to reassess what may be Nolan’s most divisive film through the healing power of subtitles and the rewind button.

In many ways it’s a deceptively straightforward experience. Nolan’s always acknowledged his debt to the Bond movies – the alpine skirmish in Inception paid clear tribute to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – and it’s easy to read Tenet as a proof of concept for him inheriting the 007 franchise. We’re in the realm of upscale international intrigue, where sharply tailored heroes have a licence to quip and kill.

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