Tenet: The Prologue Review

Some people have said that Nolan’s IMAX prologues typically end up being the first scene in his films but I want to review this separately anyways (categorizing it as a short film, I guess?).

Likely taking influence from the Moscow theater hostage crisis (2002 Nord-Ost siege), the prologue for ‘Tenet’ is confusing and disorienting in all of the worst ways. I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a trailer or a preview due to the embarrassingly poor cinematography (the way that the camera moved was so aggravating) and mindless action sequencing (no tension whatsoever). It kind of reminded me of the beginning of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, especially if it ends up being the opening scene, as it barrages the viewer with a bunch of “important” information with its “clever” tricks and twists, despite being a big dumb Hollywood blockbuster that doesn’t realize how dumb it is (“FOR YOU”).

Nolan is the prime example of the worn out Hollywood machine, gluing horrendous action sequences and pointless exposition together into something entirely bland and forgettable. I know that the rest of the film is probably just as awful as the prologue, but Nolan films are an event and I hate missing events. And I have certainly been wrong before. Awful trailers for great movies, great trailers for awful movies – these things happen all the time.

I never want to hate movies that I spend time/money/energy to see. I want to spend the $15, go watch ‘Tenet’ for 2 hours, and then talk with whoever I saw it with about how cool it was. But this prologue isn’t promising. This film looks absolutely awful.

Side-note/ interesting fact: I thought that ‘The Dark Knight’ was the best movie ever from the summer after grade 8 until around late high-school. Yikes!

2/10 – Terrible

One thought on “Tenet: The Prologue Review

  1. Since writing this, I have seen a couple of YouTube reviews for this Prologue and some Reddit threads (and I have read the comments on YouTube and Reddit). It is blowing my mind that there are people out there that find this good in any sort of way whatsoever since I found it completely awful on a technical level as well as an entertainment level. I’m constantly reminded of the subjectivity of cinema which I think is a good thing.

    Still, I find the arguments bad from the opposing side. Do people just like dumb action movies with dumb twists solely because they are twists? Not to mention the horrendous dialogue: “We live in a twilight world…” “And there are no friends at dusk.” “You’ve been made.” Good god, Nolan has always been such an atrocious writer.


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