Tenet movie poster 2020

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Released: September 2020
Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh

Well, right off the bat this movie screams IT’S THE SAME DIRECTOR AS INCEPTION. The familiar cast members, the editing, colour-scheme and the over-complicated storyline were just a few of the tell-tale Nolan signs.

However, as I am a massive Inception fan, I was not upset about this. In fact, I was hoping to see more of the same cast (where’s Leo at?).

This classically Nolan premiss is difficult for me to explain, so I’ve found the synopsis for you: Tenet is about a secret agent who embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III. 

(The word ‘Tenet’ is a palindrome, meaning that it’s spelt the same way forwards as it is backwards; a nod to the time-travelling theme of the movie.)

If you think you recognise the protagonist (John David Washington), you don’t, because Tenet was pretty much his debut on the big screen. He is the son of Denzel Washington though.

John David Washington Tenet

Also, if you recognise the super tall, elegant woman in the movie (Elizabeth Debicki), she’s from The Great Gatsby.

Elizabeth Debicki in Tenet

Robert Pattinson wasn’t as bad as I expected but he does pout his lips a lot, which is quite distracting. I’m pleased he was given the opportunity to do an action role and avoided being trapped as the heavy drama/romance actor. (I must point out that I think he was a very poor choice as our new Batman though.)


If I learnt anything about keeping up with complicated movies, it’s that you have to listen carefully to the dialogue as that’s where the storyline is explained, and Tenet is no different. The conversations between characters last across multiple locations within a scene, with lots of details being explained.


The complexity of the film is not to be shied away from, however. Considering the cinemas have been shut for MONTHS, Tenet was a welcome debut! It’s full of action and drama, which was a perfect balance for my husband and I to enjoy.

If you’re a time travel nut like I am, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the car chase scene, as well as all the little bits and pieces where they talk about travelling through time and debunking any holes in the science to ensure your suspension of disbelief remains firmly intact.

You may walk away from the movie feeling a bit confused over the details of the plot, but it’ll only leave you wanting to see it again to fully enjoy it the second time around. So strap on that mask and head to the cinema to see Tenet – it’s well worth it!

Jodie’s rating: 7/10

PS. If you’re seeing this in the theatres while heavily pregnant like I did, bear in mind that your baby will probably not like the scenes with all the guns and explosions. (Get ready to be kicked in the ribs a lot.)

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
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