It seems that with every release the movies of Christopher Nolan get weirder. This is the director that created Memento in 2000 starring Guy Pierce and Carrie-Anne Moss, and Memento is one mind boggling movie. In fact, the three Batman movies starring Christian Bale are a fluke in that regard. After Batman first came Inception which involved a heist inside a person’s subconscious. Then came Interstellar, which depicted the journey to another planet through a wormhole in space. Somewhere in this lineup I also forgot to mention Insomnia. This year, despite the Coronavirus crises the Christopher Nolan directed movie Tenet will be released, on July 16th. Starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson the movie is about a secret agent who has to save the world, using time travel.
Tenet Teaser Trailer
At the moment we know very little about Tenet. It is not so much secrecy but the director not telling us anything. Christopher Nolan has been amongst the best directors in world for over 15 years and people will watch his movies regardless what they are about. There is no need to garner interest with revealing trailers in the hope of appealing to as many potential viewers as possible. One mysterious teaser filled with optical illusions is all it takes to convince people Tenet will be more than what their brains can handle. And in the end, that is what they want. That is not to say there aren’t risks. Both Inception and Interstellar were for some people too complicated to understand. Knowing the director he won’t be held back by that.
So far I remain convinced Tenet will be brilliant based in the pedigree of its creative staff and its cast. The fact that the director is not dissuaded to be the first major release since cinema’s closed down means he is confident. Confident enough that based on the 200 million dollar budget he will have to earn at least 500 million to bank even. As the number of cinema goers will remain restricted by local laws to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading money will have to be earned over a long period.
What do we know of the plot of Tenet. Little, in fact we do not even know the names the actors will be playing. We know Washington and Pattinson’s characters are secret agents. So it is fitting we do not know who they are. From the teaser we know Washington was only recently recruited into the mysterious organization that has apparent time travel abilities. The character Washington portrays even suffers through a fake execution. After which he is inducted by the Martin Donovan character.
I also get a vibe similar to Inception throughout the trailer. Washington’s character meets a mysterious woman (played by Elizabeth Debicki). He meets Michael Caine for lunch and Kenneth Branagh seems to play the villain. At this moment I am almost convinced the actors will play themselves. Inception was a heist movie while Tenet feels like an operation is about to take place. Both require preparation and people with special skills.
Tenet full length trailer
Today we also got the first full-length trailer for Tenet. At nearly 3 minutes in length it offers more insight into the time-travel mechanism Washington’s character has to employ. In fact, he describes it as inversion -- a brief momentary sequence in which time appears to flow backwards. It gives the Washington character the chance to undo what is about to happen when times does once again flow forwards. In one shot at a test range we see him reverse-fire a round at the target. Essentially he is catching it. The exact limits of this inversion mechanism are not known -- as he presumably should have shot the round just moments before. Or does he, is inversion possible when the person doing it has no relationship with how it originally happened. Presumably some logic would have to remain.
More great actors and creators
The trailer also introduces the character played by Kenneth Branagh as a Russian. We hear him speak with a Russian accent not heard since Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit. It is good to see that as the potential villain he appears very active. Not unlike Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Still, it is hard to get a feeling about what this movie is about. We see snippets. Robert Pattinson plays a character already well versed with inversion while Clémence Poésy plays a scientist who tries to undo the diabolical consequences of the villain’s plan. And yes, I had noted both are Goblet of Fire alumni. Tenet will feature a soundtrack by Ludwig Göransson and cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema. The latter did an excellent job with Interstellar and more recently with Ad Astra.