In today’s world, it is safer for the movie business to create a sequel than to attempt an original idea. Why risk making something that people won’t like when you could just recycle something that you know they do? If you ask me, it’s created a very predictable (and underwhelming) movie-going experience over the past decade or so.
A major exception to this trend is director Christopher Nolan. I remember going to the movies in 2010 to see Inception and just being blown away. I had never seen anything like it before. It was imaginative, daring, challenging, and absolutely mesmerizing. It was the sort of movie that reminded you why you went to the theatre in the first place: to be awe-inspired. I remember driving home that day thinking, “Now that’s a movie that gives me faith in the movie industry again.”
Over the past 11 years, Nolan has continued to blow viewers away with over-the-top spectacles and stories that melt your brain with complexity, and for the most part they have been worth their enormous budgets. I never leave thinking, “Well that was pretty predictable” or “yeah, seen that done before.” Everything is original. Everything pushes the limits of cinema in ways you couldn’t even have imagined.
It’s with that that Fr. Tito and I approached his newest movie, Tenet. Basically, with high expectations. No one makes a movie quite like Nolan. In many ways, we were not disappointed: it was the most “Nolan” movie we had ever seen, complete with some of Nolan’s biggest flaws on display.