John David Washington is the Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the latest original sci-fi action spectacle from the prolific British director. Armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.


Expectations were extremely high for this one coming into the cinema. All the trailers suggest Nolan is gunning for an unofficial sequel to Inception with luxury environments for espionage, action and thrills.

An ever so slightly warped version of the world. Where things are immediately made to look cooler because of some clever science fictional elements setting up a story that was guarenteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. And my high expectations were matched. This is a brilliant film.


The cast of “Tenet” also includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh. Like every film he has directed since “The Dark Knight”, Nolan utilises a mixture of IMAX® and 70mm film to bring the story to the screen. And the action sequences are gorgeous even in the standard format we saw it in for the review screening (at the Vue Cinema at the Lowry Outlet).

It was my first trip back to the cinema post COVID-19 lockdown restrictions… I don’t think there could be a better film to entice me out!


“Tenet” is produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan. Thomas Hayslip served as executive producer. Nolan’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, following up their work together on “Interteller” (2014) and “Dunkirk” (2017).

The score is composed by Ludwig Göransson, working for the first time with Nolan. This came on the back off plaudits for his “Black Panther” soundtrack.


Talking of comic book heroes, Nolan’s Batman trilogy is considered the gold standard. Once again, Tenet follows suit with action and twists galore. “Tenet” was filmed on location across seven countries and the luxurious lifestyle of playboy Bruce Wayne lends itself nicely to the premise of this film.

It’s no accident that the latest man to don the black suit, Robert Pattinson, plays a starring role here. But don’t expect a gruff voice and black hair. It’s a real departure from his Twilight days as the drunken, playful nature of his character here is likeable for all the wrong reasons. He’s not particularly cool but he earns his stripes as the movie progresses. As a viewer this transition is very rewarding. And now I’m expecting good things he takes on the caped crusader.


But this film is all about Washington. He was never in the shadow of his talented father but following his successful lead role in Blackkklansman he completely underlines his significance as a leading actor for the next decade. He has it all and he will be an important figure for young black actors in this new age of cinema.

We love this film. No spoilers but it’s 9/10. You’ll have to watch it and rewatch but don’t punish the film for feeling stupid if you don’t understand it. Like a rollercoaster you don’t need to understand the mechanics of it before you buckle in. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production, a Film by Christopher Nolan, “Tenet.” Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing “Tenet” in theatres and IMAX worldwide.

For more Christopher Nolan musings see here: