Tenet (2020)

As a leading UK script consultant and scriptwriter for hire I’ll lay my stall out quickly.  I love Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’ I think it’s a great film, and I think nothing else he’s done is even close to its brilliance. 

Broadly I think Nolan’s an okay director, who has been hugely overrated, by no fault of his own.

Tenet – got battered by critics and Covid.  It was blamed for all kinds of things during the corona virus crisis, including the shutting (for good) of many cinemas in the UK.

Of course, none of this is Nolan’s fault or ‘Tenet’s. Although the sound mix in the cinema was questioned by many (I watched in on DVD and thought the sound was fine).

People have also complained about the plot in Tenet, how overly complicated it is and impossible to fathom on first viewing. I say, so what? A filmmaker is at no fucking obligation to make any sense, and many great films don’t make any sense at all.

I’ll also say here for the record, that I liked ‘Tenet’ a lot. It’s high octane, fast paced, fun.  But it’s not high art and is under no obligation to be so.  Tenet is a great windup toy, treat it as that and enjoy it.  It’s also a B MOVIE – with a huge budget.

Yes, Tenet has more in common with ‘Trancers’ made by Charlie Band back in the 80s. It’s also close to ‘Deja Vu’ by the late Tony Scott. But mainly it’s a sci-fi action film more akin to the first Terminator film (itself a B movie).  Yes, Tenet is very firmly a B MOVIE and there’s nothing wrong with that – I LOVE some B MOVIES.

It isn’t high art. Just enjoy it.

It will be interesting to see how Nolan’s career is affected by the film and the reactions to it. It’s still more enjoyable than nearly everything else he’s done, except ‘The Prestige’, which is starting to look a lot like the trick he will never be able to pull off again.

Matthew Cooper has been a scriptwriter for hire, UK Script editor  and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award-winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. His UK script coverage service, Script reading service and script development service are highly sought after.

You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham was released in 2020. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.

You can contact Matthew directly to purchase his ebook The UK Soap Opera Script Writers Handbook.