Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh
OUR RATING: ★★★★½
Sci-fi action thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist (John David Washington) journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Don't try to understand it. Feel it.' - Laura (Tenet) Click To Tweet 'What's happened happened. Which is an expression of faith in the mechanics of the world. It's not an excuse to do nothing.' - Neil (Tenet) Click To Tweet 'The world will never know what could happen. And even if they did, they wouldn't care. Because no one cares about the bomb that didn't go off. Only the one that did.' - Neil (Tenet) Click To Tweet 'It's the bomb that didn't go off. The danger no one knew was real. That's the bomb with the real power to change the world. - Neil (Tenet) Click To Tweet
[the protagonist is at undercover SWAT operation at a Ukrainian opera house]
The Protagonist: We live in a twilight world. We live in a twilight world.
Actor: And there are no friends at dusk.
The Protagonist: You’ve been made. This siege is a blind for them to vanish you.
Actor: I established contact.
The Protagonist: Bring you in or kill you. I have two minutes, make up your mind.
SWAT #1: “No friends at dusk,” huh?
[pointing to the exposed spy known as Actor]
The Protagonist: You’ll do. Get him to the rally point.
The Protagonist: Did you have an out?
Actor: Service tunnel to the sewer.
[to the other two SWATS]
The Protagonist: Take this. Take him. Take his exit. I don’t trust ours anymore.
[referring to the bomb]
The Protagonist: Can you diffuse that?
SWAT #2: It’s centrally synchronized. Are there more?
[the protagonist nods]
The Protagonist: Covering their tracks
SWAT #2: Taking out the audience?
The Protagonist: They’re just the cheap seats.
SWAT #1: It’s not our mission!
The Protagonist: It’s mine now.
[to the masked soldier pointing his gun at him]
The Protagonist: Walk away. You don’t have to kill these people.
[a gets shot bullet in reverse and the SWAT shooter walks away]
Timmy: That wasn’t one of us.
The Protagonist: I’ll take the help.
[after which he throws the backpack full synchronized bombs to second floor where it explodes]
[as he’s torturing the protagonist]
Stephen: A man can be trained to hold out for about eighteen hours. So your colleagues will be cleared by seven.
[referring to Timmy]
Stephen: He didn’t last eighteen minutes. He didn’t have anything to hide. You’re smuggling a nobody. It’s risky.
[he finds a cyanide pill hidden in the protagonist’s collar]
Stephen: Or where out counting on this? Death, CIA issue.
[he tosses the cyanide pill away]
[the protagonist wakes after taking the cyanide pill]
Victor: Welcome to the afterlife. You’ve been in a medically induced coma while we got you out of Ukraine. Rebuilt your mouth.
Stephen: Suicide pills were fake. Why?
Victor: A test.
Stephen: Did my team get cleared.
Stephen: Somebody talked.
Victor: Not you. You chose to die instead of giving up your colleagues.
Victor: We all believe we’d run into the burning building. But until we feel that heat, we can never know. You do.
The Protagonist: I resign.
Victor: You don’t work for us. You’re dead. Your duty transcends national interests. This is about survival.
The Protagonist: Whose?
Victor: [to the protagonist] There’s a cold war, cold as ice. To even know it’s true nature is to loose. This is knowledge divided.
Victor: All I have for you is a gesture, in combination with a word. Tenet. Use it carefully. It’ll open the right doors, some of the wrong ones too.
The Protagonist: That’s all they told you?
Victor: That test you passed, not everybody does.
[as she catches the protagonist trying to open the doors to her lab]
Laura: With a hi-vis vest and a clipboard you can get almost anywhere. Almost.
The Protagonist: An obscure Tenet.
Laura: No small talk. Nothing that can reveal who we are or what we do.
The Protagonist: I thought I was here to find out what we do.
Laura: You’re not here for “what”, you’re here for “how”. “What” is your department. That’s not my business.
The Protagonist: Well, to do what I do, I need some idea of the threat we face.
Laura: As I understand it, we’re trying to prevent World War Three.
The Protagonist: Nuclear holocaust?
Laura: No. Something worse.
[referring to the gun]
Laura: Aim it and pull the trigger.
The Protagonist: It’s empty.
Laura: Aim it.
Laura: Check the magazine.
[he takes out the magazine, which now has bullets in it]
The Protagonist: How?
Laura: One of these bullets is like us, traveling forwards through time. The other one’s going backwards. Can you tell which is which?
[the protagonist shakes his head]
Laura: How about now?
[as one of the bullets is pulled up into her hand]
Laura: Inverted. Its entropy runs backwards. So to our eyes, its movement is reversed.
Laura: We think it’s a type of inverse radiation triggered by nuclear fission.
The Protagonist: You didn’t make it?
Laura: No, we don’t know how yet.
The Protagonist: So where did it come from?
Laura: Someone’s manufacturing them in the future. They’re streaming back to us. Try it.
[he puts on the glove and holds his hand over the bullet]
Laura: You have to have dropped it.
[as he motions to drop it the bullet reverses back into his hand]
The Protagonist: How can it move before I touch it?
Laura: From your point of view, you caught it. But from the bullet’s point of view, you dropped it.
The Protagonist: The cause comes before effect.
Laura: No. That’s just the way we see time.
The Protagonist: Well, what about free will?
Laura: That bullet would never have moved if you hadn’t put your hand there. Either way we run the tape, you made it happen. Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.
[as he catches the bullet]
The Protagonist: Instinct. Got it.
[as he’s shooting from the gun to the wall]
The Protagonist: Why does it feel so strange?
Laura: You’re not shooting the bullet. You’re catching it.
The Protagonist: Woh.
The Protagonist: I’ve seen this type of ammunition before.
Laura: In the field?
The Protagonist: I was almost hit.
Laura: Then you were exceedingly lucky. An inverted bullet passing through your body would be devastating. Not Pretty.
[referring to the ammunition]
The Protagonist: These look like todays.
Laura: The may have been made today and inverted years from now.
The Protagonist: Where did you get them?
Laura: They came with the wall. I was assigned it, with all material I’m studying here.
The Protagonist: Do you have an analysis on the metals?
Laura: Sure. Why?
The Protagonist: The mixture of alloys can tell me where they might have been made. Look, I’m not seeing Armageddon here.
Laura: [to the protagonist] A bullet may not seem much, but it’s a simple machine. Lead bullet, brass casing, gunpowder. If they can invert that, we see no reason they couldn’t invert pretty much anything. Even a nuclear weapon can only affect our future. An inverted weapon might be able to affect our past as well.
Laura: Now that we know what to look for, we’re finding more and more inverted material. Remnants of complex objects.
The Protagonist: What do you think we’re seeing?
Laura: The detritus of a coming war.
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