BARE BONES: TENET (2020)

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TENET (2020)

A CIA agent (John David Washington) commits suicide during a mission gone awry, but finds himself mysteriously revived and now working for an organization known as Tenet. “The Protagonist”, as he is now known, is tasked with stopping Russian businessman Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from using a mysterious device to cause a global catastrophe. Both aiding and impeding his mission is futuristic technology that can alter the flow of time for objects and people alike.

Film is written and directed by Christopher Nolan and is basically a James Bond movie with a science fiction twist. There are some very clever ideas here and it is a very interesting spin on the traditional globe-trotting spy thriller with it’s time travel elements. There are some spectacular action scenes and some sumptuous locations as “The Protagonist” tries to stop Sator from basically destroying the world, like any good Bond villain tries to do. The time hopping objects and having characters from different points in time encountering themselves is all done well, but, to be honest, it does start to get a bit tiresome by the last act…especially with a 150 minute running time. Still, Nolan directs this expertly and keeps control of something that could have been a mess, though the real stars here are the editors on this sometimes too ambitious for it’s own good project. The cast also perform well with Washington being a solid hero, Branagh an effective villain and Robert Pattinson once again doing fine work as The Protagonist’s handler Neil. Definitely worth watching, though requires steady attention or it might loose you.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX (2018)

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THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX (2018)

Another flick bearing the Cloverfield name and while also not a direct sequel, it is better connected to the original Cloverfield…in ways I won’t spoil…than 10 Cloverfield Lane. This flick has a six person team on board an orbiting space station trying to prevent global war by initiating the Shepard Particle Accelerator and bringing unlimited energy to an Earth fighting over fossil fuel. The activation of the device causes a dimensional disturbance hurling the station across dimensions and space and endangering the world they set out to save.

Written by Oren Uziel and directed by Julius Onah, this is an OK sci-fi thriller. It has a few of it’s own ideas, but sadly would rather fall back on the clichés and familiar tropes of previous flicks. The effects of the dimensional disruption never seem to make sense, as they sometimes appear random and other times occur just at exactly the right…or wrong time. Basically they are just plot devices to hinder or help our beleaguered crew depending on the needs of the weak script. Sometimes they don’t make any sense at all, like a dismembered arm delivering a written message. It’s just silly, aside from being contrived. The cast handle their two-dimensional parts well enough, though it seems like a waste of talent for a few familiar faces. The FX and sets are top notch and while it is better connected to the original film, the previous installment in this universe was a far better movie.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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