Liked it a lot. Let’s start with that. Lots of action, lots of locales, lots of strangeness regarding time, which always sucks me in.
Some semi-spoilers ahead, but that doesn’t really matter. Because your guess on a lot of this is as good as mine.
I don’t understand it yet, and have a feeling, as noted in the extra material, that the physics and concept underlying it will never add up. Even Christopher Nolan admits that. We will definitely watch it a few more times and while my wife and I never go to the movie, even without a pandemic, we both admitted this one would have been a good one to see in the Imax which much of it was filmed.
However, the core idea is mind blowing and despite the fact I’ve written a series about time travel, the Time Patrol, it was original. I’m sure someone’s thought of it before, but I haven’t seen it and it really makes sense in a very strange, and very scary, way.
Nolan also freely admits the James Bond part and in that he succeeded. Exotic locales, a solid protagonist who is actually called Protagonist, a 6’3” blonde as the female linchpin, and an adequate bad guy. Lots of planes, boats, helicopters and neat tricks.
The hand to hand fighting in one scene is mesmerizing, especially when you learn it wasn’t done forward and reverse with the camera, but all forward.
Big kudos to Nolan for minimal CGI. Pretty much everything was real or to scale. I’m sick of CGI blowouts at the end of movies that defy reality.
Also, as a writer, the closing out of loops was excellent. Almost every detail you see is important and comes back later to be significant which is a sign of a very tight script.
A few slight negatives. We looked up the film editor and it doesn’t appear she has much experience in action movies. It showed in a few minor places where there was abrupt editing. The bungi jump to the roof was missing a piece in between that would help it make more sense, but hey, the big part was they got there. There were a couple of other places where the cut was swift. That worked well at times, simply accepting things like — yes, she did swim to the boat.
The climactic scene — we never really saw who the bad guys were. The actually people were a bit overwhelmed by the set and what was happening to it, which was intense. The number of extras was surprising — he didn’t cut back on that, and the fact one group had to go backwards, yes you read that right, was pretty mind-blowing.
The four Chinooks were pretty cool, but it’s kind of funny listening to the extra material and the people who made the movie and how awed they were by it and I was thinking it was something the military does all the time. Except usually at night.
There were times where it felt that having a cool scene outweighed having a scene that made sense. But it was entertainment with a very thought-provoking underpinning.