The New ‘Tenet’ Trailer Makes Its Central Gimmick A Little Clearer

Let’s begin at the ending — apropos since this is about Christopher Nolan. The last thing you see in the as promised new trailer for Tenet are three bold, shocking words: “Coming to theaters.” Despite all that’s happened in the world, all the blockbusters that have relocated to later dates — or been re-routed to streamers — Nolan’s latest mindbender has held steadfast on its release date, i.e., July 17. Will it will even be safe to go to a movie theater in less than two months? Who knows, but so far Tenet is still playing chicken with the Covid-19 pandemic.

For now, though, we have this latest trailer, which, along with new eye-popping imagery — as well as first looks at Kenneth Branagh, as what appears to be the bad guy, and female lead Elizabeth Debicki — makes the central gimmick a little clearer. Did you think it was about time travel? Well, here’s Robert Pattinson’s character to tell our tabula rasa audience surrogate, played by John David Washington, that it’s not. Instead, it’s about…well, they call it “inversion,” and so far as we can tell that means that certain parts of the movie will play backwards.

We saw a bit of that in the previous trailer. Remember the backwards-crashing car? Well, here’s guns shooting backwards, a fight backwards, and what looks like maybe a terrorist attack in a public space backwards, too. “You’re not shooting the bullet,” one British scientist-looking person tells Washington. “You’re catching it.”

Anyway, minds sufficiently blown and see you — maybe — at the movies on July 17. Unless we don’t.