The thing you have to know about what goes on in Tenet is that you can’t actually hear a significant portion of what goes on in Tenet. Dialogue in accents of all kinds gets muddied by oxygen masks and cell-phone calls and things going boom. Ludwig Göransson’s creative scoring often swells too loud to make out the finer points of anything that’s happening onscreen. The villain’s final monologue? Oh, you wanted to hear that? Ha. Get ready to lean forward in your seat, cock your head sideways, and still only vaguely register Kenneth Branagh saying something about global warming.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Based on the copious and absolutely definitive notes from my colleagues at Vulture, I’ve been able to piece together what I believe to be the entire script of Tenet. For legal reasons, this is a joke.
[An orchestra begins tuning onstage.]
[Gunfire, gunfire. Boom. Screaming. The sound of gas leaking through air vents.]
John David Washington: [Mumble mumble mumble mumble] Plutonium-241.
Kenneth Branagh: [Mumble mumble mumble mumble] Plutonium-241. I’m Russian.
Robert Pattinson: [Something about twilight.] [Yes, really.] Diet Coke.
Washington: [Mumble mumble mumble mumble] Plutonium-241. [Mutter mutter] Freeport.
Any character at any given time: Wait, but then you run into the problem of the grandfather paradox! [Something something] Parallel-world theory.
Also any character at any given time: Like I said, the whole thing’s a temporal pincer.
Elizabeth Debicki: My! Son!
[The sound of a body being placed in front of a bullet hole so the bullet can reverse-shoot through them at just the right spot.]
Washington: [Mumble mumble mumble mumble] Plutonium-241. The! Algorithm! ThE aLgOrItHm!
Debicki: [Clear as day, despite all other lines in this scene being unintelligible due to noises from the sailboats, the wind, the score, and the fact that all characters are speaking to each other through microphones and headsets.] YOU CANNOT JIBE ON A BOAT LIKE THIS!
Truly any random character: Ohhhhh, it’s inverted.
Branagh: [Checks Fitbit] [Something about global warming???? I think????]
[EXTREMELY LOUD SQUIRT OF SUNSCREEN THAT SHOULDN’T BE MORE AUDIBLE THAN ANY OF THE DIALOGUE.]