I don't think it's that killer of twist so I was hoping that there was more going on beneath it. Like he'd become an even more controlling, worse version of Branagh. Or, some emotional payoff like Leo's choice at the of Inception. Or, the ugliness of why Pearce chooses to forget and repeat because he'll never be satisfied. Or, the muddled emptiness and confusion of Primer's ending. Or, the huge of emotional payoff you get from Potter 3's time play and countless Doctor Who episodes.
It's Nolan. It's a movie of about time inversion. The lead character is named The Protagonist. There are very, very strong hints hints early on then layered on pretty thick once the first big hint drops that this is JDW's world, timeline, inversion, multiverse, whatever throughout. So... That really did very little for me.
He does make huge movies feel enormous. Similar to Bay. I mean that as a compliment.
I hope Branagh plays the villain like Boris from Rocky & Bullwinkle in every Nolan from here on out. His motivation was right out of White House Down. Really didn't need to be there. Didn't hit personal note I think it meant to either. I wish he played it more in the vein of the self-destructive nature of control that Nolan puts in his stuff. It's kind of his main, compelling theme in just about everything he's made. Ails the good guys and bad guys in his films. It's here too. Didn't need inoperable cancer added in. Needless filler.
Debicki is kind of a nothing here too. Nice enough performance but just a damsel in distress that kind of isn't good at anything. Oh, yeah, she loves her son. Felt like a mom from a Tony Scott or Transporter flick.
Pattinson's a lot of fun to watch. JDW is dull as hell but it's a dull as hell character. Literally a blank slate for the audience to exist through. There's nothing there.
Everything with ATJ, his troops etc. just bored the fuck out me and really just distracted from the more interesting core. Which bummed me out. Last half hour or so lost me not so much because I was confused but because I didn't care and the last action beats were visually extremely bland.
But, again, that stuff book ended by the plane crashing was great pulp cinema.