3 THE ENIGMA OF NEIL

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN -

John Nu­gent: When we first meet Robert Pat­tin­son’s Neil, he ap­pears to be just an­other suave spook — an “as­sist” in Mum­bai for The Pro­tag­o­nist. But the more we learn about Neil, the more mys­te­ri­ous he be­comes. As well as be­ing a mas­ter lock­picker (with a Masters in physics), it turns out he was work­ing for the Tenet or­gan­i­sa­tion all along, call­ing in Ives (Aaron Tay­lor-john­son) and “the cav­alry” when things go timey-topsy-turvy. Neil’s true mis­sion is only fully un­der­stood in the film’s clos­ing mo­ments, when he re­veals that it is The Pro­tag­o­nist him­self who re­cruited him, many years in the past. (That could be how Neil knows that The Pro­tag­o­nist doesn’t drink on the job.) That or­ange tag on his back­pack also ex­poses Neil as the in­verted mystery man who saved The Pro­tag­o­nist’s life in that open­ing se­quence at the Opera House, as well as the sol­dier who ul­ti­mately sac­ri­fices him­self in the cave.

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