Magician Jack Rhodes says his latest YouTube magic routine is based on Tenet, the Christopher Nolan action movie about inverting time. You can watch it above.
Rhodes is good at small, up-close tricks, but also one pulls off a big one, which you may catch as you wonder how he defies so many laws of physics in so short a time. It seems like he’s been watching not only last year’s Tenet, but also Nolan’s 2006 routine about extreme magicians, The Prestige, in which Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale pulled lots of real and metaphorical rabbits out of hats.
In Tenet, John David Washington plays a secret agent known only as The Protagonist who discovers that a Russian billionaire named Sator (Kenneth Branagh) has found a way to bend the laws of time. He must move forward, and backward — simultaneously — to prevent colossal destruction. Nolan hoped the film would be the one to lure people back into theaters, but amid raging COVID fears at the time of its September 2020 release, it earned significantly less than it likely would have in a normal year.
Rhodes borrows the central tenet (sorry) of Tenet, which is that it’s very hard to keep track, at times, of where you are in the timeline. His mask is not only an homage to the one The Protagonist wears in the film, but a helpful bit of distraction. You’ll see what we mean.
Is Rhodes’ routine a magic trick? A camera trick? Or a little of both? We’re not sure how to define it, but we like it. And we’re intrigued that he’s the rare magician who cheerfully gives away his big secret.
If Rhodes looks familiar, you may recognize him from his past video parodying the delightful TV show Penn & Teller: Fool Us, which involved another kind of illusion.
Also — bit of a spoiler here. But if you enjoy Rhodes’ Tenet routine, you might also really enjoy this scene from 1984’s Top Secret: