4.5 (90%) 2 votes

It will blow your mind!

***More mind melting fresh images here***

The H-Bomb: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an Extractor, someone who goes inside people’s dreams in order to steal their secrets and ideas. Naturally, his most frequent clients are shady corporate types looking to commit various kinds of industrial espionage. After his latest job gets bungled, Cobb is commissioned by a Japanese business man, Saito (Ken Watanabe) to perform an Inception. What is an inception? It’s the opposite of an extraction, of course. Instead of stealing someone’s idea, it’s the act of planting an idea into someone’s mind through a dream.

Most in Cobb’s line of work believe that inceptions are impossible, but not Cobb. Why? Because Cobb has performed one before. That’s just one of the many dark secrets of Cobb’s past that are buried inside his mind and his dreams. Another being a mysterious Brunette (Marion Cotillard) who constantly turns up in Cobb’s extractions as a threatening force. Who is she, and what is she to Cobb? Wait… I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The other members of Cobb’s extraction crew include Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his icy right hand man, Eames (Tom Hardy), his forger- someone who can disguise himself to look like other people in a dream- and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect who designs the inside world of the dreams and the latest addition to Cobb’s crew. It’s during her recruitment that Cobb explains to her (and us) the rules of the dream world. First, never design a place in a dream based on your own memories, it will make it harder to establish what’s real and what isn’t. Second, if you die in a dream, you will simply wake up, but if you die when under sedation, you will sleep into an even deeper dream state from which you may never wake. Third, the background characters in a dream are the subconscious projections of the person having the dream, and if they find out there are outsiders inside the dream, they will attack and kill them.

Now, for the sake of not giving away spoilers, I won’t delve any further into the specific plot of the film. I’m also going to avoid any kind fancy critic talk and just say straight up, I fucking loved this movie! In this dire age of filmdom where it seems everything is either a remake, or a sequel, or a sequel of a remake, or a remake of a sequel, it is unspeakably refreshing to see a movie bursting at the seams with this kind of intelligence and imagination. It’s one of those films where I felt exhausted at the end of it… but in a good way.

Much like with his epic “The Dark Knight” (which is the BEST comic book film ever made, I don’t give a fuck what the being-contrary-to-sound-hip naysayers say), writer/director Christopher Nolan has cooked up another complex, cerebral film that is of course embraced by critics, and that is also palatable and exciting enough for typical moviegoers to enjoy. He manages to match the thrilling spectacle of both of his Batman films, and create a mindfuck that equals the intrigue of his breakout film, “Memento”. In my oh-so-humble view, I think he is one of the single most talented, intelligent filmmakers working today, and he could be the next Spielberg in how he makes movies that have both brains and Box Office muscle.

An interesting thing I noticed was how Nolan took two themes from his previous films and reversed them. “Memento” was about a man with a very rare form of amnesia, and in this film, the protagonist has memories that could potentially harm and destroy him. “Insomnia” was about a cop with said sleep disorder, while this film is about characters who, one could argue, sleep too much. Just something that occurred to me on the drive home from the theater.

If there’s one area that Nolan has truly grown as a visual director, it would be the action. He has finally learned how to shoot action scenes in a way that doesn’t just rely on quick cutting and shaky cam, though there was a notable improvement between “Batman Begins“ and “The Dark Knight“. The gunfights and chases are thrillingly shot, and there’s a sequence in a hotel hallway that I thought was truly fantastic. There’s also a scene set on a snowy slope that may conjure up fond memories of the old school James Bond films for some viewers.

Moving on to the performances, DiCaprio is terrific in this movie. He suffered the stigma of being a pretty boy after “Titanic”, but he has always been a gifted actor, and I would put this up there with “The Departed” as being one of my favorite performances of his. He plays a very complex, conflicted character with a painful past, who we learn more and more about as the movie progresses, and he hits every note just right. I won’t go out on a limb like I did with Sandra Bullock and say that he will win the Oscar for this, but I think he’ll certainly be nominated.

Nolan not only gave Leo a great character to chew on, but he’s also loaded the film with some top notch thespians who have emerged in recent years. Gordon-Levitt kills it as Cobb’s super cool number two. He actually makes a more convincing bad-ass than I thought he would. Page is very good in her sort of audience surrogate role, once again giving us her geeky, girl next door charm. Cillian Murphy, who plays the target of the inception, is given a number of great moments to shine, and he does, in spades. Watanabe and Cotillard I had trouble understanding in places, because of their accents, but they were both quite good as well.

Now on to my minor quibbles, which are indeed very minor, the first of which being the movie’s length. It’s very well paced, and there’s more than enough happening to hold interest throughout, but it is two and a half hours long, and towards the end, I was starting to feel its length. Again, it didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the film, but it could have been tightened just a little. Another slight grievance is that, as stated, it’s a very complex film. A very complex film with a complex plot set in a world with very complex rules, almost too complex for it’s own good. If you don’t catch every single piece of information thrown your way, you could find yourself getting lost completely. Even if you do catch it all, you could find your brain getting twisted into a knot just trying to keep track and keep up with it all.

Again, these are very minor. At the end of the day, what we have with “Inception” is something that only pops up on the rarest of occasions, a popcorn movie with a brain. There are points where this will remind people of “The Matrix”, but this is truly its own film, and a far better one, in my view, at least. This is one that I definitely intend to go see again, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve had enough of vampire-werewolf soap operas and talking toys, then I highly urge you to go check this one out.

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15 Responses to Inception

  1. search engine optimization how to August 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    I can’t wait to see this flick this Saturday. Appreciate the information.

  2. Piedad Guyette August 3, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    This storyline and idea that Nolan have been functioning on because he was a teenager is executed beautifully. It really is an Unique idea which is NOT based away of a book, comic, or older video. I guarantee you’ll have to view it twice to totally understand this excellent, 2.5 hour cinema experience. I will most definitely be seeing it once more. You may well really feel dropped at points during the dvd, but stick with it. Invention is fairly a thought-provoker.

  3. Kellee Duncans August 3, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    By the time you see the scenes you’ve observed in the trailers landscapes with buildings arching in to the sky, you understand you are in for solid characters, very well informed account, and wonderful visuals to boot.

  4. Dorothy Tobeck August 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Christopher Nolan is one of several couple of directors/writers (Scorcese, Spielberg, Eastwood) who has the gift of regularly creating outstanding shows. He is like a Picasso and churns out masterpieces. Many directors get lucky for one film and fail to duplicate their achievement. For Invention, Nolan masterfully engages his target audience as he builds up the account to intrigue you by way of the rather end while injecting action scenes and graphic outcomes to excite you.

  5. Gaylord Kicklighter August 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I’ve study the user-reviews that rated it C, D or F and concluded that they were quite young or not wise ample to abide by the storyline to gain any satisfaction. They are perhaps the very same viewers that gave the Eclipse series motion pictures higher ratings.

  6. Harry Widdowson August 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Nolan’s danger will be similar as M Night Shymalan: trying to convince the market how very much smarter he is than we are. It really is a sad state to see an artist not have the maturity or capacity to resolve a story within just itself.

    • H-Man August 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

      What? Just because Nolan makes smart pictures, he thinks he's smarter than the rest of us? Sorry, but bullshit. Having someone actually putting thought into their films is a good thing, and it doesn't automatically make him some kind of elitist. If you dislike like films with intelligence (which are very rare), then "Cats & Dogs 2" is playing across the hall. And his decision to leave things ambiguous at the end has nothing to do with his maturity or his inability to resolve the story with the definitive explanation, which he could have done easily if he WANTED to. He left it ambiguous on purpose.

  7. Melanie Levesgue August 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    The account and cinema are really complicated and at times scattered so I can see why some individuals couldn’t adhere to. For those who really don’t will need just about every detail spelled out for you then, like most citizens, you will be in a position to surely enjoy this dvd movie. The outcomes were genuinely incredible and fascinating, i believed it was wonderful how they could visually match this kind of an crazy principle. bottom line is that the cinema is pretty abstract however it comes jointly certainly actually very well specifically for those who really don’t really need to completely appreciate every single detail appropriate aside to enjoy a movie.

  8. Tavis Smiley July 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    I saw this movie twice the second time when I was smashed and to be truthful I understood a little more the 2nd time.

  9. Doug July 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    I enjoyed the film very much too. The hallway scene is great and reminded me a lot of Kubrick's techniques in 2001. I did though, have a few issues with it that I have yet to read anyone else state.

    I thought that a lot of the dialogue was just completely expositional. Like in some scenes, mostly just early on in the film, Ellen Page's character would ask something very straightforward like, "how does that work?" and DiCaprio would just explain it. It bothered me because when going into the theatre, I had anticipated the film being much more mind-twisting than it was. I thought it was gonna be a cerebral, action movie, heavy on the cerebral, but it turned out, for me, to be visa-versa. It's a smart movie conceptually though.

    Also, I thought that the emotional arch of Cobb's story was kind of out of place, for the most part. I was way more into the heist idea. To relate it to something similar: I wish they had handled it more like the George Clooney/Julia Roberts arch of Ocean's 11. I did like the idea that Cobbs is trying to get back to his kids and the threat of Mal potentially botching the inception, but the stuff with Mal and Cobbs in limbo and her killing herself, etc. I feel like I didn't need to see those scenes. All we need to know is that she was Cobbs wife, she killed herself, and Cobbs was held responsible. And for those who would argue that we need those scenes because it shows that Cobbs had done an inception before so he knows it possible, I argue this:

    Cobbs didn't have to be 100% sure he could do it. If he was even half-way sure he could do it, I think the motive to return to his kids was strong enough that we'd accept it. And besides, when Tom Hardy's character says inception is possible, he'd never done it, and DiCaprio (and the viewer) have little reaction. Obviously, within the world of the movie, its just one of those things where some people think you can and most don't.

    I did, overall, really love the movie though. I really hope it puts Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the mainstream map. He's way more gifted of an actor than most give him credit for.

    • H-Man July 20, 2010 at 2:32 am #

      I know what you mean by the expository dialogue being excessive, but I really didn't see any way around it with this film's story. Nolan has to explain the rules of the dreamworld somehow. This was just a case where there was no real way to avoid it.

      • Doug July 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

        I agree that some things needed to be explained, but only things pertaining to the rules of dream-sharing, if anything. Where it bothered me the most was during scenes when Ariadne would ask Cobb things like "What happened to your wife?" and he would explain part of it. Then, later another question would come up and then Cobb would explain further. I felt like at every turn in the plot, an explanation was given.

        And even some of the rules didn't have to be explained. Like I really loved how it would cut back to Arthur being tossed in the truck and then cut to gravity changing in his dream. That was a great, simple way of "explaining" a rule of the dream world without having someone just flat-out say it. I just wished Nolan had incorporated more of that technique into the storytelling rather than using Ariadne as a device for straight-forward explanation.

    • Swift August 3, 2010 at 8:02 am #

      Doug – Spoiler alert is gonna be submitted below, gotta fill up some space so the comment preview doesn’t give anything away – BUT, he was still dreaming, he never woke up, Mal did.

      Two points, one, he never had his OWN totem, he was using hers, which he explained is a bozo no-no. Two, she killed herself to wake up from the dream world they created together. In my opinion, he is still stuck in limbo, notice his kids hadn’t aged a day and everything was just peachy, plus the top was still spinning. The only way for him to escape now is to kill himself.

      And, yes, the movie had a LOT of expository dialog, but it kinda had to because the concepts are so fresh.

      Overall, I agree with the 4.5 star rating, close to perfect, but over-long and drawn out in certain areas and a little too complex for most audiences – which is why people have seen it three or four times already! Brilliant film though.

  10. Longboard Guy July 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I truly did not understand the movie completely.


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