“Inception” Movie Review (2010)

7/30/2010 Posted by Admin


Movie Review

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, 148 minutes, rated PG-13.

By Christopher Smith

The new Christopher Nolan movie, “Inception,” is a trick, but it isn’t a gimmick.

The film, which Nolan based on his own script, offers moviegoers something unusual during the summer movie season--intelligence targeted at adults. The movie is complex, it’s ambitious, it’s daring in how it isolates viewers by piling on the layers, and it’s cunning in how it draws them back in when those layers suddenly come together.

This is a movie that turns in on itself--and then in on itself again--until what you’re left with is a kind of compelling confusion of ideas that oddly makes sense as the movie expands into its nearly 2.5 hour running time. If you think “Lost” was complicated, let’s just say it’s kitten chow when compared to this.

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a crook who possesses a rare ability. He can steal into a person’s dreams, lift information they otherwise wouldn’t have shared while awake, and then sell that information to the person in need of it most.

But when Saito (Ken Watanabe) decides he needs something from Cillian Murphy’s Fischer, a wealthy man with daddy issues, a new challenge is offered to Cobb--can he plant an idea into someone’s subconscious? Is he able to incept a notion that could, say, bring down one man’s corporation? Cobb can, but he’s uneasy about it. The only other time he incepted led to a person’s death.

For Cobb, who for years has been unable to return to the United States for reasons that won’t be revealed here, the catch is that Saito will see to his return if he agrees to his wishes and incepts a dream. Since his children are in the States, Cobb agrees, and inward the movie folds, with so many complications edging into the plot, the best tip I can offer is to pay attention. Nolan likes to play mind games with those who come to his movies, and “Inception” is no exception.

To help Cobb make Saito’s wishes a reality, his father (Michael Caine) introduces him to Ariadne (Ellen Page), a “dream architect” who has a knack for contructing intricacies that become pseudo-realities. You know, like folding Paris into a neat little box. That sort of thing. Also onboard are the smoldering Eames (Tom Hardy); a chemist named Yusuf (Dileep Rao); and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), none of whom is quite prepared for the game changer that is the act of inception. Marion Cotillard is very good as Cobb’s dead wife, who infiltrates his subconcious in ways that could ruin everything for the team if he allows her to push too hard.

“Inception” is a curious movie that satisfies more with its intellect than with any emotion it elicits. With the exception of Eames and Arthur, you don’t necessarily care much for the characters, so it’s difficult to find someone to get behind. That person should be Cobb, but he is such a cold, emotional wreck--and a thief at that--siding with him is tricky. For your own pleasure, you want the inception to go off, but because you’re not emotionally invested in the people trying to make it happen, the movie pushes you to the sidelines, where you mostly sit back and appreciate the difficult work that went into stitching together Nolan’s impossible narrative.

And there is where the movie wins. Nolan is first and foremost a craftsman, and while what he does in “Inception” might not have the personal heat of “The Dark Knight” or “Momento,” he nevertheless uses the medium here in ways that are fresh and compelling. Some will wish there were less exposition, but others will appreciate the sheer amount of thought that went into dissecting the mystery of dreams, how they work to inform “Inception,” and how they ultimately give themselves over to the overall success of the film’s conception.

Grade: B+

View WeekinRewind.com's preview for "Inception" below. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Gogoli said...

    wow, dreamscape x the matrix. please sir, may i have another?

  2. Gogoli said...

    Wow, this site is pretty cool: http://gs.protectyourthoughts.com
    It uses green screen to put you into a scene from Inception. it helps to follow the "tips and hints" to make your video come out decent.

  3. Anonymous said...

    I think the third part is the best: "Inception:Showtime" explain me everything. see Ya soon!!

  4. Richard said...

    Inception is a complete yawnfest and many will say to the contrary so they look cool at the watercooler. I did really enjoy the scene where the cheerleaders went on a machine gun rampage, oh wait no that was when I was dreaming in the theater seat.