Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight must return to defend Gotham City against the enigmatic jewel thief Catwoman and the ruthless mercenary Bane as the city teeters on the brink of complete annihilation.
Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. Written by
Warner Bros. Pictures
Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller might well have been called 'Deception', or better still, 'Multiple Deception', such is the effect the film has. The concept is original, no question. However, it does borrow from classic American films such as 'Citizen Kane' and 'The Matrix'.
Many film geeks and ordinary punters have described this film as 'very complicated'. The truth is it's just tremendously detailed. For his job, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), while in a dream state, steals ideas from people ('Extraction'); however, the film concerns itself with him implanting an idea into a person's mind, i.e. 'Inception'. That's the plot in one crude line.
However, to reduce the plot, which took a modern master nearly eight years to flesh out, to one purely about mental thievery would be unfair. It is the minutiae which are meant to dazzle.
Business tycoon, Saito (Ken Watanabe) needs Cobb to perform the inchoate process of Inception on another businessman's son, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), to prevent his father's energy company from becoming a monopoly. After Fischer Snr passes, it is believed that he will betroth the business to his son, so the idea Cobb and his team must implant is for him to repudiate his father's will.
The technology used to carry out the subconscious subterfuge is never explained. When we catch glimpses of it, it looks like a child's primitive science-kit thrown into a briefcase. But this is not meant to be the focus.
For all its cerebral conceit, at the film's core are two emotional stories. One is of Cobb's wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who spends her time stalking Cobb's subconscious mind and thereby sabotaging his missions. The other is between Fischer and his father, whose relationship is strained.
We saw DiCaprio mature in Martin Scorsese's 'The Departed'. Here he permanently loses the schoolboy image and becomes a man. The ensemble acting is good, however, most of the main characters seem far too young to do anything let alone steal and implant ideas, and Michael Caine's turn as yet another sage is fast becoming trite.
The computer-generated imagery is, as expected, top-notch, though the action scenes would be clichéd if they were not embellished by Hans Zimmer's superbly suspenseful music.
Ultimately, Nolan asks us to absorb too much gobbledegook too quickly. Perhaps he was being pretentious, perhaps not. Either way, I lost interest somewhere in the second half.
Within days of the film's release, thousands of cinema-goers cast their votes on this venerated website, ensuring that the film became, at least in their minds, one of the top five greatest films of all time. So much for polls.
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