When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
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
When Saito uses his teeth to pull the safety pin from a fragmentation grenade (extremely difficult in real life) the safety lever remains in place even after the grenade is thrown several feet into the opening of a vent. See more »
Inception is one of those movies that "engaged" film-goers will mistake for genius. Let me explain my theory on people and movies. There are three types of movie-watchers: passive, engaged, and intelligently engaged. Passive people will watch Die Another Day and like it just as much as the Bourne Identity. They don't go to the movies to think, they go to be entertained by cool effects and witty one-liners. Engaged people think they know what they're talking about, and generally love movies that are edgy in plot and execution but conventional enough to understand, like Fight Club and the subject of this review. They believe themselves to be refined in cinema, but, in reality, just don't quite have the intellect, cinematically speaking, to pull it off. Intelligently engaged people will appreciate the complexity of Inception, but also recognize it's a little sloppy, self-serious, over drawn, and empty. They recognize its audacity, but don't pretend like it is Kubrick or Paul Thomas Anderson. Suffice it to say, most people who fall into the engaged category will try and pretend that Inception is a 'masterpiece' and that they know everything about movies. They don't. Inception is clever, but it doesn't rank anything above respectable.
The premise is ingenious, and Inception is able to live off its sheer mind-bendiness for the first 45 minutes. Leo is a specialist at entering people's minds through their dreams and extracting, or in this case, planting information. The dream world Nolan creates is so exciting and unpredictable that the audience, me included, couldn't care less about the actual story line. Unfortunately, when the magic wears off and the extravagantly overlong climax starts (almost at the midway point), things fall apart.
The first problem is the eventual goal of the whole operation is seriously anti-climactic. As far as I could tell, they're trying to break up some obscure monopolistic multi-national company for a rich CEO, who in turn will give them large sums of money and Leo a way back to his kids. Sound under-developed? It is. Nolan never really fleshes it out. He is too busy creating spectacularly slick effects to get caught up in silly things like crucial plot points.
When Inception hits its final profligate culmination (the climax inside the climax), I couldn't help but notice how empty it all was. Nolan makes the mistake of thinking multiple things happening at once equals suspense. In an effort to ratchet up the intensity, Nolan piles on at least 5 simultaneous plot-lines that climax at the same time. All this serves to do is suffocate the little suspense that had been built up. There is literally a fifteen minute stretch where Hans Zimmer's deafening score blares and Nolan annoyingly flips through the parallel actions like an ADD-afflicted friend who can't decide what channel to watch. It's mind- numbing, not to mention confusing as hell. One of these little subplots is particularly ridiculous and consists of a guy running around a snowbound bunker shooting people for the whole 15 minutes. Cutting-edge techno thriller? At this point, I was thinking more along the lines of a Roger Moore Bond flick.
For all its structural faults, the single most damning aspect of Inception is its complete lack of heart or emotion. The one remotely human thread in the film deals with Leo and his mysterious dead wife. This thread is drawn out to excess and becomes more and more incomprehensible as the movie progresses. Inception seems to delight in keeping the audience in the dark regarding if Leo's wife is real or just a projection of his subconscious. Inception thinks it's awfully clever, but it's hard to feel emotion towards characters that you're not even sure exist. Near the end, I found the dialog between the unhappy couple completely devoid of meaning, made worse by Nolan attempting to give it resonance through close ups of people crying and a climaxing score.
Despite the fact that the majority of this review deals with Inception's shortcomings, I actually like the movie as a whole. For all of its faults, I was grudgingly won over through Inception's pure style and visceral power. Nolan occasionally strikes brilliance, especially in an early scene where a dream explodes around Ellen and Leo in slow-motion virtuosity. This movie is not the genius many will claim, but it's not so bad either. Give it a shot, just don't expect to dream about it afterwards.
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