‘Inception’ review

One of the more exciting parts of this gig, besides seeing modern-day classics like “Macgruber” and “Marmaduke” of course, is seeing a brilliant film for the first time. Nothing can quite top that sense of awe and wonder about what’s going to happen next. While it won’t be the exact same, I imagine that in watching ‘Inception’ very little of that awe and wonder will diminish from one of the most groundbreaking and original films I’ve seen in the last decade.

Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since ‘Inception’ was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the genius behind “Memento,” “The Prestige” and the second highest grossing movie of all time “The Dark Knight.” [2012 FF: Stupid “Avatar!”]  “Inception” is Nolan’s sixth full-length film, and marks the last indicator that he’s operating on a totally different level than his peers. He doesn’t need 3D or any other here today, gone tomorrow fad to sell movie tickets. His gimmick? Exemplary storytelling that draws you in and keeps you thinking about what you’ve just witnessed long after the final credits.

Inception Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprioThe most satisfying aspect of “Inception” is that it’s what an adult’s summer movie could be like if directors didn’t just want to cater to teenagers.

  It’s part “Ocean’s Eleven,” parts “Mission Impossible” with a dash of “The Fugitive” and “The Usual Suspects,” with a little something for everyone. The only difference is you won’t have to check your brain at the door to enjoy it.Inception Cillian Murphy and Leonardo DiCaprio

Set somewhere in the future, a new skill set has emerged and these extractors have mastered the art of creating a dream world and luring a subject into this imaginary world, then planting ideas to change their viewpoints.

Want a charismatic speaker to encourage millions to take up a crusade? Have an extractor go in and ‘push’ him into supporting said crusade. Among the very best extractors are Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Shutter Island’) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’).Inception Ken Watanabe and Marion Cottilard

The pair are recruited by Saito, (Ken Watanabe, “Batman Begins“) a wealthy businessman who wants them to ‘convince’ Robert Fischer, Jr. (Cillian Murphy, “The Dark Knight”) to dissolve his father’s monopoly to ensure a healthier worldwide financial situation. Cobb could care less about which business has control of what empire, but Saito’s promise to reunite him with his children is all the incentive Cobb needs to take the job. Being a loyal friend, Arthur agrees to it as well, which is all the better for us as Levitt absolutely nails this role and he has excellent chemistry with DiCaprio.Inception Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon Levitt

The job takes more than a two-man team, so in excellent heist film fashion, Cobb and Arthur recruit the rest of their team — dream world designers Ariadne (Ellen Page, “Juno”) and Yusuf (Dileep Rao, “Avatar”) and Eames (Tom Hardy, “RocknRolla”) as the James Bond-type [2012 FF: Hardy would make for a fun Bond villain…] — and lay out the seemingly impossible task. Nolan smartly inserts Ariadne as the audience proxy so we learn everything as she does.Inception Marion Cottilard and Leonardo DiCaprio

Saito insists on accompanying the team into Fischer’s mind, leaving open the possibility that he’s not as altruistic with his goals as he implies. But the real issue might be Cobb’s dead wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard, “Public Enemies”) who is hell-bent on thwarting all of Cobb’s plans.

While DiCaprio gets the bulk of the time in the trailer, the film is much more an ensemble piece with every actor getting a chance to shine, although I’d really like to see Levitt and Hardy becoming part of Nolan’s stable of go-to actors, perhaps even in his third Batman film? [2012 FF: Done and done!]

InceptionWith dreams being the main backdrop, the only limitation is Nolan’s imagination and he seems to revel in the opportunity with buildings shattering as the dreamer becomes aware that their dream world is not reality, cityscapes going into the air and a zero gravity fight that is choreographed and shot so beautifully that words can’t do it justice.Inception Leonardo DiCaprio with totem

You won’t have another cinematic experience like this all year and I can’t imagine a film topping this for Best of 2010 honors. Despite its two- and a half-hour length, it flies by and just like a great dream you don’t want to wake up from, even after the end credits start, you’ll desperately crave five more minutes.

Rating: 10 out of 10

10 thoughts on “‘Inception’ review”

  1. I am sorry I found this movie to be boring as utterly confusing. The effort the writer put in to contrive a story line so complex made the movie interesting as one has to work so hard to understand what is going that there is no enjoyment in watching this movie – just agony and befuddlement. So we disagree but I am 65 and I do not have time to sit through a movie that makes one work so work. I am retired you know. Pierre

    1. Hey Pierre

      I had the same argument with my Dad and he said exactly what you stated as to why he didn’t like it. So you’re not alone ;-)
      Thanks for reading and writing!

  2. Great review. I agree with all your points. I loved this when i first saw it and i could watch it over and over, as it’s got so many layers(No pun intended). Just yesterday i was talking with my Brother about the possibility that when his wife “died”, that they were still dreaming(Perhaps she was the one to wake up while he stayed there dreaming the whole time and that the entire plot was a plan by his own subconcious to get himself to wake up), and that she could actually still be waiting for him in the real world the whole time. Probably not but, as you said in your review, it’s great to have a movie that allows you to think and use your own intellect the whole time(The Avengers in comparison, is a great rollercoaster movie that requires you just to watch and enjoy, buit was no less of a movie for it). This movie has you feeling like you were a part of the story, working it out all the way.
    One that i feel is a modern classic already.

  3. It was indeed a good thing, my friend. Another point of note was the incredible score. It just builds and builds. During the final level where they are all fighting the clock, it’s beautiful music. I always tend to think of score for movies as “modern classical”. It’s great when you hear a score that just blows you away with incredible melodies.

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