After a summer of grossly mediocre movies, it’s time to stretch your brain with something entirely new. Prepare yourself for Inception, the latest hype from director Christopher Nolan. Leo and his friends use futuristic technology and extensive planning to manipulate the dreams of other people. But what you don’t realize is that Nolan is implanting his own ideas in your mind the entire time..
Even from a critical standpoint, the acting is top notch – every single actor/actress delivers an outstanding performance that adds humor and depth to the movie. I have no complaints about Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role of Dom Cobb. He is an outstanding actor that has truly built a reputable career over the past decade with great movies like The Departed, Blood Diamond, Shutter Island, Revolutionary Road, and Catch Me If You Can. The announcement of Ellen Page’s role in Inception worried me at first, but she really does a great job ‘learning’ the rules of the dream world as the audience journeys alongside her. Although, I do have a few issues with her character, Ariadne (will discuss later). Joseph Gordon-Levitt stands out amongst the rest of the cast and delivers a truly captivating performance as Arthur, Cobb’s right-hand man. Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Michael Caine all contribute immensely to the movie and deliver outstanding roles for each of their respective characters.
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One of the only complaints that I have with this movie is about the character, Ariadne (Ellen Page). While Page performs well in the role, I didn’t really view her character as plausible. I can buy the fact that she is an outstanding architecture student who picks up things quickly, but later she instantly takes on the roles of psychologist, secret agent, and tactical strategist. This perplexed me and ultimately made me dislike the ‘hollow shelled’ nature of her character. Audience members know nothing of her background and this makes it difficult to relate to her on a personal level. This is the greatest issue I have with Inception (and there are few others to find).
The score by Hans Zimmer is outstanding (as always), chilling your skin throughout intense action sequences and moments of tension as well. However, this score is not quite as memorable as some of his previous work like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, and Pearl Harbor. A lot of people may leave the theatre only hearing the BBBUUURRRRRRRRRR sound in their dreams that night.
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I’ve read several reviews that proclaim that Inception is essentially The Dark Knight meets The Matrix. I’m here to tell you that it is not. Sure, there are similar cinematic angles and comic relief styles as the latest Batman movie (it’s the same director for goodness sake). And the main similarity to The Matrix that I found is the concept of an alternate reality that you enter by leaning back and closing your eyes. However, Inception deals with varying levels of dreams, not alternating worlds of truth and falsehood. This is a completely new experience that absolutely deserves the attention it is getting right now.
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The story moves extremely fast and is difficult to keep up with at times (similar to other Nolan films). In relation to his other works, I feel that Inception falls somewhere between The Prestige and Memento in terms of exposition. There is no single plot twist that climaxes at the very end of the movie like in The Prestige and there is little vagueness used for individual interpretation like in Memento. Inception explains itself properly while leaving a few ideas open for thought. After much post-movie discussion, I grasped most of the confusing elements that I initially viewed as ‘plot holes’ and later found their explanations hidden within quick dialogue sequences and indirect references. Upon seeing the movie for the second time and picking up on a significantly larger amount of plot details, I feel that I fully understand Inception and its -initially- confusing and contradictory nature. Needless to say, a second viewing is highly rewarding and recommended.
Ultimately, Nolan succeeds at his own form of Inception by placing a new idea within the audience members’ minds by the end of the film. Now that’s filmmaking at its finest.
Personally, I applaud directors like Nolan who create a completely new concept that requires the audience to think deeper than that of the typical summer blockbuster rehash. Dissecting and discussing a movie even days after seeing it is an excellent method for spreading word of mouth advertising and creating cult-like fan loyalty to director, Chris Nolan. Despite a few -minor- flaws, any movie goer who enjoys fast paced, deep thinking action and suspense will absolutely love this movie. Don’t miss out – take a leap of faith and have your mind blown…immediately.