Friday, May 9, 2014

Inception Movie Review

There is an adage called Sturgeon's Law which states that, "ninety percent of everything is crap." This is how we end up with awful movies. There is that glorious ten percent that is something completely unique, original, and stands above the rest. These movies are few and far between and they blow your mind. Inception (2010) is an example of this from within the last five years.
Dominick Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the science of "extraction" - inserting oneself into a subject's dreams to obtain hidden information without the subject knowing. Cobb has given up being the dream architect for reasons he won't disclose. Cobb's primary associate, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), believes it has something to do with Cobb's deceased wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who often figures prominently and violently in those dreams. Cobb's work is generally in corporate espionage and since the subjects don't want the information to get into the wrong hands, the clients have zero tolerance for failure. Cobb is also a wanted man as some of his past subjects have learned what Cobb has done to them. One of these subjects, Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe), offers Cobb a job he can't refuse; to take the concept one step further into "inception." Planting thoughts into the subject's dream without them knowing. Inception can fundamentally alter that person as a being. Saito's target is Robert Michael Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the heir to an energy business empire, which has the potential to rule the world if continued on the current trajectory. Beyond the complex logistics of the dream architecture of the case and some unknowns concerning Fischer himself, the biggest obstacles in success for the team is worrying about one aspect of inception which Cobb fails to disclose to the other team members prior to the job. Additionally, Cobb's new associate Ariadne (Ellen Page) believes that Cobb's own subconscious, especially as it relates to Mal, may be taking over what happens in the dream.
Inception is pretty much a perfect movie for my preferences. Let's make an amazing action movie, that is also very cerebral and forces you to think. It should be written and directed by Christopher Nolan who also wrote and directed Memento and The Dark Knight trilogy. It should keep viewers on the edge of their seat, and keep them engaged with every little plot twist. We should use some outstanding actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, and Michael Caine. It must have state-of-the-art mind blowing special effects, as well as some inconceivable practical effects. It also needs an amazing score by Hans Zimmer since he's among the best in the industry. It should be specific enough to follow and understand the unique setting, yet abstract enough to prompt discussion and personal interpretation. Boom! Inception.
While there are few people I know who did not enjoy Inception, I occasionally hear complaints about how it was confusing, or that Nolan has mistaken needless complexity for good writing. I don't agree with this at all. I loved Inception right from the first time I saw it in theaters, but it took at least two more viewings before I pieced it all together in my mind. Even then, I still argue and discuss the cryptic way the movie ends and what it means with other fans of the movie. Even Nolan himself has said he's read some very off-the-wall interpretation. It's not so much confusing as it is detailed; it's much more complicated than your average movie and forces you to think about what you're seeing. It is confusing if you only watch it once and take it at face value, but Inception is much more complicated than that. There is just a whole lot to take in, and it's not likely you'll take in all of it with one viewing. I can think of few examples of movies that are so specific in story development and yet still so open to interpretation. That is a strong indication of high quality art.
Inception is an excellent piece of writing. Since there is so many rules unique to this world setting, there is a whole lot of exposition required to explain everything. Inception has this continuous exposition explaining how things work almost right up to the end. Yet it's interwoven into the action so remarkably well that we are never bored by the dialogue. We get just enough of an understanding to carry us over into the next scene. The dialogue is detailed and intelligently written, the pacing is fast but even, and the intricate story unfolds in such a way to keep us engaged and interested the whole time.
Inception is simply incredible. It has a stellar cast, an amazing story, astonishing special effects, and an incredible writer and director. Nolan has cemented himself among the great filmmakers of our time, not only with Inception but with most of his other works as well. Like any movie, Inception has it's weak points, but it's mostly miniscule nit-picky things; I don't think cognitive psychology was consulted much in the development of this film, for example. That's unimportant since the particular rules of this unique world setting are so meticulously explained to us. There is a lot to like about Inception and Nolan keeps his eye on the ball throughout, offering up a lush treat of a thriller with nerve and wit. The Inception Blu-Ray is already sitting on my shelf next to other favorites of mine. I highly recommend this movie; it's worth owning and seeing multiple times. It only becomes more interesting when you know the end from the beginning.

What is your favorite Christopher Nolan movie? Comment below and tell me why!

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