Inception Movie Review

Where did reality end and where did the dream(s) begin?

Trust me on that one if you haven’t seen Inception up to now. That question popped into my head right after the credits started to roll. Even more I began to ask myself if there were more dreams than I noticed. And if the answer is yes, on what occasion did they start? When I looked to my buddy in search for an answer (he watched Inception a second time), he only had a big evil smirk on his face: „It’s your guess…think about it…“ I knew it! Evil bastard.

When walking out of the theater at least one thing was a given to me: Inception will be discussed for weeks, perhaps months, perhaps even for years. I also think that it might become another (almost instant) classic as Memento. Christopher Nolan really did it again and compared to M. Night Shyamalan for example (who more or less screwed up with his second movie already) his chain of work up to now is more impressive than ever before. Can this guy screw up? I really hope not and I can’t wait to see his third movie (the Batman franchise not included).

If you haven’t seen or read anything about Inception, here’s a short outline of the plot: in a world in which you can enter dreams via technology, the movie tells the story of a team of specialists who have to implant a certain idea into the mind of the future successor of a multi-billion corporation. The only problem? It’s almost impossible to achieve such a task, so they devise an almost crazy plan to get the job done.

Inception not only impressed me with its ideas, concepts and multi-layered realities. It also impressed me with its pitch perfect execution. The action sequence was one of the very best I’ve seen in a very long time. The time was flying when I watched it and I couldn’t tell you how long it was even if my life would depend on it. My guess would be at least one hour, so if my assumption is correct, this has to be one of the longest action sequences ever.

As you can see, our hotel is that pricey, that even the ceiling is perfect. By the way, sir, don't wonder about the constantly changing direction - it's part of the service

As you can see, our hotel is that pricey, that even the ceiling is perfect. By the way, sir, don't wonder about the constantly changing direction - it's part of the service

Before the movie started my buddy told me that after the exposition is over and I know the basic rules of the game, the action would start and never stop. I didn’t really believe him to be honest because too often action movies never fulfilled their promises (see Transformers 2). Therefore, when they entered the mind of the successor-to-be, I expected some lengthy exposition and set-up only to witness a big “BAM” thirty seconds later. So my buddy was absolutely right on that one and you have to see it to believe it. (Yep, sounds cheesy)

I also liked the small mystery surrounding the main character Cobb (DiCaprio) and his past. It was nothing immensely epic or word destroying when everything got revealed but it fitted perfectly for this kind of movie and its focus on “ideas”. It also kept my tension high as it added an element of uncertainty to everything. Oh yeah, and my buddy again was right on that one: DiCaprio’s getting better and better at acting.

The only very small gripe I have about Inception is that some characters of the team remain a little bit flat und underdeveloped. But that’s to be expected of a movie of that kind. Basically Inception is an inverted heist flick: instead of stealing something, it’s about the task of adding something. It’s a team effort. And the character themselves aren’t the focus of Inception. Think of Mission:Impossible (the old series) which is the exact same pattern. So to me it’s a very, very minor gripe and it didn’t diminish the fun I had at all. (Andbyohtheway: if someone hammers you with his opinion that the characters are flat you can counter that he probably hates Picasso because he painted with such broad strokes).

You call that Origami? To me it only looks like rolling a donut...

Aaah...what a nice sky....wait a minute...wrong direction. Ok, you call that Origami? To me it only looks like making a donut...Whew, I saved the scene

If you still haven’t seen Inception here’s a small warning, though: don’t expect too much on the side of “manipulating a dream”. You know, stuff like bending a world, flying and other crazy stuff. Although the movie takes place in dreams for eternity it feels grounded and you’ll only see crazy visual stuff during the exposition. This is also the moment Nolan adds a nice twist to everything and which explains why in the later part of the movie you won’t see that crazy stuff: if the dream is too weird, the dreamer knows he’s dreaming and the whole operation gets blown to dust. It’s a simple idea yet I think it’s remarkably simple and it fits perfectly to everything else established in that universe. Thinking about it I am even glad that Nolan went this way of “grounding” Inception because anything visually crazy wouldn’t have fit and finally dragged IMHO.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve come that far in reading this overlong post/review I think you’ll know what will come as a verdict: if you (still) haven’t seen Inception, DO IT NOW. You won’t regret it. I’ll even wait with my next post, so grab your stuff and go to you theater of choice. Inception is feat of a movie, marrying great ideas and concepts with one of the longest and best action sequences of recent memory.

And now it’s up to you guys, who have already seen the movie: what did you think of Inception and do you have a theory regarding The Truth©®?

Rating
Christopher Nolan did it again with this intelligent action thriller.

Comments

  • James

    I just read all your recent review up to this one. Youare a great reviewer! Though you should defintely review more often, Because you pick out the good movies perfectly. In the sea of horrible ones.

  • Cathy

    Watch the South Park Parody. Here is the problem with the movie – who cares? Does anyone sympathize with the multibillionaire successor? And the idea that DiCaprio tries to implant could have had the same success in reality. Think about, what exactly did he do? If the basic premise of the movie were true, there would be no new ideas in the real world. I feel robbed of my time and scammed by the critics. There is nothing “intellectual” about this movie. The first line that got me was “take two minutes to make a maze that will take me one minute to figure out.”

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