Inception

Inception is very smart, very slick, and very interesting. But ultimately, it fails to tell a truly satisfying story. In truth, Inception would have been better as an indie film rather than a blockbuster– we want a satisfying story from our blockbusters, not ‘challenging art.’

Seriously, Chris, just tell us if the top falls or not.

That said, this is a fascinating look at what you can do on film.

Here’s a trailer:

The deets:

Released July 16, 2010

Written by Christopher Nolan

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, and Lukas Haas

Rated: PG-13

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Story

Dom Cobb (Di Caprio) is an accomplished thief. But he doesn’t burgle homes; he burgles minds. His specialty is extracting ideas from people in a dream state, usually for the benefit of corporations that hire him. He has a solid team that includes Arthur (Gordon-Levitt), Eames (Hardy), and the newcomer Ariadne (Page).

Cobb has a dark, mysterious past that is slowly revealed throughout the story as he infiltrates people’s minds. But now Cobb has a new client that doesn’t want him to extract an idea, instead Cobb is to plant an idea. This is called ‘inception’ and is supposed to be impossible. It is also extremely dangerous.

Cue the mind-bending twists of rolling cities, spiraling hallways, and a cryptic top. The story unfolds at a brisk pace, throwing our protagonists against some unknown and not understood adversaries.

And we have the ending that isn’t an ending because it poses a question that we have been wondering the entire film but refuses to answer it.

Critique

Everything about this movie is truly wonderful and pleasing, despite it being at times hard to follow. The premise alone is fascinating and is explored wonderfully, with Nolan finding inventive ways to use modern film technologies to lend realism and eye-popping effects to what sometimes feels like a retro mobster film. The writing, up until the end, is engaging, with Cobb being both ruthless and sympathetic– indeed his ruthlessness is well founded on his past.

The rest of the characters are also interesting. Nolan clearly put a great deal of thought into each character, making sure that the film would allow each one to explore his or her arc fully. Arthur is particularly well done, as is Eames.

The problem is that the ending isn’t an ending. It’s a redundant question that the audience is robbed of the answer to. I worry that Nolan didn’t want to commit to an answer, which was why he didn’t give an answer. If that is the case, Christopher Nolan needed to buckle up and just answer the question the way the story needed it to be answered.

Otherwise, Inception is a fantastic film. Highly recommended.

Content warnings: Some language and violence.

Writing: 4.5          Acting: 5          Overall: 4.5

Dom Cobb might just infiltrate your mind and plant the desire to share this review with your network. Or save me some money and yourself some odd dreams and share it on your own.

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About jared

Jared Garrett works as a writer, the manager of a program development department in the corporate world, and an instructional designer. He is a family man with an adorable, fun, and way-too-smart wife, six silly kids, a new house with an overgrown back yard, seven fish, and a bunch of chickens. He has written fiction, user manuals, SEO copy, radio scripts and textbooks and has won first place in the Mayhew writing contest at BYU and received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. He lives at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and is currently seeking representation for his myriad completed novels.
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