As always here is my ratings system.
10= Perfection (maybe 5-10 films all-time have made this category)
9= Great Film/ Likely Masterpiece
8= Must See/ Worth Owning
7= Worth Seeing/ Recommend to Others
6= Decent and Not Unhappy to Have Viewed/ May Recommend to Select People, but Not to Most
5= Likely had Some Positives but Wasn’t a Good Film
4= Bad Film
3= Horrible Film
2= Offensively Bad Film/ Surely Angered Me to have Viewed
1= Worst Pile of Shite Ever Committed to Film
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cottilard, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, and Cillian Murphy
Official Synopsis- Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.
Positives- The subject matter is very original. It has a very dense plot in which things are slowly revealed in layers, giving things you have already seen their proper context. You never feel completely sure of what is happening and where things are headed, but you never get completely lost and give up on the film, which is a hard line to straddle as a storyteller. Since the film is driven by such a tight plot and throwing mass amounts of information at you, it is hard for any acting performances to stand out, but the acting is very good across the board. I think I am becoming a Tom Hardy fan, as long as he doesn’t go into Vin Diesel/Jason Statham, shitty action movie territory in the future. While not as good, Di Caprio is very much in the same mode as his “Shutter Island” performance. (Hell, one shot of him hunched over the sink looks to be taken right from “Shutter Island”) The film absolutely has you leave the theater questioning things, replaying things in your mind, and wanting to revisit the film ASAP. The film looks amazing, and has a few iconic scenes (most everything on level 2 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt). There are real emotional moments, but it took me seeing the film a second time, where I had a strong grasp on everything, and not as many questions in my mind, in order for those moments to have their impact on me. The film works the first time, but REALLY works the second time and will probably continue to reward multiple viewings. This is a long film, but really doesn’t have many wasted scenes. Because Nolan was basically creating a world, there was a ton of info-dumping needed in order for the viewer to understand the rules of this world, but I found all of it very enjoyable.
Negatives- Christ! Will that van EVER hit the damn water?? There was probably ten minutes too many worth of gunfighting for my liking. Ken Watanabe is very hard to understand when speaking. The sound mix was weird when he spoke and he just doesn’t speak clear English, which could lead to viewers missing some pretty important dialogue. Even after two viewings, I could not explain how the 3rd level/limbo stuff works. I expect it does make sense, but it may take a third viewing.
Verdict- This is obviously a must-see, as anything Christopher Nolan makes is. It may very well be the best thing he has ever made. If you have not, go check his filmography, and watch everything he has ever made. He may be the best filmmaker of his generation. (Paul Thomas Anderson and Darren Aronofsky are in the discussion as well, or course) It is a great thing to see a filmmaker capitalize on a company giving him 200 Million dollars to turn an ORIGINAL screenplay and idea into a film. If films like this and “Avatar” do not succeed, it just leads to more “Transformers” and films based on Disney theme park rides. I will not be surprised if no other films released this year are as good as “Inception”. This is not a mindless summer film and will challenge you as a viewer, but absolutely GO SEE “INCEPTION”. See it twice!
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