Inception

How to describe Inception? It’s like a riddle wrapped inside an enigma that’s all part of a dream that’s made into a movie. If your brain hurts now, just wait til you see the movie – assuming you do see the movie. As interesting as it is – it’s not for everybody.

If you like the work of writer/director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento), then it’s a no-brainer. Go see this movie. If you’re looking for easy, breezy escapist fare, then skip it.

Inception is basically about corporate espionage, with a sci-fi twist. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a genius in the art of so-called “extraction”. He knows how to infiltrate a person’s dreams in order to unlock (i.e. steal) secrets buried in their subconscious. It’s a lucrative skill that has cost him dearly in his personal life… a life that he wants to reclaim.

Cobb is offered a chance at redemption if he takes on one last job that requires a bit of reverse engineering. Rather than ‘extract’ information from an unsuspecting man’s subconscious, he must ‘plant’ an idea there. Inception.

What ensues is a mind-bending, complex, bizarre, sometimes even funny ensemble heist flick reminiscent of a dark and twisted Ocean’s Eleven. But in this case, the perfect crime involves a journey into virtual realities as opposed to casino vaults. And like George Clooney in Oceans, DiCaprio is quite captivating as the team leader in this cerebral caper.

Inception features a strong supporting cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, and Ellen Page as Ariadne (which I mention, only ‘cause I couldn’t figure out what the heck her name was supposed to be).

Page plays a “student architect” tasked with designing a dream within a dream within a dream that Cobb and his co-conspirators can infiltrate and manipulate. It all seems dangerous, but oddly doable – until Cobb’s own subconscious threatens to put his whole team, and their mission, in jeopardy.

Inception is certainly a smart and refreshingly unique alternative to the studios’ typical summer offerings. But it does take an inordinate amount of focus and concentration to follow, and it feels as long as it is (two and a half hours!). So if you’re susceptible to nodding off in the theater or need frequent bathroom breaks, you’d better wait for the DVD ‘cause you need to pay attention all the way through the very last frame. Sorry, no spoilers here!

2 Comments

  1. Arty Chick, July 21, 2010:

    Saw it today with Mom. I was with it the whole way, but agree that it makes you work to keep up with it. I’m not sure Mom liked it as I did and coming out I heard a group of the other viewers disagreeing about how complex it was and whether it needed to be that hard. I liked the internal logic and the visuals a LOT. And the cast was stellar.

  2. Anne, August 1, 2010:

    Just saw this last night. Loved the originality of the idea, but could have done without all the things blowing up, hurtling through the air, and the Matrix-like fight scenes. Without this stuff, the movie could have been half an hour shorter and just as effective. All that being said, still enjoyed it. But you’re right, this movie is not for everyone – as evidenced by the man sitting next to me in the theatre who fell asleep and began snoring!

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