A group of individuals with the ability to enter people’s dreams are hired to implant a simple idea into the mind of a powerful business heir.
Inception is further proof that you can never know what to expect with a Christopher Nolan film. Having done films like Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight, this may very well be Nolan’s masterpiece. He is truly an artist, the only writer/director I have seen that can so easily combine a story so complex, interesting, and engaging while including a great number of action scenes with a great amount of depth. Every aspect of the film is so well thought out and so well executed at every turn that it could be a perfect film.
Seeing the film on an IMAX screen brought you straight into the story, making you feel like you were right there with the characters. There is a notable scene in the film where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character fights an assailant in zero-gravity. This scene literally made my jaw drop…and it received an enormous eruption of applause as it concluded. Not being a big fan of CGI, Nolan trained his actors in wire-work and used some nifty camera tricks to pull this scene off. If it had been anyone else but Nolan, this scene would have been completely filmed in CGI (a la The Matrix). His careful use of CGI is something to be praised for, as he only uses it when absolutely necessary.
The cast here does an absolutely terrific job. DiCaprio is his amazing self, and I could definitely see him pick up a nomination later this year for his performance here or in Shutter Island. There truly is not one weak link in the bunch, Nolan has assembled the best young actors of this generation to populate this sci-fi action thriller. Marion Cotillard has the distinct ability here to be at once frightening and the next warm-hearted. Cillian Murphy (The Scarecrow from the Batman series) plays against his usual type here and doesn’t miss a beat. The entire cast is awesome here. I also have to mention Hans Zimmer’s score, which is truly at once an epic and heart-wrenching piece of work.
There have been some comparisons of this film to others such as The Matrix, but overall, this is an original film all in itself. Not simply the idea alone, but the execution of the screenplay is absolutely phenomenal. This is the most engaged I have been watching a movie in a long time. Nolan doesn’t miss a beat, there is never really much downtime. The first 45 minutes to an hour is the setup for the film where we come to understand our characters’ motivations and we see how they intend to pull of this ‘inception’. The last 90 minutes or so is the actual carrying out of the inception. Taking the audience through multiple layers of dream and subconscious states, I found the story easier to follow than I would have thought, all you have to do is pay attention. While the film certainly does make the audience work, its conclusion is well worth it. I have never seen an audience react so much to a film as I did here.
Overall, this film is one of the most original and brilliantly executed films I have ever seen. It is one mind-blowing, visually stunning, intelligent piece of art. This was a big risk for Nolan to take after making such a hit with The Dark Knight, but it certainly was worth it. I cannot recommend this film enough, there is absolutely nothing like it and I can’t wait to see it again. Inception is Nolan’s most accomplished and emotionally satisfying film to date.
I will definitely be seeing this movie more than once and will most likely post my final review for it before the year is out.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
Runtime: 148 minutes