Inception

A common complaint from movie critics when summer rolls along are that all the studio movies are either sequels, remakes, or based on video games, comic books, or television shows. So when a big budget movie based on an original screenplay comes out they get a little overzealous in their praise. Even if the movie isn’t all that original.

I saw Inception last week, but I’d already seen it eleven years earlier when it was called The Matrix. I saw it a year before that too when it was called Dark City.

Inception is visually stunning and for the most part has riveting tension which keeps you interested, but it’s neither fun nor thought provoking. It’s a movie filled with rules and complications, but is not what one could call complex. Some reviews have compared it to a Stanley Kubrick flick. From technical aspects of filmmaking perhaps that argument could be made, but on an artistic level that kind of talk is blasphemy.

In most of Kubrick’s work you could leave the theater with a hundred different interpretations and none of them being correct. When you leave Inception the only debates you can have are how many movies Leonardo DiCaprio has portrayed a doomed lover and whether supporting actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Keanuesque performance was a deliberate tip of the hat to The Matrix. (There is also a true or false open ended question before the end of the credits as opposed to the essay questions at the ends of Eyes Wide Shut and 2001).

It’s a shame. When director Christopher Nolan started out he made some really great, original movies in The Following and Memento. Memento  took the kind of original idea of telling its story backwards (Seinfeld had already done a backwards episode years earlier and Tarantino had made out of sequence narratives in movies the norm in the nineties), but beyond the gimmick Memento was a movie you could watch endless times and still catch a new detail. Nolan’s more recent movies The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception have all been classy and kind of good, but they lack characters that you grow attached toward, moments that you remember or ideas that blow your mind. They’re as cold and heartless as cheating on your wife with a robot. And not half as fun.

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4 thoughts on “Inception

  1. I’m sorry, but Leonardo DiCaprio is a GOD and Chris Nolan is a JESUS and this movie is an EVOLUTION and they all coexist in the same Universe.

    This Reviewer is a HATER. Being different and rebelling against the norm like an angsty emo teen doesn’t make you cool, especially when you’re the only one doing it and you’re probably in your 30s.

  2. Memento and The Following are incredible and thought provoking films made on a micro budget compared to Inception. Each time I watched either film. I only wanted to watch it again. Inception I got. I was entertained. I wasn’t compelled to run back out and see it again. It still ranks as a summer popcorn dressed in the Emperor’s new clothing.

    Clockwork Orange, 2001: Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Shining………Inception???

    Time will tell.

  3. It seems to me, when successful low-budget film-makers hit Tinsel-town and the big dough, the awe in their eyes clouds their formerly clear and self-confident vision. Witness “The Blair Witch Project” one and two. I was disappointed, that Nolan even made a Batman movie, but I guess, that he has bills to pay also. I used to love comic books as a kid, but I find movies about them, tend to shrink them down and confine their amazing exuberance. It is of course the same with many good books, which are done as films, by anyone but creative geniouses. At his best, Kubrick could be this. “2001” is my favourite movie of all, although Arthur C. Clarke, another genious was involved also. No doubt the Hollywood moguls specified the number of explosions and car chases, which Nolan had to include, since they were putting up the huge bucks . . . A small British movie, which I really liked and can be compared to “Following”, was “Proof” with Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe. Anyone know it? My son saw “Inception” and liked it, but with a “Hollywood movie” disclaimer. After reading about it and seeing the clips, I don’t really have much desire to see it, because I already get that “empty” feeling. Feels like too much noise, too little heart. Unfortunate. Guess I’m just another HATER . . .,

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