Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Review: Inception

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Original story and visuals
Cons: What the heck was really going on?
The Bottom Line:
Good premise; looks great
But the questions it left me
Really frustrated

Visual Dream but a Nightmare to Figure Out

Inception wasn't even on my radar until a couple of months ago when my roommate started talking about it.  After seeing a preview, I quickly decided I must see it.  I wound up watching it with my brother and sister-in-law while on vacation.  They loved it, but I had a mixed reaction to it.

Frankly, this movie is hard to describe without giving too much away and still make sense to those who haven't seen it, but here goes.  Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) makes his living by invading people's dreams.  He is hired to people to go in and steal someone's secrets so they can be used against them later.  Naturally, this doesn't make him very popular, so he and his team are always on the run.

After Cobb's latest assignment goes wrong, he is offered a complicated new job.  His client doesn't want him to steal a secret but to plant a new idea in someone's head.  This is, called inception, and can be very tricky to actually pull off.  But the client is dangling a reward that Cobb just can't pass up.  Can he pull off this one last job?

The premise is wonderfully original.  Trust me; you haven't seen anything like this before.  And the visual execution is stunning.  If this isn't at least nominated for visual effects, there are some serious problems with the Oscars.

On the surface, the story is fun, too.  I was on the edge of my seat for the final half, waiting to see how it all played out.  I will admit I saw the final scene coming about the time it started, but I didn't really mind how it ended.  The climax did get a bit over done, and I was ready for it to be over about 15 minutes before it was, but that's a minor point.

The acting was very good as well.  To be honest, I wasn't that familiar with most members of the cast, but that wasn't a problem at all.  They were all perfect, sucking me into the story.  This really is Leonardo DiCaprio's movie since his character is front and center.  He nailed the part.  Ellen Page had the largest female role, and she was great as well.

If I had seen the movie by myself, I probably would have liked it more.  But after walking out of the theater, I started talking about it with my family.  They kept bringing up questions that I hadn't thought about based on scenes that were pushed to the back of my mind.  At the time, I had wondered if those scenes meant more than they did, but I soon put them at face value and got caught up in the story.

Now, I'm left with lots of questions, and that frustrates me.  I don't mind questions in the middle of a story, but I want to feel like I know what was going on when I reach the end.  I don't feel that way any more.  In fact, I'm wondering if it is even possible to know what writer/director Christopher Nolan was really trying to say here.  My brother loved that very thing about the movie, on the other hand.

I think it takes two viewings to even begin to understand Inception.  Either that or I am exceptionally dense.  This is not something to watch when looking for some mindless entertainment but something to watch when you really want to think things through.

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