Up next in the Throwdown/Nolanthon/Situation I find myself in because I can’t quit now, is the 2010 film, Inception!
I’ll admit it. Right now, to the loyal readers. I love this movie. Every time I am about to watch it, I assume I’ll like it less. I know the outcome. I know the story, but damnit, I get goosebumps from it. Now, to say that this is a movie without faults would be a lie, but it is a Layton’s Guaranteed 3-E’s movie. You know what I’m talking about. Enjoyable, exhilarating, and excellent. I’ll be trademarking that later. The review starts in..3..2..1..LET’S DO IT!
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a master thief of sorts. He’s not after your jewels, your money, or your gal though, he wants the secrets you hold dear in the furthest reaches of your subconscious. He is paid, handsomely it seems, to infiltrate dreams with help from his team, and convince your subconscious to trust him, by any means necessary. Not all is well in Cobb’s life though it seems. He cannot return home, due to a tragic misunderstanding and some criminal charges. He finds himself constantly on the run, only yearning to be a father to his children. Saito (Ken Watanabe) is a wealthy business owner that has been dream jacked, unsuccessfully, by Cobb and Co. when he offers Cobb a proposition. Help him plant an idea into someone’s dream, which ain’t easy (or even possible in most people’s eyes), and he will give Cobb safe passage back to his home.
Pros: Just about everyone in this film gives it their all. Leo and Marion Cotillard (Cobb’s wife, Mal) both knock it out of the park as the central characters of this story. Then you have Eames (Tom Hardy) absolutely charming the crap out of you and stealing the damn show. I mean it, he is perfect in the film. The story itself, involving dreams, subconscious thoughts, what not, is very interesting to me, and obviously the general public since this film made a ton of money when it came out ($292 million domestic, $825 million worldwide. OOF). What has happened is that Nolan and Co. took a heady, dense subject, and created a clever, exciting film without removing the deeper parts of the subject matter. Inception has multiple layers of events (literal and non) all occurring simultaneously, jumping between quickly and requiring attention. On top of that, all the while being action filled, well written, and shot wonderfully. Speaking of shot wonderfully, THAT HOTEL SCENE WITH JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT. I remember vividly watching this movie in the theater and being in complete awe, thunderstruck at this scene. I was already having just a stupendous time, and then it happens. I’m tingly with goosebumps and astonished. It’s glorious. The music (and the THUN sound that the trailer popularized, and that a multitude of films now replicate and overuse) is very fitting and makes everything feel, for a lack of a better term, epic. When a film has you walking away afterwards not talking, just thinking about what you’ve seen, it’s done it’s job. Leaving a film such as this with such an ambiguous ending was a risky move. A move that ultimately paid off, since I recall everyone talking about it afterward, but a very large risk for a high profile Hollywood movie nonetheless.
Cons: I can’t think of many issues I have with the film. I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is wasted on such a straight lace character. He plays him to the best of his ability but with such a charming and infectious personality (See: any other film JGL is in), his part could have been filled by almost any other actor that can play a Mr. NoJoke McGoo. The 3rd act, what I call the Snow Level, while being the climax, feels a bit overly long. Overall, it’s still a very well put together and satisfying climax, but still a bit overlong for my taste. The pacing of the film is a little wonky at times to me, but nothing to point out unless you have no other complaints.
Conclusion: This is a film lover’s dream. To see a movie take a wholly original idea (atleast for Hollywood) and shape it into something for the masses. This film doesn’t alienate certain demographics that want films in a different way. Apart from smaller groups that don’t like the film all that much (normally it’s that the film is overrated, not necessarily bad) it’s all welcoming. If you haven’t seen it already, I suggest watching this movie is what I’m getting at.