Inception, I don’t know where to begin.
Heading in I had high hopes for this movie: DiCaprio is a wonderful actor, Nolen a great director, and I’ve always had a strong interest in dreams. But doubt pulled at my mind, I knew little about it and movies dealing with dreams tend to ramble away and lack cohesion. Plus this movie is well over two hours long and I had been told it was a slow ride. I don’t sit for long periods of time as well as I once did.
When the final scene hit I was amazed that the time had passed. This movie gripped me hard the entire way, never did it even feel slow to me. It was an engaging ride that started matter-of-factly with a somewhat silly idea and just ran with it. It’s as simple as, “We jump inside your dreams, and it’s a learnable skill.” It took this wonderful pretense and crafted a deep plot that really boiled down to being a heist movie.
The plot is thus: Leo and friends can enter your dreams to steal information; he can also train you so others can’t do this. A man hires Leo to properly implement an idea (this process b being called ‘Inception’) into another man’s head. Leo agrees in an effort to get back something he has lost. Inception is stated to be very difficult, impossible by most. From there the heist movie kicks in and it’s a straight shoot. Except that it’s very rarely simple.
The acting was very good as well. I have liked Dicaprio ever since The Departed and began working my way back through his movies; he has grown into a very fine performer. Ellen Page was also very good, acting here as our guide to the film. She is the one brought into the group and the one exposition is hung upon, she handles it well. I was also happy to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he has come a long way since 3rd Rock From the Sun and has put in some very good performances in Brick, The Lookout, and Killshot.
Design wise I enjoyed that practical effects were used where possible; it helped give grounding to a subject that one normally tries to bulk up via CGI. I also felt that the colors given to each local and dream level were varied, but subtly so; it helps us differentiate but it not obtrusive. I also have to say that the fight in the spinning corridor, while a simple effect, was very impressive and really blew my mind. It takes a lot to keep action fresh and this was such an amazing and innovative scene that relied on simple effects and some spot on choreographing. I don’t wish to overstate it, but it was awesome.
I can’t think of any glairing problems I had with the movie. A few quibbles, but those can be chalked up to individual interpretation. In fact I enjoyed this movie so much I might blatantly rip it off for my Friday night game groups.
Definitely a must see, Inception gets *****