Monday, July 26, 2010


When the first trailers for Inception came out I reacted pretty much like everybody else, comparing it to the Matrix and of course the film that put Director Chris Nolan's on the map, Memento. I got really excited when Chris Nolan acknowledged in an interview that Inception is half Matrix and half James Bond. Which, by the way, is a great concept. But after all of those comparisons the more I saw the trailer the more I actually thought about another film, which some of you may or may not know about called Somewhere in Time (1980) which starred Christopher "Superman" Reeve and Jane Seymour. Yes it's cheesy and more of a Romantic drama--no gunfights in mid-air, but the idea that you could go so deep into a dream that when you come out you can't tell the dream world from the real world was a huge part of that story and it is equally relevant in Inception. But I suppose the better comparison to a past film would be Total Recall. Total Recall also liked to screw with your perception of reality, albeit with bad puns and shaky acting from Ahnuld. Quaid's dreams of being a spy may or may not be real and the film constantly tests our perspective of the unfolding events. Inception's massive box office over the past few weeks have obviously brought the Total Recall remake back to the forefront. Personally they should leave it alone I doubt director Les Wiseman has the first clue how to successfully draw in an audience to tease us about the difference between the real world and the dream world. But that is a whole other conversation. Leo's character Cobb has a similar dilemma and if you aren't paying careful attention you could also lose track of what's real and not in this film.
Roy Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief of a different order. He has the technology to enter a man's dream and extract information valuable to his clients.  He has a team of fellow thieves that, once in the dream world, take on different roles.  Cobb serves as the Extractor, his right hand man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the Point Man of the operation. Eames (Tom Hardy) is the Forger, he can change his appearance to coax the information out of the target. They seem to be a perfectly well oiled machine that is until you get to the kryptonite in Cobb's plan... his wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard). She tends to pop in from time to time to cause problems for Cobb's operations. The worst part is she's a part of his subconscious which means she's nearly impossible to control. After he botches a job while in the mind of Saito (Ken Watanabe), he is discovered by the billionaire mogul and is put against the wall, he cannot go home again unless he does this one job for Saito. But this job has an added wrinkle, Saito doesn't want Cobb and his team to steal anything, instead he wants him to plant an idea in the head of his target called Inception. Cobb needs one final piece to solve this puzzle an Architect to create the dream space to fool the client and that is where he brings in the noobie Ariadne (Ellen Page), a student who discovers she is more gifted in this dream world than anyone thought possible.
I really want to see this flick again. It was truly mesmerizing, it really makes you question the nature of dreams and how important they are, how they have a large part to play in forming our realities and our perception of reality. It also provides the usual brilliant mind fucks that Chris Nolan excels at, not unlike Memento and the Prestige. I really don't want to give too much away in the review but there are so many pieces to this psychological puzzle that it really will take multiple viewings in order to crack the entire mystery. But suffice it to say the pacing is perfect the effects are just extraordinary, I'm really looking forward to seeing this in IMAX. The cast was really incredible. Sorry Cody I know how much you dislike JGL, I know he's probably a dick in real life but he did a great job as Arthur. So there I said it. You throw in Michael Caine into the mix and you have some great support for Leo and the crew, he's not in it as much as I would like, but the few scenes he's in he really ups the intrigue. I have to tell you though this film is not for the casual observer you really have to pay attention as they delve into two or three levels of a dream within a dream. I'm sure I missed something in the beginning that will help answer a few questions that were nagging me when the credits began to roll. So if you haven't had a chance to see this original and beautifully made film then go out and see it as soon as you can.

Grade: 5 Buckets

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