Plot: In a world where the technology exists to enter people’s dreams, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) has stolen ideas in people’s minds for years. Saito (Ken Watanabe), a successful business tycoon hires Cobb and his team for a very different kind of dream invasion known as Inception, where they will attempt to plant an idea into the head of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) the owner of Saito’s rival company.
The best way to describe Inception is that it’s Ocean’s 11 on steroids. The movie kicks ass. There is no other way to put it. Spearheaded by the best actor working in entertainment today (Leonardo DiCaprio) and several other fantastic performances, this team of dream invaders takes us on a ride that can only be described as OMG. This is a movie experience unlike anything ever tried before. Inception is like a house of cards. It’s so ambitious and daring that all signs point to the house crumbling by the end, but what makes it so damn good is that the 9 story house of cards stays in tact once the end credits come on. As great as the acting is, the man who deserves most of the credit is the best director working in film today; Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento).
For a movie about mind invasion, I can only imagine what it would have been like to be inside Christopher Nolan’s mind while he constructed this masterpiece. And the organization is the movie’s greatest strength. Everything is so complicated and mind bending, but if you are a good movie-goer and pay attention, you will find he doesn’t leave many holes. What’s so fun about watching Inception play out is that the audience’s focus is rewarded as the movie goes on. As Cobb and his team go deeper into the human mind, it gets crazier. Watching the progression play out towards the climax is beautiful. If you stick with it, you get more and more excited as the story plays out. There is nothing more I can say about Nolan. This is a perfectly directed film.
What’s equal to the directing is the acting. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect as always. My favorite scenes with him are just his facial expressions as he looks ravaged after doing this for so many years. His face says it all. He looks like he just sat through a movie that is 50 times more complicated than Inception. My other favorite performance is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Cobb’s right hand man. This guy truly elevated the character. Arthur is written kind of weak, but Levitt’s performance really propels him as not only one of the more likable characters, but a bad ass one at that. I found myself rooting for him the most. I hope to see this guy in a lot more movies.
Ellen Page as Ariadne, the rookie in Cobb’s crew, was perfect casting. Ariadne, like the audience, is learning about all this crazy crap for the first time. We see a lot of the movie through her perspective, so it’s crucial this character be very likable. It doesn’t get more likable than Ellen Page. Rounding out the cast is Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, and Cillian Murphy. They are all excellent. Unfortunately Marion Cotillard as Cobb’s wife was a little disappointing. She carries a lot of weight in the film, but aside from a couple solid scenes, her performance wasn’t very memorable compared to the others.
The storyline involving Cobb and his wife takes a little while to get into, but much like everything else in this film, it pays off big time. One of the weaknesses of Inception though is that it does move a bit slow. As tension filled and action packed as a lot of these scenes are, it does take a while for them to play out. There is a long sequence in a snowy setting that drags on for a while making it at times just another run of the mill action flick, which is inconsistent with the rest of the movie.
I didn’t mind this though because every setting and visual in this film is downright gorgeous to watch. And what makes Inception so much better in the visual department as opposed to something like Avatar is they are constantly changing and doing different things with the effects and settings. Avatar is just a bunch of really good close-up shots of multi-colored trees and facial expressions. Inception has visuals that destroy those lame Navi’s that I wouldn’t dare give any of them away. One thing I will say is that I witnessed one of the greatest fighting sequences in the history of movies.
All in all, Inception does things that movies rarely do. It reaches for perfection with new ideas and great ambition and nearly achieves them where as so many films try and do something different and bold but fail horribly. Christopher Nolan movies will now be similar to going to see a James Cameron movie in that they will be an event. I can’t wait to see what other tricks this guy has up his sleeve.
Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG)