General Release 2010
148 minutes approx
Robert Fischer -
Maurice Fischer -
Directed by -
Written by -
OK, first things first. If you are reading this just to find out whether the film is worth going to see then the answer is unequivocally yes, go and see it right away and stop reading this right now because the less that you know the more you will enjoy the puzzle that is the film.
Cobb steals industrial secrets, but he is no normal thief. He takes the secrets directly from the minds of his targets whilst they are asleep. This is a delicate and precise art that requires skill and Cobb is the best that there is. His latest target, though, has an offer that he can't refuse. If Cobb can plant an idea into the mind of someone then the barriers to his going home to his children will be removed. Cobb assembles a team of experts, but neglects to tell them that he has been doing this for so long that his own subconscious is starting to escape from his control and might threaten everyone who goes into the dreamscape with him.
Christopher Nolan is a very bad man.
First he recreated the Batman franchise with BATMAN BEGINS and then he showed exactly what the suphero genre could be with the startling THE DARK KNIGHT . Now he has come up with INCEPTION, a film that marries huge scale CGI set pieces, fast and furious Bond style action, intimate character drama and a plot that twists and turns in so many directions that if you're not paying attention you will be quickly lost. Nolan isn't about to spoon feed his audience here. He 's created a maze and he's racing you through it at his pace. It's up to you if you want to keep up. For a brain dead actioner go and see PREDATORS instead.
Nolan is playing a game with his audience here. Yes, there is plenty of eye candy such as skyscrapers collapsing into the sea, a city folded back on itself, streets exploding in slow motion eruptions of stone and fruit and wood and crockery. Yes there is plenty of action as characters attempt to storm a snowy mountaintop fortress, or a kidnapping goes wrong or two men fight as gravity changes direction all around them. Yes there is a major star at the centre of all this and a supporting cast that other films would die for (if you can afford to squander Michael Caine and Pete Postlethwaite quite so ostentatiously then you are clearly doing something right). All of this, though, is at the service of a tricksy plot that adds layer and layer of complications until, at its height, it is running five levels of reality all at different speeds. To orchestrate all of that and keep it coherent and comprehensible is something akin to magic.
Nolan manages it though and he's not just satisfied with that. Into the plot, he weaves details of his characters and the motivations that come out of their deepest psyches. Some, like Yusuf, Browning and Eames, are sketches that the actors happily just inhabit, but the major characters are all given serous depth. Anchoring all of this is Leonardo DiCaprio and he has all the wattage that the film needs, though a bit more gravity would not have gone amiss. His relationship with Ellen Paige's Ariadne is the film's heart as she slowly unpeels his subconscious to find out the truth about his past with his wife, played by Marion Cotillard who does as much with her character as DiCaprio does with his, but in a fraction of the screen time. Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy and Josepth Gordon-Levitt also manage to add flesh to their slightly underwritten characters.
So, an action-packed summer special effects blockbuster on an epic scale that also has strong characterisation and a plot that will twist your mind? Michael Bay please take note that this is how you do it.
Which brings us back to Nolan. He wrote and directed the whole thing and hints heavily throughout of one final twist before giving the audience that last shot just to top off the whole experience. Oh yes, Christopher Nolan is a very bad man and don't we just love it.Top
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