I’m late to the ‘Inception’ review game – the movie was released in theaters a month ago –and I think it’s because I just really didn’t know what to write about it. It was one of my most-anticipated movies of 2010, but did it live up to my expectations? No, not really.
Oh it’s a great movie. Better than most movies released these days, and it’s not a remake or a sequel, so bonus points there. And you can’t really go too horribly wrong with Chris Nolan as the director and Leonardo DiCaprio as the star, but for me, it didn’t live up to the manic hype it got prior to the release.
That might be because I saw the ending coming three miles away. Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away here. But if you see the movie, let me know if you were at all surprised by the ending. I wasn’t.
The story is a very twisty-turny tale that follows a skilled thief by the name of Dom Cobb (DiCaprio). He doesn’t steal jewelry and china, though. He steals valuable secrets from the darkest depths of peoples’ minds while they’re sleeping. Just the thought creeps me out.
Because of his job, Cobb is an international fugitive who’s lost everything, including his wife and children. Now he has the opportunity to get his life back, but only if he can complete one last mission – instead of stealing ideas, he’s asked by a wealthy businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe) to implant one into someone’s mind.
As you might imagine, all of this is somewhat disorienting. Not only do the players – including his team of Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Dileep Rao – sometimes forget where reality leaves off and dreams begin, but we do, too. I’ll have to revisit Nolan’s 2000 film ‘Memento,’ because it was a good warm-up to this film.
Because so much of ‘Inception’ is dream-based, anything can happen and usually does. Buildings tilt, streets behave like fruit roll-ups, characters float and walk up the side of buildings. All of that is really cool. But there’s also a poignancy to the film because Cobb is dealing with guilt and grief involving his wife (Marion Cotillard) and their two kids. His love for her sort of grounds him amidst all of the changing dream-states, but it also has a nefarious effect on his life, too.
Really, ‘Inception’ is a lot of different films. It’s a love story, an action-thriller, a horror movie, a buddy movie, a sci-fi movie, and a film about corporate espionage. I really do love the film, but as mentioned at the beginning of this review, even through all of the mystifying aspects, you can sort of see where things are headed. Or … maybe not. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, and nothing is as it seems. It’s very hard to tell with ‘Inception.’
Definitely worth checking out, though, for the actors, the director, the twisted storyline, and the gorgeous cinematography. Probably best to see it on the big screen rather than wait for the DVD. I’m guessing it’ll come out before Christmas, to capitalize on the holiday shopping crowd.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures