Friday, July 16, 2010

Review - Inception

A scifi thriller set in a world where contracted agents specialize in invading other people's subconscious' for profit. The art of stealing another person's deepest thought or secrets. "Inception" follows one skilled extractor who is given an opportunity too great to pass up. This job however, is the opposite of extraction, leaving him and his crew in the middle of an extremely volatile mission that is otherwise believed to be impossible.

"Inception" is what I wished more movie making was about. Telling an original story and executing that story. Giving the audience a story that is innovative, but also a story that evokes a full range of emotions. Something tangible, something that the audience can connect with and/or get behind. Films should provide a spark, they should spawn conversation and thought. They should push the boundaries of not only what can be done in cinema but also in storytelling. Christopher Nolan's story not only does that all of that, but it also dazzles your senses and boggles your mind with the utmost precision.

"Inception" isn't just a dazzling story. It is a polished experience all the way around. Having seen it on a authentic IMAX screen, I can attest that Nolan's latest deserves to be witnessed in this format. Not only is the size of the screen something to behold but, the sound and projection are beyond state-of-the-art. The image is crystal clear for such a enormous size and combined with the nature of the film, size really does matter. The sound system is earth shattering. Matched with Hans Zimmer's mesmerizing score, you'll find yourself questioning if you are really apart of the mystery. A perfect example of this is featured in the trailers. Within the trailers are these large fog horn sounding shifts, in the IMAX theater these moments of the score can become jarring. They are flawlessly matched with the tones of the film as they fluctuate. I can not stress enough, if you have an authentic IMAX screen within 50 miles of you, it is worth the drive and extra money.

Allow me to point out that I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan's previous work. He is quickly becoming a legend in the art of filmmaking. "Inception" while being a meticulously thought out and wonderfully executed experience, does begin to show a pattern in Nolan's directing. Nolan illustrates with his latest that he is a master of the setup and execution. His last four films have all had a similar tone to their storytelling. Both Batman Begins and The Prestige introduce a subject by giving a bit of origin and then allow the character or idea to bloom. Batman Begins does this to a lesser extent only because Nolan has The Dark Knight to spend far more time fleshing out the Batman character. That said, The Dark Knight also does the same with its introduction of the Joker and his master plan for the city Gotham. In "Inception" he too returns to this similar structure, setting up the idea of invading other people's dreams and then setting that mission on its course.

Christopher Nolan's structure ties into the amount of attention that should be spent on "Inception." The thriller moves fairly quickly for being a 148 minute feature and doesn't wait for you to grasp the material. The first half of the film is (like previously described) all setup and familiarization with the characters and content. There actually is a learning curve to "Inception." This curve however, instantly gives the film repeated viewing appeal, not to mention sparks conversation and debate. I drove about 17 miles to see the movie on the best IMAX experience in the L.A. area and the 35 to 40 minute ride home was spent going over and over the movie, it's appeal, its science and the numerous questions that came up from viewing it. Ultimately, the subconscious thriller is a movie I will want to watch multiple times and dissect further.

Something you might be wondering is how the action fares in writer/director Christopher Nolan's 6th feature length film. Truthfully, I was blown away by the movement, editing and structure of all the action throughout "Inception." Outside of a few hiccups during some of the early setup, the second and third acts of the film are one non-stop adrenaline rush. White knuckle, edge of your seat type stuff. A few of these moments do beg you to stretch your imagination, but when dealing with the concept that revels in the science of our dreams, I was willing to just roll with the punches.

Quickly I'd like to touch on the cast. Everyone within the "Inception" is just fabulous. Some members of the cast really shine like Tom Hardy (who is quickly becoming one of my favorite working actors) and Cillian Murphy, but none of them feel like they are just going through the motions. Even Leonardo DiCaprio, who I have struggled to connect with on a regular basis since the early 90's does a unmarred job. I will say that DiCaprio does not however bring anything new to the table. He is strong throughout, I just don't see him getting any awards for this performance come award season.

"Inception" is one of few films that I found myself desperately trying to avoid any and all hype to the movie. I wanted to go into the film as unaware as I possibly could. Sure I watched the first trailer and looked at a few posters, but everything else, I steered clear of. While it is debatable which is the best way to see a movie, "Inception" is not a film to be described, but experienced and reflected on after viewing. I can't say my experience would've been any better or worse from knowing more, I just know it is a one of a kind experience that really isn't comparable. I know that sounds kind of hard to believe, but that is the greatness of the film and the spark it creates.


Of all the elements that went into the Inception movie I think the music and sound effects being so loud and dramatic really made the movie exciting. I’m glad that I saw it in the theater in IMAX but I’m really looking forward to seeing it again because there is so much detail in the movie that I know I missed. I’m looking forward to watching “Inception” on HBO this Saturday at 8 PM when it airs. I’ll be out of town for a convention, but I can catch it on my iPhone because of my free DISH Network Sling adapter that I got with a rebate. It’s sweet because I don’t’ miss my shows and if I set a DVR recording I can still watch it later anywhere I am.