Posted on 7/16/10 02:15 PM
INCEPTION is a film in which you want to go in knowing nothing because it's best seen with no prior knowledge. So I'm just going to not say a word about the plot and have the film unfold in front of you, sometimes literally. It's pretty difficult to explain what INCEPTION really is because it's damn packed with so many interesting ideas. Really, when you come out of the theater, you'll only think, "What did I just see?" The film is filled with so much ambition and so many original ideas that it captivates you. In fact, I think this is the fastest 150 minute film I've ever seen because it felt like 80 minutes! I really wanted to see more when the credits rolled.
Unfortunately, INCEPTION isn't a perfect film. It falls short on its ambition. Some ideas weren't as developed as I hope they would be and others weren't presented clear enough. In fact, it's as if the characters spoke in another type of jargon exclusively made for psychologists pursuing in the career of dreams. Also, the story isn't all that special. Another common complaint you might hear about the film is that the characters are flat. It's true. The film presents us with six or seven characters but does absolutely nothing with them. Leonardo DiCaprio's character is the only character that's fleshed out. In some cases, I didn't care for the characters when their lives were at stake.
Still, the performances by the ensemble cast are really good. I enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy in their roles a lot. I might not be the only person to notice this but I thought Leonardo DiCaprio played the exact same character as he did in SHUTTER ISLAND. I couldn't get past Ken Watanabe's thick accent. It was hard to understand him in many of his scenes. Marion Cotillard did a great job, though.
The film is also visually intricate, if that makes sense and even that description doesn't give the film justice. Again, it's really hard to explain. The visual effects were really excellent along with the action scenes but don't expect this film to be filled with action. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer (AKA: One of the best composers ever) is fantastic, much like Zimmer's other soundtracks.
Overall, INCEPTION is a flawed but seriously excellent film that presents some very, very, very interesting ideas. It's a wholly original film, which is great considering the amount of remakes, re-imaginings, sequels, prequels, etc. that we've gotten in the past few years, let alone this year. The characters could have been fleshed out a lot more. Still, I was absolutely engaged throughout by the story, and Christopher Nolan's ingenious script and direction just sucks you in. This is the perfect cure for this year's lackluster summer.