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Posted on 7/18/10 08:47 PM
There is something truly special about a thinking movie being released during the summer. The movie industry usually takes the summertime to throw out as much junk as possible. From 3-D remakes to sequels of sequels of sequels who really should not of even been thought of. From horribly unfunny comedies, to "action" movies where you end up laughing mostly at how much crack must have been smoked to ever allow Sam Worthington an acting role. When crap is common, mediocrity rules...so what does that mean for the truly amazing? Well, I guess the truly amazing stand out as Gods among all the rest. And that is exactly what Inception did for me.
It's very hard to explain the story without spoiling anything, let me just tell you that it is clearly obvious why it took the director (Christopher Nolan) TEN years to write the script. Before the first half hour was over, I was already thrown into a pit that I knew I would not crawl out of until the closing credits came on the screen. While it isn't a perfect script (sometimes suspension of disbelief will only take you so far), it is very hard to point out the bad. Overall, the plot floats like a dream and hits with every impact of real life in a truly genius way. But what really made this movie stand out to me was Nolan's novel-esque like writing. Believe it or not, but the dreams sometimes really do act as dreams! They hold up as allusions and metaphors to what goes on in the "real life" of the characters. While I caught a few, a real treat was trying to figure out exactly what the dream stood for.
This is where the intelligence comes into play. Because not only is the script written in such a thought provoking fashion, but the characters and the dialogue the movie provides has plenty of $10 words to go around, and enough intensity to keep you thoroughly engaged. If you look carefully, you'll see that Inception is rated PG-13. One of the biggest reason is that the characters aren't just trying to "talk street" to appeal to kids out there, and when a character gets shot, blood doesn't explode out of him as if a bullet has the same magnitude of a hand grenade. Don't get me wrong, guys like Quentin Tarantino are among the best, but what Inception shows is that you can make a movie just as good (and actually better) and not have to use that vulgar approach to appeal to audiences.
At this point though, Inception must seem the complete opposite of what summer audiences would be looking for. With such a lack of swear words, body limbs flying off in slow motion, and of course the much needed "boobies", how could it have a mass appeal. Well, from there you have to remember that Christopher Nolan directed this. If you saw any action scene in his somewhat known flick, "The Dark Knight", than you have to know that there has to be some of those comic like action sequences. Well there are more of them, and they are about a hundred times better. From shootouts that blow your mind, to zero-gravity fist fights that (while being shown endlessly in the trailers) will have you in complete awe. Nolan knows how to do action movies better than any other director out there, the only thing is, he has a brain and knows how to use it.
But once again, I have to look back at the cast. The entire ensemble is full of some of the best actors who don't steal the spotlight and make it all about them. While yes Leo DiCaprio leads the group, its obvious why as he pretty much gets you emotionally attached to his own story the same way as he did in so many movies in the past. But at the same time, there is not a single actor who brings down the movie. This is a huge step in comparison to the casting of Bale for Batman (face it, when you saw Batman on screen, you were hoping for The Joker to pop up). Ellen Page went from a smart ass teen, to a smart young adult. Joseph Gordon-Levitt went from that funny, silly guy in that romantic comedy no one saw into perhaps one of the coolest characters I have seen since Pulp Fiction. But just as a general statement, the entire movie was carried by a great cast.
One final thing I can say about this movie is along the same lines as something I read in a critic's comment, "Here's a movie that's 3 steps ahead of you, on 4 different levels, at 5 blinding speeds" (Steven Snyder, Techland). It's a movie that will have you at the edge of your seat at all times in a completely stunning fashion like no other. The short comings in the movie's plot (I was able to figure out the ending about an hour before it came up), are completely overtaken if you look at this movie like a journey. At every point and every scene you are taken into a new level in the universe that Nolan sets up...and God Damn will it just blow your mind every step of the way.