This is a movie that expects you to pay attention and make connections. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a heartbreaking performance, leading a cast of top-notch actors playing interesting characters in a film that appears to be a science-fiction action/heist caper (a rather unique concept in itself), but is actually about guilt, the desire for redemption, and the raw power of simple ideas. Director Christopher Nolan, as he did with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, takes something fantastic and paints it in realistic tones. This is what unbridled imagination, combined with intelligence, emotion, and talent looks like on film. It is mentally and emotionally challenging. It also has some terrific action (including a physics-bending fight sequence that is jaw-dropping) and is very creative in its use of cinematography, editing, and music. Though comparatively light on language, with no sexual material and action violence where physical harm is not what's at stake (you'll understand when you see it), Inception is nonetheless not recommended for anyone younger than teens due to its complexity and intense subject matter.
Christopher Nolan takes us out the streets of Gotham and inside the not-so-cute, not-at-all friendly world of Inception. We meet a man named Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who's hell bent on reuniting with his children, and will do anything to get there and clear his name, including go on a globe-trotting quest with his friend Arthur to commit one last big job of corporate espionage for Japanese businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe). With the help of a professor (Michael Caine), he recruits genius student Ariadne (Ellen Page) to construct dream worlds. While very long, the pacing stabilizes when they prepare their big job. It can be hard to follow, but instead of docking half-a-star for incoherence, here's what I say: pay attention! However, no matter how much attention you pay, the characters will remain undeveloped, Christopher Nolan's one true flaw, though Cobb's desire may be relatable, relatability is interpretable and can vary between people. The last big job is presented spectacularly with practical effects and an overall realistic feel to it (putting the dream entering aspect aside), Hans Zimmer instituted the use of giant horns in soundtracks thanks to this movie, and it all does its job, echoing the intensity of their scenarios and setting the tone in general, except for a few scenes where it is just dialogue and nothing more. Inception is utterly humorless, and that's alright, because this doesn't need to be funny. There are a few quips, but nothing to create uproarious laughter. Blockbusters don't have to be Guardians of the Galaxy level funny, but if you take that formula, remove the bright colors, the heaviest CGI, and the great character moments, you've got something completely different. Wait, what's going on? Oh yeah, there's some language, but only in extreme situations for good reason. I wouldn't worry too much. If you do, just convince the kids it was a dream...
After directing billion-dollar hit The Dark Knight, Cristopher Nolan gets to create his very own characters in his very own world, in his very own work: Inception. Who says Hollywood's out of original ideas? This is the most original idea I've seen, even if it gets difficult to follow. Nolan was able to create well-developed characters based on a comic book series, and recreates most of that power with his own. Cobb (Leo DiCaprio) is trying to get back to his kids after he feels he killed his wife. If we were put in those shoes, you really don't blame him for what he does. Once again, practical effects dominate the picture, with almost no noticeable CGI, adding to that authenticity feeling. There really isn't anything disturbing this time visually. before this, Nolan had a Joker that was so sadistic, I'm surprised I haven't had at least one nightmare associated with him. Hans Zimmer teams up with Nolan again to provide another memorable score, and bring emotion to emotional scenes. The dialogue is very well done, and has no unnecessary profanity, but some necessary profanity. The plot may be stretched out a bit, but at least it covers some important stuff, like how they have more time in the dream world than they would in the real world. It overall goes to show: Hollywood can still generate an original idea.