In a season normally reserved for big budget action movies with plenty of explosions and little content, Screenwriter and Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) delivers something just short of a modern masterpiece.
Summer movies are expected by many to entertain audiences without involving them. Your standard summer action movie is full of the same cyclical process that results in the girl being saved and room left open for a sequel, given enough people see the original. Summer movie goers may be in for a surprise with Inception.
This film is set in an alternate reality where it is possible to navigate through the human subconscious while people sleep. In other words, It is possible to invade a person’s dreams. Few people know how to do this, and of those few, there is an even fewer number who navigate through the minds of others in search of profitable information. These individuals are called Extractors. Enter Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), an Extractor who is working outside of the U.S., on the run for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. With his team of specialized dream navigators, He takes one last job that may finally bring him home in exchange for doing the impossible: Inception.
Nolan grasps his audiences attention from the beginning, and holds on to it until the very last scene ( Which in my theater, caused plenty of cheers and gasps). The idea of Inception is fed the audience slowly. Nolan requires that viewers think accordingly and sometimes takes their intelligence for granted. For those who have trouble keeping up, the central theme of the movie is repeated several times throughout.
This is a visually stunning mash up of every type of movie people have come to like. It’s cyberpunk-heist thriller that’s beautiful to look at. With scenes that defy laws of physics with eloquence, It’s hard to not forget ignore the casts performance, at first.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives a convincing performance as a man stuck between the lines of reality, who just wants to go home. Anyone with the slightest powers of empathy can feel for his character in this techincally and emotionally complex film.
Joseph Gordon-Levvitt (500 Days of Summer) gives a cold, distinguished performance as Cobb’s main partner, Arthur. His character is often criticized for not having enough imagination throughout the film, but Gordon-Levvitt fills the role with a quiet intensity. English actor Tom Hardy also portays his role as Eames, The Forger, with a likable flair. He and Levvitt share a few moments of on screen banter over a sour past relationship.
Every heist needs an inexperienced newcomer, and Ellen Page ( Juno) fills that role. Her character, Ariane, is the person who must design the dream worlds in which people are brought into. Though without a particularly dazzling performance, her presence is felt in key moments that help define Leo’s character. The rest of the cast gave solid performances, including Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), who plays a mysterious investor.
Without a doubt, Inception is the best movie of the summer, so far. It does what so many other summer movies fail to do and invites the audience to think along with it until the final scene. This movie may not be for all, however. Some may deem the concept as too far fetched and others have complained of it being too much like The Matrix meets Oceans Eleven. I however, stand unmoved.
I recommend this movie to anyone who will allow their imagination to be open to the possibilities of Inception.