The first rule of Inception is you do not talk about Inception because you do not understand what the hell Inception is about.
It is almost impossible to write any sort of review of Christopher Nolan’s caper flick meets head trip without giving away some key scene or plot point and I’m not going to even try. Most of all because I’m going to see it a second time just so I can be confused all over again by the parts I didn’t get the first time.
When we walking back to the car my better half Vanessa observed sagely, “I don’t know if I liked it or hated it. The last time I felt this way about a movie was after we saw, Blue Velvet. You can see the obvious artistry of the director and the vision a David Lynch and Chris Nolan bring to their work, but dammit if they don’t make movies that strain the brain.
As much as I’ve argued against brain-dead entertainment that fills up the mind with empty computer generated imagery, big explosions, and cartoon characters, I can’t hate on Inception simply because it is a demanding, complex and sprawling movie. Maybe too much so for audiences numbed and dumbed into insensibility based upon a steady diet of Iron Man 2, The A-Team, and Shrek Whatever. Maybe the ballsiest thing about Inception is while it has all the expected money shot scenes you’d expect from a $160 million summer movie, it’s got more ideas than a dozen Transformers minus the suck factor of Michael Bay, Shia LaBeuf and Megan Fox.
Anybody expecting me to try to explain “the dream within a dream with a dream” theme of Inception had better look elsewhere. The film’s Wikipedia page is lousy with all the spoilers and exposition you could ever want. Proceed at your own risk.
My expectations for Inception are probably the highest I’ve had for a film of its type since The Matrix. which was a similar alternative reality that required several viewings to get the point. That’s something I don’t mind because I’m going to have to give some serious thought as to what in the age of DVD dominance was a movie I felt a need to see in theaters more than once. What I can say is, the maturation of Leonardo DiCaprio into serious leading man is pretty much complete. DiCaprio still looks like he’s dressing up in his daddy’s suit and tie, but eternally baby-faced he plays grown-up really well. Now he’s teaching Joseph Gordon-Leavitt that trick because Third Rock from the Sun was a while ago.
However, Ellen Page is going to be a munchkin no matter how many movies she makes.