Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Movie Review: Inception
(Rest assured...no spoilers in the review :)
Christopher Nolan's new psychological thriller, Inception, combines the best of earlier "dream" movies such as Dreamscape and Brainstorm, mixes it with the complexity of his own Memento, and bakes it with special effects even George Lucas would drool over to give us a Matrix for a new decade.
Leonardo Di Caprio plays Dominic Cobb, a man who specializes in infiltrating people's dreams and, in a creative form of industrial espionage, steals their most secure corporate secrets. In the story though Cobb is approached by Mr. Saito (Ken Wantanabe)for a more complex assignment; to plant a secret rather than steal one. (Called "Inception") Di Caprio's character then assembles a "Mission Impossible" style dream team (no pun intended) to pull off the job.
The film then goes all Matrix explaining how dreams can be manipulated, the "rules" of how things operate in "dreamland", and the nature of what is real...and what isn't.
Where as Inception lacks the spiritual allegory of The Matrix it attempts to make up for in the discussions of human nature, primal motivations, and just what makes us tick. Through it all I was impressed by the sheer ambition of the script. Layers of dreams each with their own worlds, threats, and complexities will be a treat for moviegoers who like a little mental gymnastics mixed with their cinema. If there was a weak point in the film it was in the car chase, mountain slope action sequences which only served to detract from the surreal plot I actually cared about.
The casting was superb even sporting a small role for Michael Caine. And although I have never been a big Di Caprio fan I must admit he is coming into his own as an actor. Maybe its in the fact that he's starting to show a couple small wrinkles around the eyes that help give him the gravitas I always thought he tried to portray but never had.
And Joseph Gorden-Levitt who plays one of Di Caprio's trusted sidekicks looks so much like Heath Ledger's younger brother I had to check IMDB to make sure they weren't related. (They're not)
The real winner in Inception though is writer / director Christopher Nolan who has cemented himself as not only a great filmmaker but as a master storyteller.
So go see Inception... in a summer of lukewarm films, it shines pretty brightly.