Posted July 17, 2010 by (115)
This review of Inception comes courtesy of contributor Matt Johnson.
After the smash hit The Dark Knight two years ago, film director Christopher Nolan began work on a film he described as a contemporary sci-fi action thriller "set within the architecture of the mind." Titled Inception, the details of the film were kept under wraps right up until the film’s release. With Nolan behind the camera and Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role, Inception proves to be a breath of fresh air in the summer movie season.
Inception follows the tale of a gang of thieves who specialize in mental theft, literally pulling ideas out of people’s heads. To pull this off, they have to strike when their targets are at their weakest mental state. In the dream state, they come into their targets mind and steal their thoughts and ideas right out of their heads.
DiCaprio headlines the movie as the gang’s leader, Cobb. Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,and British actor Tom Hardy make up the members of Cobb’s gang, with each member bring mental expertise into the heist. Japanese actor Ken Wantanbe plays the gang’s employer, with Cillian Murphy and Tom Berenger as the marks for the gang’s heist. Michael Caine has a brief role, playing Cobb’s mentor and father-in-law. Marion Cotillard plays a mysterious woman, that may or may not exist, who haunts Cobb’s and, by extension, other people’s dreams.
All the supporting actors play their parts well and add their own things to it, but DiCaprio carries the movie. At the core of the movie is Cobb’s mental fragility, using the gang’s job as a last-ditch effort to redeem himself of past sins. His relationship with his fellow thieves is put in question as begins to show signs that his mind may not have recovered from a past trauma.
Inception is as much a crime thriller as it is a sci-fi movie, with Nolan exploring the world of the dream and your mind’s subconscious reaction to things happening in the outside world. When something happens in the outside world that makes your body shift, the whole dream shifts and adjusts to the actions going on outside. Nolan is able to pull off dream-within-a-dream sequences that make you question what is real, and what is a dream. The action scenes are surreal, with a train plowing through a busy city street, gun battles atop a mountain fortress, and fights taking place mid-air in a hotel hallway.
The music is another bonus in this movie. Hans Zimmer’s score is just as good as the one he provided with The Dark Knight, adding another layer of tension into the scenes with his music.
The biggest points that Inception scores are in the originality department. Remakes, sequels, and adaptations have been the staple of this summer season. It’s very nice to see a movie come along that brings something new and original to the table. Nolan is able to blend crime with the surreal, with the results being one of this year’s best films.
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