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Mindless Review: Inception

Inception is the latest film from Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, and follows a rag-tag group people with the ability to break into the dreams of others and steal their most valuable secrets.

The team is led by Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) a man with a past shrouded in mystery, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Cobb’s partner, and Ariadne (Ellen Page) a newbie to the whole business of dream stealing.

The basic story follows Cobb and his team as they try to implant an idea in the mind of an heir to some sort of global empire. The success of the mission will allow Cobb to return home stateside from which he’s been exiled.

Thats the basic outline for the movie, the rest is filled with a bunch of crazy action sequences and some babbling about dreams and what they are.  The movie is essentially a heist movie mixed with The Matrix but takes place inside dreams instead of a computer.

The action is really the movie’s strongest point.  The highlight, of the movie is a scene in which we find Arthur fighting a bunch of security goons with in zero gravity, and it really is the high point of the film.

There are also a lot of interesting sights be seen in the film.  Because it takes place in dreams it really frees up what can be done visually.  From crumbling cityscapes, from snow covered mountains it’s truly a feast for the eyes.

All its fancy visuals, and its lavish action pieces aren’t enough to overlook some of it’s flaws which really brings the movie down at points.

One of the problems is the movie’s pacing.  The movie really takes a long time to get going, and I found myself almost falling asleep during the first hour or so.

One problem in particular involves a slowly falling van. It’s a plot point so I won’t say the details surrounding it, but they keep going back to it to show it’s progress when other more interesting things are happening on screen.  It’s purpose is to build tension but the way it’s used breaks up the action and the flow of scenes surrounding it.

Another big problem with Inception is that there isn’t any real chemistry between any of the cast.  None of the characters seem to really care for one another, and any attempt they make of trying to care about someone on the team just seems forced.

Even the relationship between Cobb and Arthur doesn’t seem to go beyond, “he’s just a guy I work with” mentality despite all the stuff they’ve done together.  This makes it really hard to connect and care with any of the characters. Which in turn made me question why I should care about anything that’s happening on screen.

When you compare this another heist film like Ocean’s Eleven you get a real sense of brotherhood and camaraderie between the team, but none of that is present within any of the cast of Inception.

For what Inception does well it does really well, the action scenes and the special effects of the dream worlds are really good and stand out as the real stars of the film.  But the lack of chemistry between the characters and the slow pacing at times make it hard to really care for what’s going on.

It’s a good movie thats worth checking out, but its flaws make it hard to get excited about.  Which is a shame cause I really liked the premiss of Inception it just didn’t execute itself as well as I would have liked.

Inception: 7.5/10

Categories: Movies, Review
  1. July 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I think it’s an interesting point you make about the chemistry between the characters. I’m usually the one who puts character development and chemistry at the top of my priority list when watching a movie or a TV show. Though, I feel like this group of people is designed to defy any sense of camaraderie. I feel like Cobb and Arthur are very much the “yea, that’s the guy I work with type”. Sure, there’s some underlying trust underneath it all, but it’s not obvious; I don’t think it needs to be. Their trust comes in fulfilling missions, protecting the objective, success — not so much anything personal. I do find myself caring about Cobb, because Nolan really took the time to develop his backstories and his past. As the movie progressed, and we found out more and more about his life and experiences, I left myself hoping for him to succeed the mission, so that he could find some peace at last. I definitely think that the characters aren’t so connected or developed, but I do think that Cobb’s character/backstory/etc is very strong.

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