Has Chris Nolan produced yet another masterpiece? Or is it just a dream…
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy & Cillian Murphy
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan
Corporate spy for hire, Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) who specialises in stealing ideas from peoples dreams, takes one last job in which if he succeeds will be able to return home to his estranged children but if he fails will be trapped forever in an endless dream.
How exactly is Christopher Nolan getting away with this? Inception marks the third time Nolan has released a film mid-summer blockbuster season that doesn’t actually play by the same rules other summer flicks abide by. With his Batman franchise already top of the superhero class, Nolan it seems can do no wrong when it comes to smart, engaging, challenging and yes, entertaining blockbusters. Inception is yet another strong example that having to use your brain for a mega bucks blockbuster is no bad thing.
And you will be giving your mind a fine workout to keep up with Inception. From the very first scene we are thrown straight into the complex world Nolan has created here and if you dare miss a beat even this early on you’re going to really struggle to catch up later. This could be severely off-putting but just like The Matrix eleven years before it, you become so rooted in this highly original world, your mind doesn’t dare wonder elsewhere.
The Matrix is naturally a perfect comparison, not just because of the idea of another world beyond our own but also the gravity defying action.Nolan is no stranger to big action set pieces anymore, after that flipping truck in, The Dark Knight. Here there is an explosive finale atop an Artic mountain that wouldn’t be out of place in a 007 flick. However what sets it apart is the sheer insanity of it, with the scene taking place within two other scenes; a zero gravity scramble and a bullet ridden car chase. The fact that the three sequences manage to blend seamlessly and remain logical to the premise is just brilliant.
Inception is more than just exploding buildings and mind-bending physics. Nolan has once again assembled a fine cast and the surprising casting of Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves joyous. Page and Gordon-Levitt both bring real personality to their roles, displaying mature performances for this kind of material. Brit Tom Hardy deftly provides humour amongst the complexity and Cillian Murphy (now a Nolan regular) brings the right amount of vulnerability needed and crucial for his character.
More impressive however is Leonardo DiCaprio, who after being apart of the humungous success of Titanic all those years ago, could have just cashed in, picking up easy paychecks. But instead Leo has made terrific choices with his films, and his latest pick is one of his best yet. Inception’s very big ideas would be nothing without a convincing lead performance at the heart of it and Leo delivers effortlessly. His emotionally complex performance ensures we believe in his journey and of course, the film itself. So what you have here is a film willing to invest as much into its characters as its action set pieces and a blockbuster that is as challenging as it is entertaining, surely with three such films now to his name, Nolan is just showing off.