2hrs. 28 mins
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy
INCEPTION is one of those movies that comes along once every couple generations. Like THE WIZARD OF OZ, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, STAR WARS, BLADERUNNER or THE MATRIX. This sci-fi thriller is unlike almost anything you’ve seen before. Sure the concept has been used before(DREAMSCAPE), but it has never been done by a master-craftsmen who i believe is better than Hitchcock, reason why is along with his brother Johnathan (who didn’t write this) they are fully capable of manufacturing their own material without the need to adapt from bestsellers. Nolan makes his own bestsellers.
Christopher Nolan is said to have been working on the script for the past 11 years, and by the looks of it. He spent that time wisely.
In the opening sequence we learn about the nature of an Extractor. A job within a job reveals to us the intricacy of the Extractors work environment which consists of layers of artificial and natural emotional manipulation skills. “I am the best” he says with his chin up high as attempts to finesse a mark. But on this particular job his thoughts have gotten the better of him and he fails a routine extraction, because for whatever reason the mark an illustrious japaneese businessman named Saito counters their efforts with an audition which works in his favor. Having failed Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) escape with fellow extractor and Architect Nash played by Lukas Haas. Upon escape they cross paths with the Saito in the real world who is not pleased and gives them a proposition(or an idea) which is too irresistible for Cobb to pass up.The trick is instead of extraction Saito wants inception. Inception by definition is the beginning. This inception focuses on the insertion aspect of the formula. Which is just as difficult to achieve as it is to explain it. Basically, the simplest form of an idea is the key to achieving a successful implementation; it’s a very delicate process. Cobb is the best because he knows the rules of the mind but so does Mal, Cobbs dead wife who haunts dreams capes like a shadow of her former self. Mal is a sadistic femme fatale driven by Cobbs capabilities and fueled by his desires.
Inception boasts some of the most intricately woven set pieces ever constructed. For instance a car chase is common place in every thriller but never has it serviced the plot in such a way that every second of it is crucial to the components of the structure of the film. Every level of the dreamworld constructed by Nolan has a different rule of law that both enhances the dynamics of the suspense and feed off of itself in unique ways creating a whole new definition of artistic imagination. Everything constructed here supports the story rather than diverting attention from it. Though the backgrounds of the other team members remain murky, Cobbs world and the rules of his universe are more than enough to keep your brain sorting through endless possibilities..
Nolan is a serious man, you can tell this by his movies. The look and feel of his movies are romantically menacing and dramatic. Here he has bits of humor, a disingenuous kiss a grenade launcher and friendly competition between Arthur and Eames (the exceptional Tom Hardy; MAD MAX 4)are used to optimal effect. Some have argued he doesn’t have enough of the great Quinten Tarentino charm or humor to have the total package. I disagree. each director has their particular strengths which define them. Nolans a director who isn’t afraid to step on the high-wire on a consistent basis.Nolan’s an intellectual who dares us to find fault in his imagination and dares us not be captivated by his passion. He doesn’t sell out and resort to cheap gags out of fear of being mocked, because he immerses himself completely into his work and his consistency smooths over the rough edges.. He’s a pioneer. He is no flash in the pan who gets lucky catching lighting in a bottle once. He appears fully capable of manufacturing and harnessing magic at will. Real magic.
SPOILER ALERT… DO NOT READ THIS PARAGRAPH UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE
If their ever is a sequel only Nolan will be capable of accomplishing it and even he will have his work cut out for himself. However i for one understand that a sequel though impractical by his standards is possible because of EXTRACTION which is their expertise, and potentially could be used as a device to save Cobb from (what i believe is) his personal limbo and return him to the real world if and when Nolan decides to ever venture into this realm again. If on the other hand he chooses to leave this story the way it is i am perfectly satisfied with that choice as well. Who knows maybe he did live happily ever after.
For those asking if he’s still got it…Yes Nolan still has the goods. And if he somehow does the impossible and constructs the ultimate third act for THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS (no part three has ever been good except for RETURN OF THE KING and REVENGE OF THE SITH; but those movies had ok first and second chapters) his final chapter i will be the first to say that despite James Cameron topping himself with Avatar will be a distant second to the greatest director who has ever lived.