Another weekend, another movie day. Today’s movie is the much-anticipated Warner Bros. release Inception. This movie is directed by Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), and is headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio. The rest of the cast is an ensemble cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, and Marion Cotillard. The film runs about 148 minutes, and is scored by Hans Zimmer.
Before going into the review, I must admit that this year hasn’t been really good for movies. There have been a few good ones, but most of them have been dreck. Take this week, for example. After the disaster that was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I really needed to enjoy a good movie for a change. I think I found the right movie.
The movie starts with Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) waking up on a beach, his only possessions being a gun and a small totem. He’s found by armed guards and escorted to see an old man. The movie then cuts back to a crime within a dream, with Cobb, his point man, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and an architect named Nash (Lukas Hass) meeting a man named Saito (Ken Watanabe) who knows more than he appears to. The three are discovered and the dream world rules are explained: if one is injured, then they feel the pain. If they’re killed, then they wake up. It is revealed that Saito is auditioning Cobb’s team for a heist that he wants them to commit for him: they are to commit inception – that is, they are to implant an idea into a victim and have him to believe it to be his own. Thus, the chase is on to subdue the victim, implant the idea, and get everyone out alive. Of course, this is easier said than done, but that makes it worth the while.
Because this is such a large cast, I’m not going to talk about all of them. Instead, I’ll focus on the ones I deem to be pretty important.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb with a bit of hurt and conflicted conviction. It’s revealed that he’s done things that are illegal, and some other things that are completely unethical and immoral. He cares for his team, but he knows more than anything he wants to get back to his family.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Arthur, and it’s revealed that he and Cobb go back a long way. Gordon-Levitt portrays Arthur as the soul of the operation. He’s also pretty efficient at hand-to-hand and small arms combat. His primary fight scene is a dizzying display of action, and it looks great…albeit a bit painful.
Ellen Page was cast as Ariadne, and she is revealed to be the new Architect. Page plays Ariadne as an innocent prodigy, someone who’s fresh out of college and looking to find her place in the world. Her amazement at creating the dream world is a joy to watch, but her concern for Cobb is even better. If Arthur is the soul of the film, then Ariadne is the heart.
Tom Hardy is Eames, and he is the Forger. Eames’ sole function in life is to be the impersonator of the group. Hardy plays Eames rather light and comical, but has a bit of an edge to him. He’s the one responsible for the line “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling” in the trailer – before pulling out a grenade launcher and opening fire.
Ken Watanabe is brought on to play Saito, and he is eventually known as the Tourist – a tag-along in the dream world. Watanabe plays Saito to be a bit sinister, but not too much to break into parody. He would be considered the money of the group.
Cillian Murphy returns to the screen as Robert Fisher, Jr. – also known as the Mark. He is the main purpose for the mission. He is shown to have father issues, and Murphy gives him the angst a role like this needs.
The film is directed by Christopher Nolan, and I am convinced that he can do no wrong. This is the man who resuscitated Batman after the abomination that Joel Schumacher left it in. The film flowed very well with him at the helm, although he resisted the urge to descend into the madness the last 30 minutes of the film could have used. That being said, he tied up to four different sequences into one explosive sequence. The driving score was composed by the venerable Hans Zimmer, and it fits its points where needed; nothing was really drowned out by it, but it fit like a glove.
I really enjoyed this movie; in fact, I’d go as far as to say that I haven’t looked forward to a movie this much since Star Trek. I couldn’t find a whole lot of faults in it, and it really sucked me in from beginning to end. It was mentioned by someone at one point that I tend to like everything, which is pretty much true. I go to the movies to get immersed in what I’m seeing on the screen, and Inception did just that. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in a film than I got with this, and the ending actually made you think. This gets five dragon heads out of five, and it definitely lived up to the hype.
And, we know how rare that is in this day and age.