And that is an overwhelmingly good thing and is actually what’s genius about the movie. The idea itself, being able to go into another person’s dreams isn’t anything groundbreaking, new, or far out there for a movie. It’s been done before plenty of times, hell, there’s an entire series of films based on this very concept. Inception has been hyped for being mind-blowing on this front, but I don’t think it is. What makes Inception different though is that Christopher Nolan actually thinks it’s a good idea to take this all the way to the dream within a dream within a dream within a dream level. That’s kind of a ballsy move if you actually care about people being able to follow what’s going on.
That many levels of dreaming isn’t the genius part though. What is genius is how simple and easy to follow all of this was. I’ve seen many movies try to get half that complicated and fail miserably, becoming a convoluted, confusing mess. Inception is none of that. You can follow everything easily without feeling like things have been dumbed down for you. That’s what’s so amazing about this movie. What makes all of this possible is that there is a lack of the unnecessary. Each dream level is only as complicated as it needs to be and we don’t spend much time in most of them. They’re also very different setting-wise, making it easy for Nolan to move back and forth between the levels freely to gives us a glimpse of what each character is up to. Additionally, nothing is left very long without any explanation, the audience is never left more than a few seconds or a couple of minutes without understanding what’s going on. Background info is given as it’s needed instead of making us wait forever just to understand a scene that happened earlier in the movie. Yet, somehow enough secrets are kept to keep the audience engaged. The balance was damn near perfect.
The story itself is only slightly above average, homedude just wants to go home and see his kids and can’t let go of his dead wife. Nothing we haven’t seen before. There are a few twists, but by the time they unfold, you’ve already had it figured out for quite some time. This is all good enough, but not the selling point of the movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio leads this film very well, but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise, he’s one of the most talented actors out there. Ellen Page seems good enough, but as much as I love her, I feel like she only took this role in an attempt to try a more serious and less cute role after the last few flicks she’s been in. You know, to try to break away from the typecast she’s going on right now. It was nice to have Cillian Murphy be a part of this, I’ve been wanting to see more from him and he was well-suited for this film.
Inception brings with it a few pretty neat action sequences that weren’t expected. There’s the standard car chase, gun fight type stuff, but then there’s this awesome anti-gravity fight with Joseph Gordon-Levitt being a bit more badass than I ever expected him to be. Awesome.
There’s a lot of hype around this movie right now and I’d have to say that it lives up to much of it. This film really shouldn’t blow anyone’s mind, it just shouldn’t. But it will suck you in, if you let it.
PS: I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of As lately. Too much?