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The Stream's Inception Movie Review
Call it the thinking man’s blockbuster, call it the single most expensive piece of hard sci- fi filmmaking of all time, just go see it. I'm Mike from The Substream. We are lucky enough earlier this week to get a chance to go see Inception, Christopher Nolan’s follow up to the second Batman movie, the spectacularly successful second Batman movie. An Inception of ride is loaded with an enormous rate of expectations.
Thankfully, Nolan delivers on that expectation more or less creating a film that’s going to frustrate, maybe, some fans of his Batman film but will probably just melt the brains of people that are looking for any kind of semblance of intelligence in their big budget explosion in summer blockbuster movies.
Fans of this earlier kind of more quiet smaller films like Memento or Insomnia who are willing to battle the summer crowds and the crazy 360 degrees spinning hallway kung fu fight scene to get some of Nolan’s patented dark complex intelligent and war-ish kind of machismo.
To provide anything, even approaching like a capsular description of Inception plot would both kind of be pointless and takes way too long, especially for a video that’s going on in the internet. But, suffice it to say that at the core, Inception is the heist film.
DiCaprio plays Dom, a master thief who asked to assemble his team to pull off one last massive job before he can retire. The job is a massive con spread over multiple layers of dream stakes. Unlike the Dark Knight, which is an absolutely perfect, a pitch perfect example of a really, really talented director working with a good cast but working within a really kind of narrow confines of traditional mainstream Hollywood good guy, bad guy cinema, Inception feels kind of like a thank you from the money guys like, “Here’s $200 million, go make whatever you want but then come back when you're done and make more Batman films.”
It feels like vintage Nolan. It feels like the guy that made indie movies for a while. It feels like a $200 million version of Memento or Insomnia. It feels like a giant overwhelmingly sleek, impossibly beautiful mixture of Philip Kaye Dick’s later slightly crazier stuff, David Mammoth and Heath Arab and Michael Mann. Like the best hard sci-fi, the film inhabits its own completely unique made up from whole clock story world and it possesses its own unique story logic, and like as with blood of hard sci-fi, that’s a really good thing which some slightly kind of annoying drawbacks.
On one hand, it lets Nolan and its casts from the rest of the filmmakers make the space, the story space within which you get moments of sheer adrenaline and suspense and excitement and crazy kung fu, weightless action. But, it also lets them make moments of real kind of emotional performance especially the scenes between Leonardo DiCaprio’s character and his wife, who’s played by Marion Cotillard. It also lets the cinematographer Wally Pfister and the stunt people and the rest of the filmmaking crew create moments of literal jaw-dropping cinematically classic moments of beauty like a hallway fight and like an early shot in which Leo’s character falls backwards into a tub of water.
It’s really, really pretty film and those moments of prettiness, I guess it came from seemingly natural moments of storytelling in the film. It’s not show off-y, it's not demonstrative. It just has moments of beauty inside a really cool action movie structure which is awesome.
The drawback of this -- the drawback of inventing your own whole world, whole plot and then telling a story and anything under 10 hours within that world is the movie bugs down under the weight of explanation. And the film also suffers a little bit near the end because the script tries to raise the stakes for no real valid seeming reason.
As it is with a lot of real sci-fi, it’s a tradeoff. You accept these moments of kind of eye rolling-ness and weird explanation moments to get those moments of sheer originality of vision, which is something that Inception does almost from the start to the finish. It’s got its moments where it kind of slows down but that’s a trade that I would accept pretty much any day of the week, which is why I give Inception 8.5 out of 10 and you should go see it.