Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Pete Postlewaite, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas
BBFC Certification: 12A
Running time: 148 min
After all the hype and expectations, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch Inception (on IMAX for maximum visual impact) and I'm a little conflicted. On the one hand, it's possibly the boldest, most original blockbuster I've seen, but on the other it has its fair share of flaws.
Inception's main concept of dream infiltration makes for a fascinating story with some bold, striking visuals. Although it shares similarities with a couple of films, Paprika in particular, this still feels like a type of blockbuster I haven't seen before. As is expected from Nolan, the plot is intelligent and solidly constructed. Even with the layers of complexity inherent in the narrative, it still makes sense and seems hole-free even if some details can go over your head from time to time. Unfortunately this level of complexity comes at a price, bringing up my main gripe with the film. There's so much to set up in the film and so much to explain that the first half or two-thirds are exhaustively filled with endless exposition. Generally this would be a huge problem for me and I'd penalize a film quite harshly for it, but what is being explained here is so cleverly thought through and the concept is so mind-boggling that it feels necessary. I do wish more could have been explained visually though, because it did start to give me a headache after a while and I was close to losing interest at around the hour and a half mark. The film's final act drew me back in though and more than made up for it.
As expected from the director that brought us The Dark Knight and Memento, the film is incredibly polished and meticulously well crafted. The performances are all solid too. It looks gorgeous of course, not only in the dream sequences which we caught glimpses of in the trailers, but throughout the film the cinematography and production design is eye-candy of the highest order. The Buy Viagra Super Active+ Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed dream sequences were the main draw for me though and they didn't disappoint. The gravity-defying hotel scenes in particular were gob-smacking. My only concern was that the trailers showed clips from almost all of the most elaborate set-pieces, leaving me wanting more from the film itself, but that's not necessarily a problem. I found the standard shoot-out sequences (especially those in the snowy mountain) were a little bland and over-used though, stretching out the film's finale a little too far.
Watching Inception was an experience slightly marred by the extraordinarily high expectations I and most people had for the film. Flaws such as the heavy use of exposition and some pacing issues towards the end felt crushing whilst in the theatre, but when I think back to the film it's hard to deny that it delivered exactly what I wanted, a thought-provoking yet thrilling summer movie, the likes of which you rarely see in Hollywood.
Reviewed by David Brook
For another take on the film jump over to Dazz Camponi's review here.