Inception (2010)

Movie Photo
IMDb Rating
8.8 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

  • 5/5 Star Rating.
(Based on 1 Rating)
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.
Drama, Mystery, Sci, Thriller
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan (written by)

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on July 14th, 2010

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Now here's a puzzler. Usually, I write my reviews very soon after seeing a film. My opinion is formed, and all there is to do is to put it on paper. After Inception, though, I had to let it marinate. Upon reflection, I've decided Inception's twisty plot doesn't really hold up under further scrutiny, but I don't care.

What Inception amounts to is a huge, immersive movie that has been made entirely in the service of a thought experiment. The central conceit: In an alternate reality, the military trained their soldiers in the art of invading another person's dream. Years later, the technique is being used by freelancers who specialize in the art of "extraction" - that is, the practice of infiltrating another person's dream in order to extract information from their subconscious. Usually, this skill is sought after and employed by corporations that desire to learn the secrets of their competitors.

Enter Cobb and Arthur (Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), two such freelancers who have been hired by a powerful businessman (Ken Watanabe) to carry out a nearly impossible task: inception. This is the act of piercing a person's dream, not to steal a thought, but to plant one.

Are you with me so far? As lost as you may be right now, consider how tough it is to follow while you're actually watching the film. To describe the plot of Inception is an exercise in futility, but I am duty-bound to try. As are the characters, oddly enough. Most of the dialogue is spent breathlessly trying to explain just what the hell is going on.

Once inside a dream, the easiest way to wake up is to die. If you, say, get shot in the leg while in another man's dream, you'll feel pain, but you won't wake up. A shot in the head is what you need when things start hitting the fan.

So, now, the task at hand is for Cobb and Arthur to plant an idea in a businessman's head. But in order for the idea to stick, it needs to feel organic, as if the dreamer thought it up himself. The idea to be implanted: Dissolve the giant corporation your recently dead father has bestowed upon you. Naturally, this idea is too complex to simply pass along. It requires being reduced to its most basic concepts: the son's hatred of his father, and the son's hatred of himself.

Helping to connect these dots for the wealthy heir will be not only Cobb and Arthur, but a ragtag group of dream-warriors, including Ellen Page as the "architect." Her job is to construct the landscape of the dream. On her introduction to the life of an extractor, we witness the first of Inception's several amazing set pieces. Experimenting with her new powers as an architect, Page folds the cityscape onto itself like a piece of paper, so that no side is the right side up. The film's effects feel tactile and real, sort of like Dark City's transformation of buildings.

OK, back to the plot. In order to plant the idea into the heir's head, it's necessary to not only create the dream, but to create a dream within a dream within a dream. Unfortunately, that many layers prove to be unstable, and the heir's subconscious struggles to fight back. Another complication: Due to the amount of sedatives the extractors have had to take in order to enter so deeply into the heir's mind, if they get killed in the dream, they will not wake up. They will go deeper and deeper into their subconscious, where the couple hours that they stay asleep in the real world will translate to years or decades in the dream world. In that time, it wouldn't be hard to simply lose your mind.

Oh, but I'm exhausted talking about it. At its core, Inception is basically an existential heist movie. It desires to chew up your brain and spit it out. In between mindf***s, the audience is treated to phenomenal sequences like the one with Arthur in the hotel. At times, the movie even allows itself to get silly. There is a certain repeated shot that, after a while, began to remind me of a gag in Wet Hot American Summer.

In all, Inception is a thrilling, frustrating, awe-inspiring freak of a movie, and an utterly unique experience.  - Three and a half stars

User Reviews of Inception (1)

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  • 5/5 Star Rating.

makulitz :) said on Feb. 18, 2011 at 3:30pm

awesome.. a good review of movie inception.. as i was watching it, i get lost in the flow of the story and get mad and bored of watching.. after i read this, i have understand more some things that had happened in the movie w/c would be a great help for me in making my own reflection paper.. tnx :)

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