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Monday, July 26, 2010

Inception

I just got back from seeing Inception.  I feel really bad about this, but I don't think I liked it.  I'm probably the only person in the country who didn't like this film.  There were things I liked about it, but overall, not so much.
First, I thought it was kind of boring.  Weird right?  I know it was action packed, but I didn't find it gripping at all.  I just thought it dragged on and on.  I even checked my watch several times, which is something I almost never do during movies.
I also thought it seemed overly contrived.  It was as if they got the cool idea of a movie about dreams within dreams, and all the cool stuff you could do with that, and then slapped in an abundance of action sequences with an overall weak plot of corporate espionage.  It just didn't seem to amount to anything.
That being said, the concept that I LOVED from the film was that of being trapped in a dream.  Or rather, if a dream is so vivid that it seems real, how do you know when you have woken up for real?  Speaking as one who has actually had a dream within a dream, the disorientation that results is most definitely real.  That being said, somehow you can still tell when everything is finally real again...at least after a minute or two.
To me it just seemed like it was trying to be complex for the sake of complexity and not because the story required it.  Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director and writer, however this was not his best work in the realm of complexity and audience disorientation.  The better film is Memento.  It was complex because the nature of the story required it.  There was simply no other way to effectively present the plot, and this resulted in a mind-blowing movie experience.  To this day I've never seen a film that challenges the audience as much as Memento.
The complexities in Inception were pretty easy for me to keep track of, and in a way, rather predictable.  Predictable is probably the wrong word since I didn't necessarily anticipate all the plot elements, however everything did play out roughly how I expected it to.  They hinted at a few concepts early in the film, and then once certain things were explained later, I suddenly knew where they were going with everything.
I also didn't think that they went as far with the abstract dream world as they could have.  They make the point that things feel real in dreams, and we only realize that something was odd once we wake up, well pretty much everything they did seemed pretty ordinary and un-dreamlike to me.  I was expecting something much more surreal.
This is definitely a good movie.  It is thought provoking, well acted, well written, visually stunning, and action packed.  I can't say anything bad about the quality of the film, as everything was top notch.  For me, all of these excellent things just didn't seem to come together to make an enjoyable film.  I would say that the overall feeling I had throughout the film was frustration.  Not frustration as a result of confusion, but frustration because I wanted to be having a good time, but wasn't.  I would kind of like to go see it again, and maybe then I will have a more favorable review, but for now I would give it 3 stars out of 5.

4 comments:

Emmy said...

Wow; thank you for the review! I had been wondering how the movie Inception was, and now, I think I'll pass on seeing it (at least until I can get it free at the library! :P)

Robby Spratt said...

It's worth seeing in theaters. And most people really like it, so I am in the minority in my review. You should probably make up your own mind about it and not trust my review.

Leon said...

Definitely don't pass on it, Emmy. Fantastic film. True, Memento was unbelievable, and I was blown away by it. But I was also blown away by Inception.

Robby, we just can't seem to agree on movies. Elf. Benjamin Button. Avatar. Now this. Next thing you're going to tell me is that you don't like Pulp Fiction, or you think Hayao Miyasaki is a joke. How dare you.

Robby Spratt said...

I thought you liked Avatar. Didn't you go out and buy it as soon as it came out? I actually loved Pulp Fiction. I saw it twice. I'm not sure I would watch it again, but I really did like it. It has some of the best dialog I've ever heard. I've never seen a Hayao Miyasaki film, but if it is anime, yeah I probably wouldn't like it. Have you seen any Akira Kurosawa films?