Saturday, July 17, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Before I begin, I want to do a quick exercise. Follow my instructions:


Now what are you thinking about?

If you were thinking of the nature of reality, then you understand the basic premise behind Inception.

There have been a lot of big-name movies coming out recently, all in one massive wave. Last Airbender, Eclipse, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Despicable Me - all of these and more have come out within the past few weeks. While many of these movies have received a large amount of publicity over the past several months, few of them have been anything tremendously special. However, there is a gem - a precious diamond of a film among them. That movie is Inception, and it is awesome.

More awesome even than Cyborg Pirate Ninja Jesus.

Christopher Nolan has a bit of a reputation these days. His movies to date have been good, but have also suffered from various problems - mostly related to the writing. With Inception, however, this is not the case, and is one of those movies where I don't have a lot to say about it. Telling you much about it would, unfortunately, give away more than would make me comfortable. Suffice to say that it is simply... brilliant. Boasting a high quality cast, excellent writing, spectacular visual effects and a wonderfully engaging plot, Inception provides a movie experience the likes of which have not been seen in a very long time.

It's mood something of a cross between The Sting and The Matrix. Inception is all about specially trained people entering people's dreams to gather information. However, this job carries with it the danger of losing one's perception of reality, and becoming trapped inside the dream. The movie follows one such agent, named Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who has delved deeper into the depths of this dreamscape than anyone else. When he is hired to assemble a team to put information into someone's head instead of removing it, things get a lot more complicated. The resulting tale is filled with danger and adventure, and forces the audience to question the nature of reality over perception... and if the difference really matters.

One of my favorite things about this movie is that it is one of the first in many years that I have seen not talk down to its audience. It expects and forces us to think and keep up, rather than patronizingly carry us along and explain every little thing. It forces us to make our on decisions on what is real and what is not, and whether we care about the difference. In many ways, it asks similar questions to those posed in Ondine. However, unlike Ondine, Inception answers nothing and leaves everything to the viewer.

Like if The Matrix focused more on plot and writing than on Keanu Reeves knowing Kung-Fu.

This movie is everything that science fiction should be. It is smart, fast-paced, engaging, beautifully presented, masterfully directed, and phenomenally well-written. This is a ridiculously good movie, and one of my favorites of the year. If you do not see it, you will be missing out on something wonderful. It's so amazing that I'm going to do something for this movie that I will only very rarely do. Ready?

Final Grade: A+

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