You’re going to hear a lot of praise for Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Whether it be from the stuffy, self-important film critic, or that awkward, geeky guy who works in the office cubicle next to you. They will all be applauding Inception for its complexity, commending it for its intelligence, and boring you silly with their own personal theories on what they think happened in the film.
The early reaction to this dream based mind bender has bordered on the ridiculous, with many people falling over themselves to call the film an outright modern masterpiece, others are claiming director Christopher Nolan to be nothing less than the second coming of Christ.
While there is no doubt that this is a standout film, the over-the-top gushing of praise strikes me to be less about the strength of the actual film and more about the pitiful films it shares multiplex space with.
Perhaps we have been starved for too long. With Hollywood studios continually feeding us endless piles of steaming remakes, rehashes or rejects, so many recent blockbusters have treated audiences with such disdain and lack of respect, that Inception almost feels like the first original and respectful blockbuster to come out in years.
The very idea that a big budget studio film can treat us as intelligent human beings capable of processing complex ideas, has understandably put many people in a state of drunken shock, leaving them with no other choice than to momentarily lose their inhibitions, strip naked and run through the streets singing the films praises like possessed madmen.
Is the film a modern-day masterpiece? Possibly. Is it the single greatest film ever made? Um, I don’t think so. The overreactions are due to the majority of movie-goers simply forgetting what a great blockbuster film looks like.
For all its brilliance, Inception has its flaws. I don’t want to be the party-pooper here, but Ellen Page, as great an actress as she is, does seem too young for her role, and while the film features amazing CGI effects, some of the big action scenes, particularly towards the end, are lacking intensity. There are also moments when the film teeters on the edge of being too complex for its own good, where characterization may have been sacrificed for cleverness. Let’s call them minor quibbles in an otherwise excellent experience.
After the disappointment that was Shutter Island, Leo DiCaprio is back to his best work, and while the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t really allowed room to show us his superior acting skills in Inception, he still does a damn solid job.
Inception is a feast for the eyes and a test for the mind that, at times, will have you wondering if your popcorn has been dipped in hallucinogenic acid. You can call it The Matrix set in dreams, or Memento on steroids, but there is little doubt that like those two films, it will age well over time and demand many repeat viewings.
By Adam Fay
Read more film reviews by Adam at http://iseefilms.wordpress.com