Inception (2010) (PG-13)
Many movies can boast that they are original, like Jodie Foster's "The Beaver". Many others can also lay claim to critical success, like "The King's Speech". Yet not many films can say that they were critically acclaimed, drastically original, and huge box office hits. "Inception" is one of the few that meets all three criteria.
Christopher Nolan made a large splash in the movie world with his film, "Memento" which was famously filmed telling the story backwards. Then he made "Insomnia" and the popular "Batman Begins" which sought to tell the Batman saga over again in a darker and much more philosophical method. The critical eye was on him when "Memento" was released but the popular vote entered with "Batman Begins"...and then...he made his mark with "The Dark Knight". If there ever was a film that defined a crowd pleaser more than "The Dark Knight" has; I would like to know what it is. The hype around this movie was huge but the news of Health Ledger's death turned it into a frenzy. Opening night brought in a near record number of people and since then "The Dark Knight" has become one of the most popular and highest grossing movies ever made.
So the expectations were incredibly high when Nolan started making his next film. Even though he had set up the Batman movies for another installment, he took a break from superheroes and cashed in the carte blanche he had from "The Dark Knight" in order to film a project that he had been working on for quite some time.
Rumors have stated that "Inception" began as a thriller/horror movie in Nolan's mind.
In the summer of 2010, "Inception" was released against the Angelina Jolie spy thriller "Salt". It quickly gained footing and dominated the box office screen for much of the summer.
"Inception" follows a dream thief, Dom Cobb, who is an extractor—meaning he enters people's mind while they are sleeping and steals ideas from them. He's also one of the best in this field of thievery so he is paid large quantities of money to steal ideas and plans from major corporations. In the beginning scene he explains his business to one of the heads of a powerful corporation, Saito. Little does Saito know that Cobb and his partner, Arthur, are actually already in his head, in a dream, and are plotting to steal his company's plans. In the dreams, the ideas are always materialized into some sort of realistic explanation, like blueprints, handouts, or CDs.
Through circumstances which I won't reveal, Cobb is unsuccessful at stealing the plans and has to flee the men from the company that hired him.
But Saito was impressed with Cobb's job so he hires Cobb to do something that's virtually impossible: inception—to plant an idea in someone else's mind. Saito wants the son of his rival company to dissolve his father's empire when his father passes away (and from all the telltale signs, that's going to be very soon).
Cobb quickly assembles a team of specialists that include an architect, a chemist, a forger, a driver, and himself—the mastermind.
"Inception" is the movie that will define the 2000s and on. Rarely does a movie come along that has so much potential and utilizes all of it, it's as close to perfection in a movie that is attainable.
Nolan's eye is stylistic and controlled. He trusts his team of special effects people and stunt choreographers enough to let the action show itself. Nothing has been as stunning as a spinning car giving way to a rotating hotel hallway in which two men fight. What about Paris bending backwards on itself or explosions sending a building crumbling down the side of a mountain?
Nolan really hit the bullseye with "Inception".
Not only is the idea good but the script is sensational and keeps you guessing, the acting is spot on (the cast includes Leonardo Di Caprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Pete Postlethwaite, Marion Cotillard, and Tom Berenger), and the music is impeccable as well. Hans Zimmer's score is a tour de force. Every aspect of "Inception" is sensational.
I can remember the first time I saw "Inception" being complete speechless, which takes quite a feat. I was covered in goose bumps and high on adrenaline. Not many movies can evoke such a strong response as "Inception" did in me.
Not only does it have great ideas behind it that will make the audience talk, but it has amazing action sequences that can never be forgotten. No movie since "The Matrix" blended the two genres in such a fashion, and none do the job that "Inception" does.
It's simply magnificent.
From a train barreling into the side of a car out of nowhere to water exploding through a ceiling, you are never given an opportunity to come up for air.
"Inception" could just be, the best film that has been made and will be made.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones