Inception is one of only a few movies nowadays in which the audience knows very little about the movie beyond its basic premise. It’s not surprising really, given that even its star, Leonardo DiCaprio had a hard time explaining the movie.
Still, I’ll do my best to sum it up as best I can. Inception is the act of going into a person’s dreams and planting an idea. The trouble is, it’s never been done before. Well, not successfully anyway. This is where DiCaprio and his team come in as he is hired by Ken Watanabe, a powerful businessman to get Robert Fischer, the son of his competitor (Cillian Murphy) to break up the business. As DiCaprio and the others plan to break into Fischer’s mind, we are introduced to the various members of the team who will complete this heist-like job, and learn more about the rules of the dreamscape that the team will be operating under.
You see, in the dream world anything can happen. Cities can crumble, gravity can disappear and you can’t be sure if you are awake or not. Of course, the basic idea that anything can happen, lends the movie a Matrix-like feel as the laws of physics are truly turned upside down. But to say that the movie is Matrix for the 2000s would be a disservice to Inception. For one thing, unlike the Wachowski brothers who used the FX in The Matrix quite liberally, director Christopher Nolan is fairly conservative. There are only a couple of those Matrix-type scenes in the movie. Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you! Had this been a James Cameron or Wachowski movie every other scene might have been this type of visual effects spectacle. Nolan uses the effects only when necessary.
This isn’t your dumb summer blockbuster. There’s a lot more thinking and plot in Inception as our team try to penetrate deeper and deeper inside Fischer’s mind while dealing with not only Fischer’s own projections (there to protect his mind), but projections created by DiCaprio’s Cobb, who is still lost in his own grief over his wife. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of action pieces in this movie. Freight trains plowing through city streets, fire fights and an uber cool chase on skis a la James Bond make this movie a more than worthy action flick. Through the very nature of this particular job, danger abounds for all of the characters who could quite easily become lost in limbo if they die in the dreamscape.
As for the cast, kudos all round, even if it does start to look like a Batman Begins reunion. Seriously though, there’s hardly a misstep, even with Ellen Page who, as Ariadne, has the difficult role of acting as the viewers eyes into the world of Inception as well as being the only one on the team who understands the nature of Cobb’s demons. Another noteworthy performance has to be Tom Hardy as Eames, who proves that he’s not only the most badass of the group, but also the funniest.
With stunning visual effects, a top notch cast and a strong script, Christopher Nolan has proved, yet again, why he is one of the most dynamic directors in Hollywood right now.Definitely a must-see- and if you can catch it in IMAX, even better!