Let it be known, this article is not a review.
Anyway, let me begin by saying that:
I liked Inception.
I felt it was an entertaining and (conceptually) innovative film, that managed to hold my interest throughout despite it’s sinfully long running time.
Okay fine, the movie isn’t Braveheart long, but hey; you try going to see it in the theater at 10:45 at night and tell me it didn’t whip your ass.
Inception is a film that I absolutely will not spend time going into detail regarding the plot and other such bullshit.
I say this, not because I don’t want to drop spoilers, but because I honestly don’t remember most of them.
Oh yeah, and it would cause me physical pain to try and explain some of the goofy shit that goes on in this movie.
Seriously, I’d need a diorama, Powerpoint, an old priest and a young priest just to explain the concept of this fucking movie.
The basic concept of the movie involves the manipulation and invasion of peoples’ dreams, leading to a story that mirrors that of an absurdly complex and convoluted heist film.
I say “convoluted” because there are moments when, just when you think you’ve got all the rules of the film’s impressively well thought out, and seemingly structured universe, the movie starts throwing you curve balls in the form of changing it’s own logic for the sake of convenience in regards to the plot.
That’s not to say this happens all the way through, however there were at least 2 occasions in which I honestly had to scratch my head and say:
“Huh? Why the fuck did that just happen?”
It’s interesting to note that, despite the 2 films sharing very little in common, for whatever reason I kept saying to myself in the theater:
“This hella’ reminds me of Flatliners…”
Despite it’s complex subject matter and, at times, fuzzy internal logic; it should be noted that Inception is by no means a genius of a film.
Let it be known, the Azn Badger is a Badger of barely average intelligence.
Azn or not.
That being said, let me just say that the screenplay of Inception, like seemingly every Christopher Nolan film, is very redundant, and much too excessive with it’s incessant dropping of “breadcrumbs” for the viewer.
Batman Begins: “FEAR!!!!!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! I’M BATMAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!”
The Prestige: “REVENGE!!!! MAGICAL DAVIIIIIIIDDDDDD BOWIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!”
The Dark Knight: “CHAOS!!!! JUSTICE!!!!!!!!! WHERE IS HE!!!!!!!????”
To those of you that don’t habla Espanol, “breadcrumbs” refers to the little droplings, or tidbits of information that are interspersed throughout a screenplay to make those “Ah Hah!” moments seem more logical, and ultimately, more rewarding to the viewer.
Inception’s script is, to pound the metaphor totally into the ground, not sprinkled with breadcrumbs as most films should be, but is instead simply a whole loaf of bread.
Put it this way, if you’re paying attention, and are able to keep track of wherever the fuck the film’s logic decides to go throughout the movie, then chances are you’ll be able to figure out most of the major plot points a good 20 minutes to a half hour before I think the movie intended you to.
Anyway, good movie, provocative screenplay, but just a little bit heavy-handed with the exposition at times.
The acting performances in Inception were, in a word; “solid.”
I say this because, despite the all-star cast; Inception is by no means an actor’s movie.
Due to the hardened nature of most of the main characters, the majority of the performances consist of muted expressions and flat deliveries.
Hell, even most of the humor is deadpan.
Tom Hardy has an accent, and that’s about all he did for me.
Ellen Page, while looking uncharacteristically fetching in this movie, also failed to leave any sort of impression.
Leonardo DiCaprio is just about the only actor allowed to emote throughout, yet despite this; most of his thunder is stolen by the script’s propensity to spill the beans on it’s big character reveals long before their intended cues.
That and Levitt looks like my brother, but Jewish.
Oh yeah, and Ken Watanabe is pimp, so he gets a pass as well.
One thing I feel that needs to be pointed out about Inception, is that the action is typical of a Christopher Nolan film.
One thing about Nolan that truly confuses me, is that he seems to know what he likes in his movies, and how he likes to shoot it, however, when it comes to framing action, the man just doesn’t have a clue.
Maybe it’s his cinematographer, or his editor’s fault, but regardless, whoever is fucking up really needs to stop it.
Simply put, Christopher Nolan likes sweeping aerial shots of cities,
Inception, of course, has all of these things, however only 2 thirds of it is done well.
Don’t get me wrong, Nolan’s cityscape shots are always beautiful, as are his car chases, but when it comes to framing human-on-human violence, he sucks donkey balls.
My main issue with Nolan’s action scenes, is the lack of spacial awareness the viewer is given throughout.
You know that thing that the Hong Kong cinematographers do where they shoot the actors from the toes up so you can catch the detail and intent in their movements?
Well, Nolan’s answer to this is to frame everything all loosey-goosey, and then throw the footage into the meat grinder until it makes a Bourne movie look under-edited.
It should be said though, that whoever does Mr. Nolan’s sound editing, should be given some sort of award *cough!* Oscar! *cough!*
Seriously, the sound of the gunfire in both The Dark Knight and Inception is a thing of beauty.
Truly the definition of “ear-popping.”
Compliments aside, I have one more gripe about the action:
I know it’s realistic to choreograph a gunfight as a fairly stationary and controlled series of tactical potshots, but for A MOVIE THAT TAKES PLACE IN FUCKING DREAMLAND, I’d expect things to be just a little bit more colorful.
Seriously, what the fuck is the point of having gunfire and explosions in your movie if you aren’t going to go to the trouble to highlight them in any way.
On a final note, I’d like to take a minute to give my thoughts on the soundtrack of Inception.
A lot has been said about the ever so prolific, Hans Zimmer’s, soundtrack of the movie.
By, “a lot,” of course, I mean a lot of good.
Several of my friends hyped the soundtrack for me, such that I was really excited to hear the soundtrack, much more so than I was about seeing the movie in fact.
After all, my friends and I used to refer to Inception in daily speech as simply, “BWAAAHHHHH!!!” due to the brass blaring teaser trailer.
“Hey, did you see BWAAAHHHH!!! yet dude?”
Anyway, retarded bullshit aside, Inception’s soundtrack was booming, sweeping, and all sorts of epic, however I ended up leaving the theater with little to no recollection of any sort of themes or melodies played throughout.
In essence, the music was gorgeous, and almost mystifyingly dignified, almost like a classical symphony, however, despite being excessive and overbearing throughout, to me; it just wasn’t all that memorable or engaging.
Seriously, Inception had a lot of music, too much in fact.
The only musical memory I walked away from the film with was bittersweet, in that I realized one of the climax themes played during the last act of the film, was in fact played twice within the same act of the film.
That’s just fucking lazy.
I’ve always said Hans Zimmer was overrated, and while the score for Inception does little to change my impression of him, I will say this:
He’s done better.
Just as Christopher Nolan has done better.
And Leonardo DiCaprio has done better.
Even so, Inception is a good movie, that while lacking in some areas, and full of holes in others, is a film that, regardless of how you feel about it, leaves you with something to talk about.
Just like The Matrix more than 10 years before it, (wow, I’m really that old?) it’s by no means perfect, but something about it just makes us want to sit down talk about it with someone, for better or for worse.
In many ways, I can think of no greater success for a film of this nature.
Now let’s just hope they don’t go and blow it by making a shit ton of sequels…
Although Mr. Nolan can go ahead and make another Batman.
The Azn Badger loves him some Batman…