Monday, August 09, 2010

Popcorn for One: INCEPTION

After seeing this film I want to publically apologize to Leonardo DiCaprio for laughing at his death scene at the end of TITANIC. Sure it was funny then and worth hitting rewind several times, but now I have to admit the guy is a damn good actor. Sorry, Leo!

INCEPTION is probably one of the best films I have seen this year. It might not have hit the emotional points that TOY STORY 3 did, but Christopher Nolan’s film is a solid piece of moviemaking. The guy who saved the BATMAN franchise demonstrates that he can do an action film with intelligence. Fans of Nolan’s two super-hero films may have forgotten that he was also the man who brought us INSOMNIA (with Robin Williams and Al Pacino) as well as the cult favorite MEMENTO, another film that dealt with memory. As with that early film, with INCEPTION we begin to learn things as characters move back in forth in time as well as in their dreams.

DiCaprio plays Cobb, a one-time architect who now uses technology to move into the dreams of others to steal secrets. In this case, he must do more than that. He must plant an idea (an inception) in the mind of the son of a business tycoon. In order to do this Cobb must enlist the aid of various individuals already familiar with entering dreams, plus find and train a new architect who can design the landscapes in which everything will happen. Going to his mentor, Miles (played nicely by Michael Caine), he is introduced to one of Miles’ new students Ariadne (Ellen Page). Initially, doubtful of the concept Cobb is able to persuade her to join the group. We learn that Cobb has some secrets he would rather not reveal to her until Ariadne realizes that he could endanger them all unless he confronts his own past.

The stunts and FX in the film are brilliant and believable, as they would have to be in a movie about dreams and dreamers. The cast is all quite good, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Arthur, Cobb’s right-hand man) a standout. He is fine in the straight scenes and really does an excellent job in the action sequences as well. Hey, he was Cobra Commander, in G.I.JOE after all!

This is one of those films that lived up to the promise of the trailers. In fact, the best stunts and sequences are only hinted at in the ads. Some of the action scenes rivaled anything Nolan did in THE DARK KNIGHT, while one was right up there with anything you’d see in a James Bond film.

I highly recommend the film, but let me know what you think about the ending.
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