Knee-jerk review: "Inception"

1. The Cheese Fry hasn't seen a movie since December, and this is the one we pick?
2. The way Warner Bros. - and most critics, who are collectively in love with filmmaker Christopher Nolan - has been positioning the movie, only smart and sophisticated audiences will appreciate it. Which seems to us a rather ingenious way to defuse any negative reaction. If you don't like, you must be dumb.
3. I guess we're dumb. Because we didn't like it.
4. We were growing restless and dissatisfied towards the end (those repeated shots of the van falling were starting to get unintentionally funny to us) when it inexplicably became a James Bond movie. Random and pointless, existing solely, it seems, to be able to blow stuff up.
5. But then that final ambiguous shot was the last straw. You'll know the one. We suffer through all of this confusion, double-talk, and mind-games for more than two hours and you can't even give us a simple resolution? Screw you, too, Nolan.
6. We loved Memento and The Prestige, but Nolan undeniably became a cinematic "genius" darling based on The Dark Knight, a cleverly plotted and visually striking movie but also too long, too jammed full of needless plot, and suffering from a clunky ending. You'll find the same problems here. (The Dark Knight was also a movie that people loved to love, imagining that appreciating the film made them sophisticated and discerning.)
7. We don't get Ellen Page. Sorry. (And why is she pitch-person for Cisco. There has to be a good reason, right?)
8. There's a lot to be explained here about the "rules" of the dream thieving. And this movie does about as well it can in setting everything up in the first 30 minutes. Exposition is never easy, but it goes down fairly smooth here.
9. You know who we do get? Tom Hardy. He plays a fairly minor character but steals every scene he's in. This guy needs more parts, immediately.
10. We hear DiCaprio's the one who insisted on more of backstory for his character. And we have to admit, certain elements of this worked quite well for us. Wanting to see your kids' faces again? We can understand that.
11. Begrudging bonus points for the twist involving DiCaprio's previous experience with "inception." We liked that.
12. What's with not putting up a title card until after the movie's over? We recall first seeing that with Danny DeVito's terrible, unwatchable Hoffa back in the 1990s. Here you get the Warner Bros. sheild, the Legendary Pictures logo, then the movie just starts... and after the final fade out (see #5 above), then we finally get "INCEPTION." What's that all about? LIke so much of this movie, it feels arrogant.
13. Really, what is the point aside from playing with the audience?
14. We're told going into limbo will scramble your brain, but several people emerge from limbo with brains intact. That kind of nagging plot confusion bugs us.
15. The whole thing just feels smug and condescending. It didn't at first. It starts strong and we thought we were going to like it. But then... it just gets so tedious.
16. The hallway fight you see on the TV spots where everyone crawling on the walls - that is pretty cool.
17. We're still not sure if we get Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But we did love 500 Days of Summer.
18. It'll make a lot of money. And only encourage Nolan.

1 comment:

  1. Never in the third level of my dreams, did I think I would disagree with you!