Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Inception
So where does one start with a movie like Inception? It’s arguably the most anticipated film of this summer, if not the entire year. Without revealing terribly much in the clips and trailers (thankfully!) it’s been one of the most hyped films of the year as well – if not by the studio, then by movie news sites (including this one) and their readers. Following a monster hit like The Dark Knight is a heck of a task for Christopher Nolan, who not only directed Inception but wrote and produced it as well.
Well now that it’s done and hitting theaters, I believe Mr. Nolan can relax – because this film is all kinds of awesome.
This is one of those movies that’s difficult to review without revealing at least some minor spoilers, so be warned. It won’t be anything that will even remotely ruin the film for you, but I do have to bring up a few things in order to describe the story. Let’s start by explaining exactly what “Inception” is in the film: It is the process of imbedding a thought in the mind of a subject in such an incredibly subtle manner, that they end up thinking that they came up with it on their own. No, don’t think hypnotism, this is a much more sophisticated thing. As a matter of fact, Nolan makes a point to get at least one “oh, I know what this is going to be” thought out of your head within the first few minutes of the film: This is much more than the old dream within a dream plot line.
Leonardo DiCaprio is Cobb, a man who works with a team stealing corporate secrets from the minds of executives while they sleep. The 1984 film Dreamscape may come to mind, but things are much more complex here. In order to retrieve what Cobb’s clients want, he can’t just enter the dreamworld of the subject and poke around until he finds it – an “architect” is required to construct a world and settings that will lead the subject where Cobb wants him to go, and there is a backup man who also goes into the dream (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur) in case something goes wrong or it’s a two man con game.
As the film opens, we find that Cobb has failed in his mission for a client for the first time ever, and for this failure the corporation is out to kill him. Besides the obvious, Cobb has another problem: He is the father of two small children who he has not seen in quite a while yet both of whom he loves very much. Sadly for him, the last place he can go is back to the United States to be with them (there is another major reason as well). However an opportunity to fix all that lies between him and his children presents itself in the form of Asian corporate mogul Saito (Ken Watanabe). If Cobb does an almost impossible job for him, Saito is powerful enough to call the dogs off Cobb and to fix everything so he can return to his family.
The plan involves implanting a thought in the mind of one Robert Fischer Jr (Cillian Murphy), the son of a competitor who is on his deathbed and whose death will make the rival corporation so powerful it will rival that of a government. To carry off this plan, Cobb needs a new architect and an additional partner – so he finds his old teacher (Michael Caine) who despite misgivings points Cobb to a young woman named Ariadne who has inherent skills surpassing those of Cobb himself (Ellen Page). While hesitant at first, she becomes intoxicated with the idea of being able to create worlds as if a god, and signs on for the task at hand.
From there begins the exceedingly complex and multi-layered process of not only building the world in which they will place Fischer Jr, but the script they will have to follow in order to lead him to an initial seed of a subconscious thought that will eventually grow to a major, conscious decision that he would not otherwise make. The story is riveting and will take you through one level after another, until you’re not quite sure where, exactly, you are.