Inception Mind-Numbing, Not Mind-Blowing

I can already feel the masses getting their torches and pitchforks ready for me on this one.  Is this my Avatar of 2010?  What I’m getting at is last year I was the lone wolf here on Why So Blu, ultimately not impressed by Avatar like the rest of the world was.  Not quite getting the fanfare of the blue aliens, Christopher Nolan’s Inception has still garnered a significant amount of ooh’s and ah’s from a public that waits with anticipation to see this film.  I was one of those people representing the eager public. Please note, the operative word here is ‘was’.  Now that I’ve seen it, there is nothing more to anticipate, nor is there much to write home about either.

As fellow writer Brian White pointed out, it’s difficult to begin with a basic premise of this film without invading some of its privacy and spilling spoilers in the process.  In a nutshell, and without giving too much away, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is well-versed in the latest crime; theft of your mind.  Through the portal of one’s mental activity and with sleep-induced aid, he can get inside your head and uncover your thoughts and steal your secrets.  In that respect, the film is already thriving on originality of which this attribute seems to grow with rarity in Hollywood.  Along with its clever concept, the film sports an impressive cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe and the very cute Ellen Page.  There is no mistaking that writer/director Nolan likes to keep a close-knit group on the set as Batman actors Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine also fit into the mix.

Again, the concept here is mental thievery so DiCaprio and his crew work on creating and executing one very involved mental heist.  What takes place from here is nothing short of what felt like my own personal hell.  This was the movie that would never end.  I don’t know what’s worse; being in an office meeting on an empty-dialogue conference call for one hour or seeing Inception through to the end after two hours.  The film certainly wasn’t repetitive, it just wouldn’t die.  With a 7:00 start time, and don’t forget previews, the film found closure at 9:35.  When I checked the clock, I really expected it was going to say midnight.  One dream gets layered on another dream and then another and so on and when it was all said and done, I would have rather had a tee ball team use my head for batting practice.

Inception is one very involved film and you must stay attuned to the plot, which I proudly did.  The movie begins with a blistering pace that comes and goes throughout the film, but a problem with this is things happen so fast sometimes that there is little offered in the way of explanations.  Like I said a moment ago, you’ve got to be on your toes with the plot here or else this film is going to fly right over your head.  Ironically enough, the occasional sequences of action do not do anything to speed up the movie.  The overall story was just far too drawn out for me to give a rat’s tail, whereas this detachment finally took effect at some point just before the middle of the movie (or should I say the five-hour mark).

The acting talents are great but they are overshadowed by the tremendously tedious script.  Unfortunately, the film’s sloth-like feeling was established early on and was only eased for a brief moment here and there.  Besides, if you’re going to rock out your own dream, go for the gusto!  If you can create and control at least some of what goes on in your sleepy little head, I would have had the Incredible Hulk running through the streets tearing the hell out of everything.  Yes that is my juvenile mind at work, but I must entertain myself somehow after sitting through this movie.  Let’s hope Nolan’s next work (Batman III) doesn’t operate with the same coma-inducing feel that this film carried.



5 Responses to “Inception Mind-Numbing, Not Mind-Blowing”

  1. Brian White

    Wow! I could not disagree with you more. That “tedious” script, as you referred to it, is a work of art to me. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and find out how he developed so many layers on paper. Study from him I will. At least you recognize the pitchforks are coming. Ouch! I can’t believe you did not like it. I can’t wait to see it again, although I might take Gerard’s advice and skip the IMAX screening. Maybe XD next?

  2. Gerard Iribe

    We saw this last night. It was AMAZING.

  3. Bob Ignizio

    I’m with you on this one, Gregg. It’s a cool idea in search of a good story to latch onto. Sadly it never finds one. You used the word \detached\ in your review, and that pretty well sums up my experience watching this movie. I felt no emotional attachment to any of the characters. I like movies that deal with the nature of reality, but there have been so many other better ones like ‘Synechdoche New York’, ‘Open Your Eyes’, and even ‘The Matrix’. There are some parts of this movie that work, but the sum total doesn’t add up to much.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    Synechdoche New York was garbage. It was way too self indulgent. Charlie Kaufman is a great writer but lousy director. Nolan is a great writer and great director.

    I plan on seeing Inception again at some point before the bluray is released.

  5. Gregg

    I got to the point where ~SPOILER ALERT~ I no longer cared if Leo got to see his kids or not, if Watanabe was in limbo forever, etc. Heck, I was in limbo during that movie.