Don't believe the hype - this is a special effects blockbuster with a pretentious plot that takes itself oh so seriously. There's a good idea in there somewhere - something about reconciling emotional distress I think - but it's lost amidst a plot that doesn't actually make sense and performances that lack any real warmth. Very disappointing.
Here we have something fantastic: a Hollywood film that makes you think! There are no neon, flashing signs with the plot on them, you have to listen. It's all there, but you have to work for it.
If you don't want to have to work your brain a little, go see Clash of the Titans or similar. Here, we have a complex set-up, but it really is very well-executed and the performances are top-notch. DiCaprio really is at his best here.
Go and see this film. Why? Because if we support this sort of cinema, we will find alternatives to the popcorn fodder we get currently. Now, I like popcorn fodder - sometimes, you can't beat a good Transformers movie or a Harry Potter - but we should be given the chance to see original, innovative and compelling blockbusters, too.
I rarely get excited about a film’s release, but this was an exception. Anyone who has seen Memento knows that Christopher Nolan is a talented screenwriter, quite apart from his directing abilities, honed on the big-budget Batman films. Inception, a film shrouded in secrecy since its genesis, justifiably warrants the kind of plaudits reserved only for true works of genius.
The plot concerns Dom Cobb, an expert in subconscious security, who infiltrates subject’s dreams in order to steal their most secret thoughts. He is then offered a job, a job which means he will be able to see his family again: rather than stealing, he needs to plant an idea in someone’s subconscious. Cobb assembles his team of forgers and thieves (this is an illegal business after all) and architect Ariadne, preparing for what is essentially an incredibly daring heist.
To call this film complex is an understatement. It is so densely layered that its mise-en-abyme structure will at times leave you baffled. But, like Memento, it is a pleasurable complexity, as Nolan allows you to revel in the brilliance of the world he has created. Add to that flawless performances (DiCaprio shines again, as do Tom Hardy and Ellen Page), a love story, incredible set-pieces and stunning special effects (particularly the zero-gravity action sequences) and you have almost two-and-a-half hours of pure entertainment.
I have absolutely no reservations in calling this a true masterpiece. A word of warning though, don’t go alone – this is a film that requires analysis as soon as the final credits roll.
No way near as clever as it thinks itself, "Inception" promises much but delivers little of real value. The concept is a fascinating one and could have been handled in a far more challenging manner. The subconscious and the premise of dreams as an actual space one can manipulate should have been a boon but this movie in my opinon falls flat and is in many ways predictable and very dull. While the cast is superb and the acting faultless, this cannot somehow save the production from being nothing more than an action movie purporting to be intellectual. "Inception" to me is flawed on many levels and never quite raises itself above an ordinary Hollywood blockbuster. The script is heavy handed and lacks subtlety, and the dream sequences seem flat and utterly uninspiring. Characters are drawn like cardboard cut-outs and there is no development.
I was very much drawn to it because of the basic concept, something which could have been truly memorable and intellectually challenging had it been explored to its full potential. The story wanders aimlessly in search of a good plot and never quite lifts off the ground. Pretentious and boring, it over-reaches and misses the point by a mile. It is a shame as it had such endless possibilities of true greatness. But in the end, a damp squib which fizzes rather than sparkles.
I really enjoyed Inception and honestly think it was worth seeing on the big screen. Although I understand where some people may be coming from by stating that they feel a little let down after all of the hype surrounding it, the hours zipped by for me and I walked out of the cinema feeling like I'd had a great experience.
While I could never call it an intellectual masterpiece, for those of you that are moaning about the wooden characters or the 'shallow' layering of the 'psyche' (for the record, I counted five: perhaps the more subtle layers were overlooked by others) Inception is a film to be enjoyed and should encourage you to use your imagination. Go and see it, have fun with it. I did.
A fantastic film. Clever, complicated, thought-provoking and moving. Yes the film has plenty of action, but it also describes the personal journey of the main character, who is torn by guilt and trying to become reunited with his children. It is also a wonderful cinematic experience.
I love films but I had to walk out of this within the first ten minutes. It gave me a headache. Clearly then, I cannot have an entirely informed opinion, but the impression I got was that if you like macho Hollywood action movies with an ultra-pretentious plot, this film is for you. I certainly wouldn't say it's an open-minder, the whole ensemble (scenario, acting, directing) is pretty terrible - a pointless cinematographic experience and a no-no if you consider yourself cinephile.
Am I the only person who lost the plot as the lauded Hans Zimmer soundtrack was so loud half the dialogue was inaudible?
The film was like a Bond movie as directed by David Lynch after a long lunch. Too heavy on special effects and pretty pointless. A pity after the excellent Memento.
The characters in this film don't really live - they're just the cardboard cutouts of the Ocean's Eleven genre. They're put into an initially interesting and then increasingly thin concept-led story, where the psyche is represented in three layers. That sounds about right - three layers is pretty shallow!
Wow! I wasn't quite ready for that.
Definitely the best movie of the year so far. But it'll be totally useless on DVD, as this is not a film, it's an experience. Magnificent piece of cinematography. The movie took as its base line David Cronenburg's Existence and just kept getting better. It got a bit flabby after 90 minutes but who cares, when it tries so hard and wins on so many levels? But the director needs help, if you ask me. A friend of mine wasn't sure whether he was having a flashback, or someone had dropped a wee sweetie in his tea!
Christopher Nolan is rightly lauded for his Batman films but it was the innovative yet deeply engaging storytelling of Memento that made his name as one of the best writer/directors of our time. This is a man who takes high-brow concepts and puts them in widescreen Hollywood films for everyone to see and revel in. The complexity of The Dark Knight was so skilfully interwoven with the action even the least movie-savvy viewer could jump right in and enjoy it. Inception is the same, but better. Yes it is complex but Christopher Nolan is a master of the complex, presenting it with such skill that the viewer is drawn along with the characters with no sense of head-scratching or any monologues by Basil Exposition. It is well worth repeated viewing and discussion to puzzle out the details but the plotlines themselves are always clear and easy to follow.
The special effects are incredible. But this is not Transformers or Avatar. This is not a blockbuster vehicle for the SFX team. The imagery is beautiful, the effects are well-used and never overdone, in fact they leave you wanting more. The effects and cinematography are an integral part of the story, not just an excuse for the story.
The film is long but will you be bored? I certainly wasn’t. The effects aside, the plot is engrossing and constructed well to draw you further in incrementally. The idea of the main plot is to dig deeper into the mind of the subject. And as the plot digs down level by level it keeps the tension up, the plates spinning, and the characters in danger all the way. And before they enter the subject’s mind we have a rapid set up and team recruitment, far less drawn-out than in other films like Ocean’s Eleven etc. And broken up with plenty of character development, an exploration of Hobb’s memory prison, some Matrix-style training programs and even a Bourne-style chase through crowded African streets. This isn’t slow-starting since the film throws you straight into the middle of things from the get-go.
This is the best film out this summer, perhaps even this year. You owe it to yourself to go.
I went along to this movie genuinely anticipating seeing a great film. Perhaps, as a book, I could have found the time to grasp the complexity of the 'dream plot', but the mind-numbingly long, two and a half hour cinema experience just wasn't enough.
I'm not a great fan of Leonardo but, regardless of this, the movie lacked pace and empathy.
Add to this, the usual 'done to death' special effects, and it's just a 'here we go again', overhyped Hollywood flop trying to be too clever.
3/10 (Take a book)
Visually spectacular but a lot of gaps in the story and the ending is a cop out. People are comparing him to Stanley Kubrick but i don't think he comes close really. Enjoyable but the Guardian reviewer got it right. 3/5
In the midst of another tired and infantilised summer season of sequels and remakes, it’s good to see a studio throwing money at an original, adult-oriented project that has genuine ambition. Of course, Christopher Nolan wouldn’t have been given the budget to do this if it hadn’t been for The Dark Knight’s success, but here he brings the head-twisting structural contortions of his earlier Memento to the paranoid psy-fi of films like Minority Report and The Matrix, and it’s a very satisfying combination.
There are flaws, certainly. There’s a niggling sense of the film making up its internal logic as it goes along in order to create jeopardy – for example, if you die in a dream, you wake up (contrary to the wisdom of Freddy Krueger); but apparently if you die in a dream within a dream within a dream, you could get stuck in limbo for decades. The first third takes a while to get going, too, with some scenes feeling too much like expository tutorial, and Hans Zimmer’s score is relentlessly propulsive where it should really be creating mood (of the kind Vangelis brought to Blade Runner).
But once the team is assembled, and they start the journey into Cillian Murphy’s subconscious to plant a radical idea (the titular ‘inception’), the film achieves real momentum and scale. The casting is inspired, and there’s not a weak link among them: Tom Hardy is particularly good, there’s a nice musical in-joke for Marion Cotillard, and some long-lost faces (Lukas Haas and Tom Berenger) enrich the mix. As for the ending... well, the final shot is just brilliant.