Monday, February 3, 2014

Inception (2010) [PG-13] ****+

An inception is an idea that springs spontaneously from the deepest recesses of our subconscious. It's a thought that we recognize as uniquely our own; it possesses, infects and controls our mind, driving us forward into speech and action. But what if such a thought could be implanted in our subconscious mind by a team that comes, unbidden, into our dreams - a team with the resources to overcome our own mental training and defenses against such an act? What destructive havoc could such a thought cause?

This sci-fi, action thriller is based on this exact, incredible premise. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) leads a team of industrial espionage thought extraction specialists who are expert at stealing corporate secrets from the minds of CEOs. But when Cobb is unable to penetrate the mind of Saito (Ken Watanabe) and risks losing his reputation and perhaps his life, the alternative is to accept Saito's challenge to plant a uniquely destructive inception in the mind of his largest, most powerful competitor. There are incredible risks, however. Not one, but several levels of dreams within dreams must be navigated. Time will slow down dramatically as the team descends into the subject's subconscious, and there is the risk of being trapped in a subconscious limbo world, from which there is no escape. And then there are the unknown defenses, the armed security teams that the subject's mind might have been trained to deploy in its own defense.

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, this film is an edge-of-the-seat, futuristic thrill ride. The screenplay is innovative, the direction and editing are taut and sparse, and the sets and computer graphics special effects are simply incredible. DiCaprio and Watanabe are perfect in their roles, as are Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Cobb's right-hand man, and Marion Cotillard as Cobb's wife. The only slight casting misstep is Ellen Page as Ariadne, the team's designer, tasked with constructing the dream world the team will inhabit. While Page is an excellent actress, a harder, tougher actress might have been more convincing – perhaps someone like Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix, Memento). Nevertheless, Inception is a compelling film, one that will inhabit your thoughts long after the credits roll, one that you will look forward to viewing again. If you are a fan of Christopher Nolan's screenwriting and directing (Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight), then you won't want to miss Inception

Labels: action, crime, mystery, sci-fi, space-time, thriller  

Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 74/100  
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=80, viewers=82)    

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