Sunday, July 25, 2010
TBG Sees: Inception
I liked it.
I might've liked it a lot.
But, I'm positive I didn't love it.
Writer/director Christopher Nolan penned a script that's dense and richly layered. The plot moves along at a reasonably brisk pace with gasps of exposition where needed. Perhaps "cerebral" is too strong a word, but Inception -- for the most part -- isn't your run-of-the-mill knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing summer blockbuster.
The visual effects are stunning. Nolan's interpretation of the dream worlds where Leonardo DiCaprio and his crew set up shop isn't so much fantasy as it's a malleable reality -- infinite staircases (paradox!), a stretch of zero-gravity and stackable, interlocking urban landscapes.
I do think, however, that the concept of Inception -- at times -- suffocated itself.
DiCaprio was strong as the tortured soul still mourning the loss of his wife. The emotionless detachment he conveys while leading his team into a virtual suicide mission is captivating, as his Dominic Cobb character only wants to reunite with the fragments of his fractured family. Unfortunately, Nolan doesn't especially flesh out any of the other characters. Ellen Page's two-dimensional "Ariadne" especially drags on almost every scene she's in.
And, why exactly should I root for these characters? Dominic Cobb has made a deal with the virtual devil to get his life back and would willingly sell the souls of his entire team for the peace he's seeking.
But, I really DID like it.
Marion Cotillard is phenomenal in the role of Mal -- Dominic Cobb's deceased, bat-sh*t insane old lady. Tom Berenger returns from the dead (figuratively, I think) for a small, but important part. And, at about the 3/5 mark of the movie, Page's character kills it with a wonderful wink-to-the-audience in a single line that conveys some of the confusion from the "dream within a dream within a dream" conceit.
I liked it. I just didn't love it.