Thursday, December 16, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Not sure why I didn't make a post yesterday, guess I was busy. Sometimes I've found it's good to give myself a few days to think about something before I review it but I was ready to review this right after I saw it on Saturday. I'd been fairly excited to see Inception when I heard about it back in June or May, it sounded smart and clever when I heard all my friends rave over it so I went in expecting a good movie but trying not to get my hopes up too high. Rather glad I did that now since I'm baffled why it's gotten so much buzz.
Summary: There are people who, with the right equipment, can enter into people's dreams and wreck havoc with their deepest secrets. Cobb is one of these men and, because of his mysterious past of course, can never see his kids in the US kids and has nightmares of his own about his wife. After an offer where the payoff is a chance to go home Cobb throws caution to the winds, gathers a team of specialists in drugs, manipulation, and dream architecture to inflitrate one more brain on more levels than ever before.

The Good: The story focused on seven or so central characters and, even though some had less screen time than others, I managed to keep them all straight and remember who they were. Since I have trouble with that normally I can say then that all of the characters felt well defined both visually and personality wise. And the movie was at it's most interesting when the dreams went strange due to real world interference. That was clever and the movie could've used more clever ideas like that.

The Bad: It's just another action flick so why is this getting so much buzz? True it's an action flick that, oddly enough, has a better backstory than most but there's nothing really deep or confusing here. At most there were only five or six plot lines to follow at once, now, give me ten or so simultaneous points of view and I'll be puzzled, the only part of the movie that threw me just reaffirms the fact that I have trouble remembering foreshadowing that's at the very beginning of a movie*. And the ending, I'd already read a review or two for the movie so I knew about the either or ending the movie had. However I was expecting it to be so freaking blatant, usually movies that have either or endings are subtle enough that you need to be looking for it on the first or second watch, here it jumped up and down naked on the screen while screeching "look at me, I'm smart!"

The Music: It worked, nothing that made me go "hmmm, let me see if itunes or Amazon has that" but nothing that was jarring either.

The Visuals**: Some of the dream scenes were really neat and others were rather normal I know they didn't want their target to realize it was a dream at points but it would've been really neat if everything looked normal but was blurry or backwards on closer work, you know, if it's going to be a dream you might as well make it as strange as you can get away with.

I was let down by the movie and I think a lot of it was because I went in thinking "if it's a movie about dreams then I won't assume anything isn't a dream until proven otherwise" and that seemed to ruin a few twists. But I can't be the only person who went in thinking that and the producers must have realized that, I got the feeling from this and a few other things that this movie was playing to the lowest common denominator (that would go see the movie anyway). This wasn't really a smart movie or a movie for very very smart people, it was just another action flick.

*For some reason it only throws me off in visual works, usually I catch the early foreshadowing in books.
**Since that's easier than special effects/the setting stuff.