ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Inception (2010)

USA 148m, Colour
Director: Christopher Nolan; Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Despite an interesting concept, and a director who is capable of making excellent films, Inception suffers from the need to spend a reported $160 million dollar budget on action sequences and special effects that are superfluous to the story, and which no one had the nerve to leave on the cutting room floor where they belong. The result is a bloated and dull film whose only trick is to fake complexity to dim-witted audiences by simply adding multiple layers of dream states. If Nolan was forced to make this film on a fraction of the budget, the resulting tightening of the screenplay and the film’s runtime would have immeasurably improved the end result of a story whose potential is never fully realized (Klaus Ming July 2010).


10 comments on “Inception (2010)

  1. mcarteratthemovies

    Even if “Inception” isn’t perfect, I never once felt it was boring or dull. Hans Zimmer’s score alone sees to that, and then selected scenes — like Gordon-Levitt’s fight in that rotating hallway, or the train appearing from nowhere and barreling down that crowded city street — stopped me cold. I also thought the performances were excellent, particularly Ken Watanabe, who’s not getting enough kudos.

    • Klaus

      I’ve been amazed at how many people love this film. I really wanted to like this film – as i’m a big fan of Nolan’s past work. Perhaps my expectations were too high?

  2. Castor

    At last someone who is not completely gushing about this movie! Although I did enjoy the movie (certainly more than you did), I do agree with you that a lot of people are confusing a somewhat convoluted and “heavy” story with meaningful complexity and depth. I’m not going to go as far as say that it was intermittently dull but it certainly sagged a few times enough that I had to wonder “is this it?”

    • Klaus

      I almost fell asleep a couple of times. I think it had a lot of unrealized potential to be really entertaining.

  3. CMrok93

    Freakin amazing!! I loved almost every single second of this!! Nolan is going to be considered as one of the best directors of all-time now, and I will stand by and say, yes, I have to also agree. Check out my review here: http://dtmmr.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/inception-2010/

    • Klaus

      I’m not sure this movie will be remembered as his best.

  4. aaakalaka

    Excellent review.
    If I had rented this movie, I probably would have stopped watching it, but I felt compelled to justify the ticket price and stayed.

    This is another example of a good idea poorly executed. The story could have (and should have) been told in an hour and a half. Most of the special effects seemed forced and unnecessary. The action scenes largely failed too; despite the writers attempt to convince me otherwise, when you die in a dream you wake up. Or you keep sleeping and dreaming. But you don’t sink into a dreamlike coma. Thus there could be no suspense in a shootout that has no consequences. It also didn’t help that I didn’t care much about most of the main characters, save perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Suspense is also dulled by the early introduction of the concept of multiple dream levels and early action sequences. The idea of a dream within a dream would have been more interesting if introduced near the end of the film. I could only shrug as Leo descended from three dream levels to four, but if the writers/director maintained just one dream level until the end and then gave us another at the end it would have had a greater impact, I think. Likewise, you get diminishing returns with each explosion and shootout, especially in a film that seems as long as a flight from Sydney to LA. As a general rule, less is more–a concept that directors with big-budgets in particular seem to forget (as you note).

    Finally, the basic premise of the film is that people act on their dreams. I certainly don’t, and I don’t imagine many people do either. Indeed, I often forget my dreams. Unfortunately, this was not a dream.

    • Klaus

      Thanks, I agree with you about not liking or perhaps even caring about the characters in this film. And wholly agree with you about the lack of suspense and the diminishing return with every successive dream. More is definitely not better in this case.

  5. Wolff

    I think people are mistaking complexity with convolution. There were obviously multiple scenes that were just about new special effects and unnecessary. There were also characters, approximately half of them, that were superfluous, particularly Page’s. This was not a novel idea, and the characters were generally unlikeable, especially the maladjusted wife. I thought many of the performances were good, but the material was rehashed. There were no real surprises, and the train was just an old bit made slightly different for being a train. Everyone knows by now that if a scene is in the interior of a car for longer than 5 seconds there will be a wreck. And now I’m beginning to think if I’m in a theater for over 2 hours there will be one too.

    • Klaus

      Good insight on the car/train sequence – action films have become all too predictable. And despite the startling appearance of the train – I couldn’t help think that it was little more than an overblown and expensive visual effect – and am surprised that it wasn’t filmed in 3D!

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This entry was posted on 07/20/2010 by in 1001+, 2010s, All and tagged .
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