By JOSHUA LAWSON
“Inception” isn’t a film you can passively zone out to; it’s a film that rises above to create an experience of its own.
It will have you on the edge of your seat, heart racing with excitement. With a first-rate cast, an amazing score, breath-taking visuals and the always-inspired directorial vision of Christopher Nolan, “Inception” is not one to miss.
“Inception” takes place in a world where corporate espionage is carried out through dream-sharing, military technology that allows thieves to strike at targets when they are their most vulnerable – in their sleep – to retrieve valuable secrets.
These thieves are known as extractors, and Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is the best of the best.
Forced to live on the run as a result of mysterious foul play back in the States, Cobb goes from job to job with the desire of one day making it back to his children in the U.S. When this opportunity is presented to him by business tycoon Saito (Ken Watanabe), he assembles a team to attempt the allegedly impossible feat of inception: the insertion of an idea into one’s subconscious.
Highlights amid Cobb’s team include Arthur and Eames, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy respectively. The two provide several moments of comic relief with their tug-and-pull, and both stars are the center of jaw-dropping action sequences that are among the film’s highlights.
Marion Cotillard gives a chilling performance as Cobb’s wife, Mal, whose relationship with her husband is… complicated to say the least. Cotillard masterfully brings shades of sorrow, malevolence and disillusionment into her portrayal of a very tragic character.
While “Juno”-star Ellen Page’s performance is far from horrid, her character does seem to struggle to find any real importance in the span of the film, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the movie would’ve been that different if it didn’t have her in it at all. Her presence doesn’t detract from the overall cxperience, but it definitely wasn’t vital.
The sonic backdrop that is provided for these performances is nothing short of incredible. Hans Zimmer’s score perfectly complements the film’s intensity; the pounding, reverberating theme is instantly memorable, providing a flawless soundscape for some of the movies most astonishing moments, while quieter, more intimate melodies color the more emotionally-charged scenes.
The special effects of “Inception” are unparalleled. Christopher Nolan’s insistence on capturing as much as possible without the aid of computer imaging pays off in spades.
Many of the film’s most incredible moments (especially the astounding scuffle in zero-gravity) are made all the more bewildering without the distractions of poorly-meshed digital effects. That’s not to say that the computer-generated effects are poor though.
They’re done both with a true sense of refinement and on a ridiculously epic scale.
Nolan once again finds himself at the helm of an awe-inspiring opus. Yet “Inception” is much more than a visual odyssey; it’s a thought-provoking film that rewards multiple viewings. Even without racking up a pile of ticket stubs and pouring over freeze frames and message board threads, “Inception” is still an incredibly exciting and fascinating story that will definitely capture your imagination.
You’ll have two chances to see it this weekend at Cheap Seats, and I recommend taking both of them. Watch it the first time and just enjoy it, then go back Saturday ready to think about how everything fits together.