Christopher Nolan makes big, dumb, popcorn movies. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but his efforts to make films deeper than your average blockbuster is starting to look a bit desperate. Making said films profound is a trick he almost pulls by making them dark, serious and complex meditations. Inception is a preposterous story about Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a corporate spy who can enter and steal information from people’s dreams. There’s also nothing wrong with preposterous. When I seek entertainment preposterous often works well for me. Bizarrely, for all it’s crazed spectacle it did little to entertain this reviewer. The visuals are pretty spectacular, but the characters are not. The whole notion of being in dreams (where most of the action takes place) actually works against the drama of the film. The worst that can happen is when a character is killed in a dream, they will wake up. So no one is in any real peril. Now, that is a bold concept for an action film. Next thing you know, we’ll be seeing Nancy Meyers make a romantic comedy in which no one finds anyone the least bit attractive, and doesn’t have any jokes.
I should add though, it’s really refreshing that such a big film is neither re-make nor sequel. It’s admirable in this day and age to have created such huge
Hollywood product from absolute scratch. Of course the reason Nolan was trusted with the $160 million budget was due to the vast success of his last film. In case you missed it, that one was a dark, serious and complex meditation on a man who dresses up as a bat.