Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Everyone seems to love this movie. I didn’t. Here’s why:
‘Inception’ breaks the first rule of storytelling: show don’t tell.
Way too much talking and over-explaining.
Seems to be a trend in Hollywood or some unwritten Hollywood script-writing rule which states if a movie contains some kind of high-brow concept deemed too abstract for the everyday sloped-foreheaded Walmart shopper to properly understand (which, by the way, ‘Inception’ wasn’t at all), that movie must spend inordinate amounts of screen time and pointless dialogue relying on the laziest of literary devices: the Q&A. Question and answer. This movie spends so much time explaining concepts, ideas, and dream jargon in the form of one character asking questions and another character answering them in a nice compact way, that after a while I got the feeling I was watching a plot outline for a movie being pitched to some Hollywood big-wig instead of watching the actual movie itself. It seems the script writers assigned Ellen Page’s character to be this person who asks all the plot-related, concept-related questions to help move the movie along.
I FUCKING HATE WHEN MOVIES DO THAT. SHOW DON’T TELL!
‘Inception’ is okay for good summertime distraction. In fact, my company treated our entire business unit to a screening of the movie. And I missed the first half-hour because some dumbfuck sent out an email saying the movie started at 9:30 when it actually started at 9:00. (Or maybe I didn’t read that email right?) So hey, it beat going to work. But is it a great movie? Is it destined to be a sci-fi classic along the lines of ‘Bladerunner’?
A good movie — no, a GREAT movie — evokes images and emotion. It doesn’t need to explain them.
When you watch a great movie, you come to realize whatever concept it’s trying to convey. It occurs auto-magically. Or seems to. That’s the trick of good storytelling. It doesn’t beat you over the head with droning dialogue in hopes that you’ll get it after the tenth or twentieth time.
In fact, the mark of a great movie is that it contains very little dialogue at all. (‘Pink Floyd’s The Wall’ is one example. I’ve already mentioned ‘Bladerunner.’)
SHOW DON’T TELL, DUDE!
Sad that the writers made the various dream “realities” look exactly like something out of a Bourne Identity or Bruce Willis action-hero flick. If that’s how they dream in real life, it explains the severe lack of imagination throughout the entire movie.
If you want to watch an enlightening and illuminating discourse on the various levels of consciousness and what it means to be in one dream-state versus another, and still be entertained at the same time, forget ‘Inception’ and Netflix copies of ‘Waking Life’ or ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ instead.
Quick note on the characters.
There were about two or three characters that probably didn’t need to be in this movie. Removing them would not have affected the movie’s plot or outcome at all, I don’t think. This tells me the script could have used another two or ten rewrites.
And, I dunno….maybe it’s just me, but it seems ‘Inception’ picks up where Di Caprio’s previous movie, ‘Shutter Island’ left off. Here again, he is forced to deal with the actions of yet another psychotic and/or delusional wife. With the two kids included. Or was it three? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Point is, in both movies he’s missing his kids very much.
Ellen Page seems miscast in this movie just as that hipster dufus Apple Mac kid was miscast in that Bruce Willis flick a few years back. In fact, Ellen Page should team up with Hipster Dufus Mac Boy and make their own quirky sci-fi flick, co-starring Michael Cera. They could all sit around in a stoned-out dream-state singing Kimya Dawson songs. That, to me, sounds way more interesting than ‘Inception’.