Thursday, July 29, 2010

INCEPTION should be called DECEPTION

The run away summer movie blockbuster is Christopher Nolan's "INCEPTION". I saw it a few days ago.

The basic story line given by Warner Brothers is this:

Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

Now before I say what I thought of the movie, I will say Christopher Nolan is a movie-making genius. His work on the new Batman installments and a few other recent flicks have established him as a big-time up and coming director. Still, Inception was a two hour exercise in visual and mental manipulation. LOTS of people like such a thing, but not me.

The movie had such a positive buzz I was sure I wouldn't be disappointed. All sorts of "smart" people were saying how great it was. As I watched the movie I had trouble following was lost pretty soon after the thing started. I understood the concept of getting in to people's heads and planting thoughts (I think), but the movie didn't play out in a way that made the premise in any way believable. I kept thinking to myself, "Why can't I understand this? Am I stupid? Why does everyone else get it? " Then I thought of the friends and acquaintances who were giving two thumbs up and I realized most were of the "Matrix is the greatest movie ever" ilk. But I "got" that film (the first one anyways)...comprehending Inception was a different story for me. About 45 minutes in I would have been happy to see NEO come and shoot everyone up and end the thing.

Bottom line about Inception- Little of it made any rational sense or was in any way realistically coherent. Total manipulation from start to finish. Every once and a while they'd throw a little something you would "get" leading you to think you're not as stupid as you feel and they're total cinematic geniuses...only to throw it all away with the dumb ending. People who say they understood INCEPTION are probably lying because they think cool, smart, hip people should get it.

It's totally uncool to say what I'm saying. Cool people understood Inception, right? I'm sure Steve Jobs totally tracked with Inception. I don't expect anyone to comment in favor of my analysis, but secretly- and you know who you are- this blog post makes many of you feel better because you didn't "get" Inception either.

Now where'd I put my Dumb and Dumber DVD? Oh, there it is...under the Nacho Libre disk...


Michael Lockridge said...

The Emperor's New Movie?

Woody Woodward said...

No thanks! This kind of junk turns my stomach! Give me a good-ole Halmark Hall of Fame!

Jim said...

Although recommending the movie, Roger Ebert wrote that it's "structured with action movie basics so it feels like it makes more sense than (quite possibly) it does."

Anonymous said...

Maybe "Inception" is more like life in todays world. Everything around us of this world is a mind game. Commercials on TV; how many times are they ran? How many times have we purchased items because of the subliminal messages we've received from an ad? Politics is a mind game, look at the flyers and TV ad campaigns. Or yet, how can I manipulate someone to get what I want or to come to my way of thinking?
Perservere and be on your guard for the "Deception of Inception".
Have I contributed to the confusion? It's only in your MIND!

Perry said...

Sorry, I believe I just read that this movie is #1, this weekend. It beat out, "Dinner For Schmucks," whatever that nonsense is.

James said...

I think you're take on the movie is pretty accurate. As I was walking out of the theater, I remember feeling like I had just spent 2.5 hours trying to solve a logic puzzle, and failed. But, I'll give it another chance. Maybe on the second viewing things will make a little more sense. If I squint my eyes hard enough, maybe I can see the emperor's clothes.