To Confuse or to Really Confuse? That is the Question.

Inception (2010)
A Review by Ben Hunter
3½ Out of 5 Stars  

The more I think about it, the more I dislike this film. It's entertaining, Hans Zimmer did a brilliant job on the score, an “A” for coming up with something orginal, but all the pieces just don't come together for me and I keep pushing it further and further down my list of favorites this year (it started at number 2).

Overall, it felt like Christopher Nolan (the director of this film) was trying way too hard to shock and thrill you with twists, shocking surprises, and major mind manipulation to show you how much he can make you think. This persona shouldn't have come anywhere near me, for Nolan doesn't have to prove that.  His mind jerker The Prestige is #8 on my top 10 of ALL TIME!!

"Oh I'm really going to get them thinking on this one with not one, not two, but 3 dream sequences!  Keeping them fooled all they way to the end!" Come on Chris, you don't have to think like that! I'm sure this was nowhere near his thought process, but this is how he came across. Remember, "perception is everything"?  Stop TRYING to mind rape me and just rape me already! Think Kurt Cobain on that one. Stop trying and just be!

Speaking of endings ... (shakes head) ... give me an ending! Don't give me a theory!  "Who knows how it ends but the point is I got you talking about it afterwards!" I was in the theater going, "We are not amused".  There’s a way to go about “leaving the story up in the air” but still not leaving your audience unsatisfied.  The Social Network did a good job of this.  Why that film is one of the year’s best!

It had good action sequences and an overall good production value. But I couldn't get with this story. I knew what was going on, but couldn't get with it. Probably because my other just as big of a problem with this movie is one of the main reasons why a good story can fail as a movie, how a good script can become a bad film ... casting.  THE CASTING FOR THIS MOVIE WAS JUST TERRIBLY WRONG!! Even if the story is a solid one and I'm just missing something here, I just didn’t get it. The wrong people portraying a particular story can ruin that story because it's not properly being portrayed. Casting is another step in the process that really needs to come together, you can't skimp in this area or it just won't connect with your audience in the bottom line.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a weird choice. He gets the big, hyped up action sequence that the trailer heavily sells you on to get you to see the film, and the star of the movie doesn't get the big sequence. It's like Christopher Pine in the new Star Trek film not getting the girl he's been pursuing all movie. He's the star of the film, the hero of the story and doesn't get the girl in the end. Leo is the star of this movie, let's follow him please and not one of his side kicks.

Ellen Page does not look like a senior level college student or anything higher, she looks like a JUNIOR level HIGH SCHOOL student! I said to myself, "Seriously? Are you kidding me?" The little girl gets inside our hero's head when no one else can, probably one of the most significant characters of the film and you're going to put all this responsibility on this young girl? I just couldn't buy anything she did. It didn't feel like she belonged! "This is grown up talk sweetheart; go back to biology 101 at the high school". Even if they were trying to make her out to be an advanced high school student, a child prodigy/genius that's young as she looks but is just advanced. Then that should've been made known, I'm talking WELL known, not lightly brushed over.

But honestly, I could buy all of that with the casting if they hadn't royally screwed up in the main area, Marion Cotillard and Leonard DiCaprio. LEO DID NOT LOOK LIKE THE TYPE OF GUY THAT MARION WOULD GO FOR! So their love looked fake!  It's as if Nolan said, "Okay Leo you love Marion; and Marion you love Leo ... ACTION!"  … … Why in the world should I care about these people?!  Christopher Nolan is a logical director, good at telling complex storylines that'll shock you in the end. He needs to get more into developing a relationship with his characters to make you care about them which will really entrance you in this complex story he's trying to tell you.

This is a couple that is a whole, totally immersed in the other, they make each other complete. I kept asking myself, "Wow! She fell for him?!" If you, as a director, are just totally locked on those two actors, then play up the fact on how they fell in love.  One good scene is all it takes.  They meet, he really works hard to win her heart over, and slowly get us thinking that she’s starting to fall for him with the scenes already in the movie now of them together.  Don’t just show me scenes of a couple together and nothing else. Make me say, “Oh yeah, he deserves that woman because by gosh HE EARNED IT!!”  That would've TOTALLY sold Leo’s motivation: a man who just couldn't let his wife go and get on with theh rest of his life. Had Nolan stressed the meet and falling in love aspect of his two lead actors, I probably wouldn't have that much of a problem with this film. 

So major reasons why I didn’t like Inception:  poor character development and wrong casting choices. 

Looking forward The Dark Knight Rises.  Christophertopher Nolan’s next project, a project in which he should and will redeem himself with. 

Action & Adventure, 148 Minutes, PG-13
Written & Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Kane, Ken Wantanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Ellen Page

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