After “The Dark Knight” earned universal praise from critics, fans and movie goers as well as becoming the highest grossing film of 2008, Christopher “Chris” Nolan (my idol) resumes development of a pet project he’s been working on for nearly a decade called, “Inception.” At first it was supposed to be a horror film similar to “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” but he changed its genre in favor of a heist film like “Heat” in terms of emotional stakes. He also watched “The Matrix” as another influence as a source for a person’s subconscious entering a world beyond reality.
Fresh from “Following” & “Memento” Chris made a decision to postpone Inception in order to gain experience directing big budget films beginning with “Insomnia,” Batman Begins,” “The Prestige” & his magnum opus “The Dark Knight.”
Inception was released in 2010. (same year Toy Story 3 came out) It received critical acclaim from critics and movies goers alike. In addition to positive reception, the film made a bunch of money at the box office. Inception went on to become an eligible nominee at “The Golden Globes,” “Screen Actors Guild Awards” & “The Oscars.” Too bad Chris and his posse lost to Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech.”
Inception was later parodied in “South Park,” “The Simpsons,” “Rick & Morty, “How I Met Your Mother” & “Scary Movie 5.” Inception was also referenced in “The Office” when Michael Scott mentioned seeing the film.” Dr. Strange’s cinematic debut was influenced by the film taking cues from visual effects.
Chris’ highly anticipated film “Tenet” is slated to come out in August. Hopefully, after its original release was supposed to be July 27th, due to the ongoing Coronavirus, Chris & WB has to postpone it. I’d like to share what’s good or bad about Inception, which is one of my all time favorite movies directed by my idol. Denzel Washington’s son John David, the lead star of Tenet, has confirmed the anticipated movie is actually canon to Inception as he described Tenet as “In-Laws.”
Today’s review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler review if you haven’t got a chance to witness 2010’s biggest movie.
Happy & Sad Qualities
Happy: Leonardo DiCaprio, (my favorite actor) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard & Michael Caine all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Christopher Nolan did an epic job for shepherding the movie. It took him nearly a decade to put every puzzle piece into a constructed Three Act Structure. He needed the experience for directing big budget movies like Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige & The Dark Knight in order to be creative on large scale projects. Jonathan Nolan must’ve taken part in this uncredited giving his brother some additional ideas.
Chris’ wife Emma Thomas co-produced the film alongside her husband courtesy of their company Syncopy. The pair working on movies as husband & wife are similar to real life husband & wife filmmaking duos, Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh, Zack & Deborah Snyder.
Action Sequences are spectacular to witness a person’s mind constructing an environment walking their way through a labyrinth like mice navigating from Point A to Point B on their hunt for a big wheel of cheese.
Cinematographer Wally Pfister did a amazing job shooting the movie capturing cool looking shots that make you wanna be part of Cobb’s crew. Wally earned his Oscar for “Best Cinematography.”
Hans Zimmer composed music for the film. I tell ya what, listening to Hans’ track “528491” gave me chills.
Practical Effects were heavily used to create action scenes with actual stunt people. A fight in the hallway with zero gravity was built using a hamster like wheel similar to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” C.G.I. was used sparingly, miniature models like a snow base, aerial shots of the cities, gallons of water flooding around Cobb among many other things were handcrafted by actual humans, not virtual body doubles you see in “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.”
Chris mentioned Inception is influenced by “The Matrix Trilogy,” “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Blade Runner,” “James Bond,” “Heat” & the anime film “Paprika.”
Bullet Time (slow motion) is used effectively in several scenes. Again, Chris said “The Matrix Trilogy” is another source to build action scenes and cool slow motion shots.
Saitio recruits Cobb on a mission in exchange to erase his rap sheet. A reference to “Escape From New York” when Snake Plissken accepts a mission to save the U.S. President in exchange for pardon. Chris is a fan of John Carpenter’s movies.
Cobb’s wife Mal is a unique character. I can’t tell you about her backstory, you’re gonna have to see for yourself.
Chemistry between Cobb and his team are one of the main highlights. Seeing them act like a team felt realistic without no romantic tensions with Cobb hitting on Ariadne. It’s strictly professional.
Ariadne’s role in creating worlds in a person’s subconscious is a metaphor in making video games. A precursor to “Minecraft” & “Disney Infinity” with a player given the freedom to build any level they want. I miss playing Disney Infinity, why did Disney shut down production for potential playable characters and a fourth game?
Fun Fact: Chris is an actual gamer, he’s interested in expanding Inception into a video game. According to his brother Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan, they both like video games such as the Grand Theft Auto series,” “Bioshock Infinite,” “Red Dead Redemption,” “Skyrim” & the “Fallout series.” The Nolan Brothers & Lisa Joy announced they’re developing a Fallout television series on Amazon Prime. The games they liked helped them create HBO’s “Westworld.”
A spinning top plays a role of symbolism for Cobb. He uses it to indicate if he’s in the real world or still dreaming.
Primary Themes are Loss, Mentality, Memory, Psychology, Mindbending & Escapism. All subjects are handled maturely.
Unlike many heist films, Cobb’s motivation is personal. He doesn’t do it for the money, he’s doing this to see his kids. In the words of Heath Ledger’s Joker, “It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message.”
Cobb’s name is also a shout-out to Chris’ first film “Following.” Both films involve thieves.
Like most of Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters including Teddy Daniels from “Shutter Island,” Cobb is caught in a psychological dilemma of his past haunting him which causes friction between his allies & troubled past in jeopardy.
Remember when I mentioned a gallon of water flowing its way to Cobb? This ain’t the first Leo went into water? “Titanic in a nutshell.”
Before a played Cobb, Leo also played a con man named, Frank Abagnale in “Catch Me If You Can & later Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf Of Wall Street.”
Sad: If complex sci-fi films aren’t your thing, you’re gonna have a very difficult time paying attention. If you’re up for a mindbending challenge by Chris, make sure you pay attention to plot details. A rewatch can help you gather puzzle pieces to finally get what the actual heck is going on. Chris wants the audience to participate in this massive ride taking the role of a detective seeking answers.
I’m gonna be brutally honest fellas, I couldn’t find no cons. I’m giving Chris an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Without a doubt, Inception is arguably the best movie of 2010 and also one of my favorite movies of all time. All the stuff listed on the positive section, indicates why this movie is a modern classic. If you’re a Nolanite (fan name for Christopher & Jonathan Nolan) like me, I strongly recommend it. I’m so excited to see Tenet, because it’s my number one anticipated film of 2020. I hope theaters will reopen. All we can do is wait until we finally go inside safely.