Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

****Many Spoilers Alert******

I enjoyed the start and end of this movie.

Old Dog's Mess Leonardo Di Caprio leads a crack team of people who go inside your dreams and mess around with them for a fee.

He needs an extra recruit so he gets the girl out of Juno. Last time she was playing a pregnant sixteen year old. Now she's playing a genius architecture undergraduate who looks about twelve years old, I felt like a paedo every time she came on screen.

Irishman Cillian Murphy is a humourless Aussie in this movie.

Michael Caine has a pointless cameo as Di Caprio's dad. He has maybe five lines. He could have youtubed his performance in, if he happened to live near an airport departure lounge & a lecture theatre, the locations of his two scenes.

I recognized most of the other actors but couldn't name them.

Her out of Juno is recruited to build architecture in dreams. Di Caprio's gang enter people's minds and nick industrial secrets by taking loads of drugs and wiring themselves up to machines.

Only on this mission, they have to enter Cillian Murphy's mind and make him divide up his late fathers business into many small parts, at the behest of a Japanese rival businessman. So the Japanese fella can win at business.

A bit like the boss of Tesco's persuading the boss of Sainsbury's to divide up groceries and clothing and furnishings and stationary into different stores.

(I don't know why they need to enter his dreams to do this, I could have given it a decent shot with a PowerPoint session and a night at a lapdancing club.)

So the gang enters his dreams to persuade him to do so.

The very disappointing thing about all this, is that these subconscious noodlings just involve many sequences of Bruce Willis/007 action happenings. Lots of bang bang, shoot shoot , things crashing into things, things falling off things in industrial landscapes.

Because it's the subconscious some basic laws of physics are mildly affected - things happen more slowly and there's the odd fight in midair. Didn't we see that in 'The Matrix'?

But the filmmakers had the entire weight of Holywood CGI to create a dreamworld.

Where's the melting clocks?

Where's the slicing up eyeballs, uh uh ho ho?

In short, the dreamworld is just endless gun battles. Where's the fantasy element? No-one's dreams are endless gun battles, not even Jean Claude Van Damme's. Where's the surreality?

Old Juno-bake may be called Ariadne, but there's nothing here to compete with the terrifying genius fables the Greeks created 3,000 years ago, with their beautiful seductive white bulls and half-man, half-creatures and the nine-yearly sacrifice of virgins.

Just lots of explosions. Like, storming the fortress of someone's subconscious involves storming an actual fortress. It's a very literal dreamworld.

The denouement is better, where Di Caprio and Juno go into a collapsing dreamy city in the manner of Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma to get to heart of the former's marital problems.

But overall, it's an opportunity missed.


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