My Inception Mini-Review
I have some major reservations about Inception, so I’ll get the part where I praise the movie out of the way first. Inception is genuinely thrilling, and it’s nice to see a major studio picture that isn’t a remake, re-imagining, reboot, or whatever.
Now that that’s taken care of, here’s what I didn’t like:
1) The “surrealism plus gunfights” approach to action movies is extremely tired. At times, the plot of Inception – or The Matrix, or Wanted, or . . . well, you get the point – feels like a tissue-thin excuse for the director to fool around with a palette of special effects in what is otherwise a very conventional heist/action flick. This bothers me because Nolan’s take on how our mind works doesn’t seem organic or grounded in some carefully-researched view of the human subconscious – instead, it’s a way to stage exotic-looking gunfights.
2) This also bothers me because it’s an incredibly blinkered view of what should be an interesting subject: namely, the human mind. Other than a few mind-bending sequences, the dreamscapes in the film – an abandoned warehouse, a heavily-fortified compound, a posh hotel – wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond flick. Our psychological “projections” are very conventional-looking human actors. Defense mechanisms are represented by guys with guns. A secret locked deep in our subconscious is a vault in some anonymous military installation. Are dreams really this boring?