INCEPTION – Film Review

Dominick “Dom” Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) steals information from his targets by entering their dreams. Saito (Ken Watanabe) offers to wipe clean Cobb’s criminal history as payment for performing an inception on his sick competitor’s son.

It may be extremely difficult to believe, but just this past month, Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending and awe-inspiring Inception turned ten years old. That’s honestly crazy for me to wrap my head around. I remember when this film was released in theatres. Since I was ten years old, I didn’t have a deep interest in it back then, but my parents did. They, however, waited until the film was released on video-on-demand to see it, and when they finally did, they both agreed it was amazing. I was there with them on their initial viewing, and I do remember genuinely enjoying the movie a lot, but here’s the thing – I haven’t seen Inception since I was ten years old.

So, because the film is officially ten years old now, and, seeing as how Nolan’s next feature Tenet is releasing in September (possibly), I figured that now was the best time for me to give Inception a rewatch and see what my thoughts were on the movie now that I am significantly older than I was on my first viewing. Rewatching it today, I can confirm that virtually everything that everybody has said about Inception is true. It’s an absolute masterpiece in every sense of the word and is one of the most visually impressive and psychologically brilliant movies ever made.

It’s shocking that Nolan has now made ten movies (excluding Tenet because it hasn’t been released as of me writing this) and he has yet to make anything that is less than a masterpiece. I truly believe that he is incapable of making a poor picture. Everything he touches is pure cinematic gold and excellently thought-provoking.

Inception is two hours and twenty-eight minutes long. For some filmmakers, crafting a movie all about dreams within dreams and having to explain all the psychics and logic behind that would be an impossible task. For Nolan, it’s a cakewalk. There is not a single scene anywhere throughout Inception that feels as if it could be cut out to make for a better movie overall. Every scene serves a big purpose in the grand scheme of things. It’s fascinating that Nolan’s screenplay is so interesting and exciting, even when you don’t see anything visually crazy for a while.

The first thirty minutes or so is a lot of explaining, but it’s not necessarily exposition. Nolan’s script never feels as though it is talking down to the audience, but rather getting on the same level as them. Nolan wants you to understand how zany this world he created really is and then thrusts you in the middle of it with no warning, leaving you in absolute awe of everything that happens.

Ellen Page (left) as Ariadne and Leonardo DiCaprio (right) as Dom Cobb in Inception (2010).

Everybody that worked on the visual effects team for Inception needs immense praise. The visuals here are some of the best ever put to film, and I don’t say that often. There are thousands of visuals here and not one of them looks easy to create, even for professionals. But at the end of the day, Nolan hired a visual effects team that was able to make this trippy and beautifully bizarre world come to life in all of its mesmerizing glory.

One of the other reasons why the film is as captivating and thrilling as it is is because of the performances all across the board. The film boasts an all-star cast with Leonardo DiCaprio taking center stage and delivering a truly excellent and raw performance as the protagonist Cobb. But alongside him is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who delivers one of the best performances of his career, and the same could be said about the always impressive Ellen Page, who feels mysterious yet enthralling in the role of Ariadne.

And, of course, I have to mention the goosebump-inducing score by the legendary composer Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack in Inception is one of the best in the film industry. It is loaded with plenty of songs that will get your heart racing and leave you feeling as though you just experienced a masterwork. It’s not only the type of score that’s fun and exhilarating to listen to while watching the movie but a score that’s just as fun and exhilarating to listen to on your phone’s music playlist.

It’s honestly miraculous that Nolan was able to create such a timeless epic with Inception. It may be ten years old now, but it is still being talked about just as much today as it was back when it was released. There are hundreds of theories about what the movie and its ending mean, and yet nobody has ever really been able to come up with the one-hundred percent correct answer. Inception is a magnificently bizarre, brilliantly thought-provoking and exhilarating epic from legendary director Christopher Nolan that will always stand the test of time.

Overall Grade: A+

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Pete Postlethwaite, Lukas Haas

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: July 16, 2010

Running Time: 148 minutes

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