Sunday, July 18, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Inception is a somewhat insidious film, striking a chord that's difficult to place.  It is familiar, though not easily identifiable.  Elements resonate with numerous genres and films.  It feels almost like a cross between Casino Royale, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and AI.

The movie missing from this list may be the most telling.  It wasn't until hours after seeing it that it occurred to us there were parallels between this and The Matrix.  Indeed, stripped of all else, both films were about the struggle between the competing forces of reality and dreams.  Both delve into the mind and epistemology.

Nevertheless, the two couldn't feel less similar.  In many ways, Inception is the movie that The Matrix wasn't.  Here, the style is understated, subtle, while the concepts take center stage.  It is measured and considered, thoughtful and probing.  It is, from the perspective of the science fiction fan, more pure, less diluted by cheap humor, silly leather, and Keanu Reeves.  Where The Matrix is a SF/action movie, Inception is SF/thriller.

And it's very good.  So good, in fact, it's difficult to imagine any fan of the genre disliking the picture.

However, it's equally hard imagining many loving it.  Inception is the kind of movie that intrigues and engages you.  But it doesn't enthrall or excite.  This is not the kind of movie you watch again and again.

But once or twice more wouldn't hurt.  There are a few moments we'd like to revisit for clarification.

Coming so soon on the heels of Predators, Inception offers the second good science fiction movie in as many weeks, a rare gift.  It's also one of the best spy thrillers we've seen in some time.

On a scale between one and five stars, where five equals Blade Runner, Inception scores four.  This is a far more intelligent film than we're used to seeing in the summer.

No comments: