peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2011 03 19 Inception


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Nolan went to see The Matrix and knew he could do it better. Or maybe this is warmed-over Memento. Or maybe I shouldn't have seen this particular exploration of empty inner space. It is presently parked at #8 in IMDB's top-250, and I'm not going to begin fathoming why.

Anyway, I'm still wondering if Leonardo is ever going to grow up, or modulate his hissy-fits of rage into something plausible. Ellen Page has similar problems; she was childish but potent in Hard Candy; here she is merely childish, a thread of a character that allows Leonardo to explain what the movie itself cannot. Watanabe plays the entire zaibatsu, and Mr Brick (Gordon-Levitt) has some totally auxiliary pow-wow with a token English action figure. Cillian Murphy is the audience, dazed and bewildered. The wife doubtlessly put in a better turn as Piaf (I have only seen her in the forgettable Public Enemies). Nolan is a gifted director, no doubt, and the cinematography is awesome, but all of this is completely inhuman.

Things I didn't get: the zero-gravity stuff looks awesome, but hey, when the car hits the water there's gravity, yes? So there's no need for that fancy stuff, just get your timing right. Also these "kicks", they're a stack, yes? As in, a kick higher up brings you out of a dream lower down; if so, there was no need for Page to fall off the building four levels down. This has the same problem as Tron: Legacy: if you're going to dream up a world, a physics, an isolation tank of love, why would you make it so much like the existing one, shittiness and all? Just what is the attraction of "reality" anyway? How could the top ever fall? Magical mystical metaphysics destroys suspense, for anything can happen at any time for any reason — coupled with time dilation things could work out any which way, like the stories spun by drunks. Nolan seems to have forgotten the constraints that made his earlier stuff work.

What is the point in chase scenes with guns? No one of significance can die, for the movie has another two hours to run. Oh, let's stop here.

Dana Stevens saw it back when it was cool.