Watched Jul 09, 2012
Steve Grzesiak’s review:
"Just because an idea is overly convoluted and complex doesn't make it cool. Going to multiple dream levels sounds like a really stupid idea."
I've noticed a distinct advantage in being something of an 'after the Lord Mayor's show' viewer of recent heavily hyped, acclaimed and analysed films. Much of the most complex and detailed analysis and theorising has already been done by people who actually know what the hell they are talking about, and therefore I can just come along and pick up the pieces and point out the pointless shit like someone's crap hairstyle or a boom mic in shot.
It could have been a particular relief in the case of Inception because there are clearly meant to be hidden depths to this film that a mind, in this case mine (funny that), that has been mangled by too many Brazzers porn reviews and attempts at Silo on Goldeneye (00 Agent level) is never going to be able to reach.
I say that there are meant to be hidden depths here because I would actually question whether they exist. There's a difference between being complex and being deep. Many films hit both those targets, but even more hit only one or the other. And having just switched off Inception, I am quietly convinced that there is a lot of the former and not so much of the latter.
It worried me from the get-go, feeling the need to chuck in the 'dream within a dream' concept five minutes in. I personally believe that if you are going to create a film that's two and a half hours long that you don't need to shoot one of your bolts almost immediately. It dabbled briefly with making sense when explaining the whole idea of the inception but then as soon as the team is put together it lost me to boredom once again. The plain fact is that it never even came close to compelling me to try and keep up with it when it came to its plot. Oh, and look. Another film that starts with what looks like the ending. I think we need a moratorium on this concept now, please.
It's not just the unnecessary complexity of the story that I took umbridge with, but the fact that it just didn't make me care about any of the characters. I think it might have helped if ANY OF THE BAD GUYS COULD SODDING WELL SHOOT STRAIGHT and actually created some semblance of peril for the heroes. I have watched an absolute shed load of James Bond films recently so I have seen more than my fair share of inept gunmen - but outside of that series, I can barely recall a film where I have felt less tense about the dangers the good guys are supposed to be facing. For me, in a thriller, I have to be genuinely worried that the heroes might be in danger. Here, I didn't think for one minute that any of them might cark it.
Outside of Leonardo Di Caprio and Ellen Page, none of the characters are characterised to a point where I might care about them anyway. The cast is, of course, great and I enjoyed almost all of the performances thoroughly, so that side of things was much as I hoped for and expected. But having received some gratification from the acting, I realised that the action scenes (save for Joseph Gordon Levitt's tribute in the hotel to Christopher Walken in the Fatboy Slim video Weapon Of Choice - well, that's what it reminded me of anyway) never really excited me one iota either.
Much like how quite often I can watch a film that I really love and totally understand why some people may dislike it, I can genuinely see why Inception would appeal so much to so many people. Its appeal to me, though, was very limited and my second dose of Christopher Nolan (after the very decent Insomnia) turned out to be the serious disappointment I hoped it wouldn't be.