Inception ★★★½

Look, Inception is no Paddington 2.

It's got some ambitious visuals (the buildings, JGL's hotel) and an interesting-enough story that is helmed by a competent director.

However, the writing falls short. The only two women in the movie are husks of people -- a yin & a yang for Leo's contradicting brain. Marion is written as the manic pixie dream wife, and Ellen's entire role after being our expositional mouthpiece is just to babysit Leo's darkness.

Tom Hardy is, as always, a real source of joy in the movie and continues to outshine himself in every role he takes.

The ending was a good twist that would've made me go "woah!" in 2010 before all the discourse came up around this movie, but I mean... it's a thriller. It's still no Paddington 2.

I think the most disappointing thing for me is the third act. It's just not a very ambitious thought to think that so much of what happens in our dreams revolves around that level of violence. A movie about dreams just shouldn't be that cookie cutter violent. This is why it's just a heist movie with an interesting setting.

Leo continually changing the rules on a whim & everyone just going along with it because ??? was also really unconvincing.

It's an enjoyable thriller, it's just not very good at any sort of characterization, something that is sorely needed for the emotional heft parts of this movie try to throw at you.