Inception

Jul. 20th, 2010 12:27 am
williamjm: (Default)
[personal profile] williamjm
Went to see Inception yesterday at the cinema, first time I've been for a few weeks due to the poor selection of films being released recently. I've really liked Christopher Nolan's so far (well, Insomnia was only OK, but the rest were great) so I was looking forward to it. I wouldn't say it is the best of Nolan's films, but it is a good film, and definitely several steps above most Hollywood blockbusters. There were a lot of things to like in the film, it had an intelligent and reasonably compelling plot, it is refreshing to see a blockbuster that is actually an original work rather than an adaptation/sequel/remake, the acting was good throughout and the designs of some of the dreamworlds were very inventive. I thought the pacing was particularly good, the pacing is fairly relentless in the second half of the movie and it manages to keep up that pace while making the plot increasingly more complicated. The special effects and action scenes were also good, and seem to have benefited by being mostly relatively low on CGI. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the ending of the film, but I think it was quite an appropriate ending and worked better than a lot of the alternatives would have.

So, it was a good film, I'm not quite sure whether I would describe it as a great film. Although the acting was good and the characterisation was OK I can't say I really cared all that much about most of the characters or the success/failure of their mission and I didn't feel as involved in the plot as I have for some of Nolan's previous films - I think I cared more about Guy Pearce's quest in Memento, for example. Characterisation is generally one of the most important things for me when watching a film, so the fact that the characterisation was merely adequate does detract from the film slightly. There wasn't a huge amount of really memorable dialogue either. Another concern is that although it may be original by the standards of Hollywood blockbusters, there is a lack of genuinely original ideas here and much of it has been done before. Also, for a film about dreams it does have some oddly coherent dreams that don't really feel very dreamlike, I think this might be a good idea from a film-making perspective as it makes the plotting easier and it would be difficult to do genuine-seeming dreams well, but it does mean the film feels a bit less imaginative than something like eXistenZ (which I know is about virtual reality rather than dreams but had a fair number of similarities).

I wouldn't say those complaints are really serious problems from the movie, I still really enjoyed the movie and I think I'll watch it again when it is out on DVD.

PS - the music being listened to, really is the mp3 Winamp decided to randomly select out of 8000-odd mp3s while I was writing. Based on the title and the subject of the post I'm starting to worry that my computer may be trying to tell me something...

Date: 2010-07-20 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enjai-pearson.livejournal.com
I think with this type of film the plot/world building often has to come at the expense of the characterisation. That said there were a couple of good moments with Cobb and his wife. It's definitely Nolan's smartest film since Memento but Memento's concept was easier to explain allowing more time for characters.
It's a very impressive film but Kick-ass is still my movie of the year - although that's possibly because I had low expectations for Kick-ass that were surpassed and insanely high exprectations for Inception that were merely met.

I don't seem to be able to get spoiler formatting to work so while not explicit, look away now! [spoiler] you could argue the lack of characterisation was intentional [/spoiler]

Feel free to delete if you think that's too spoilery. It's not really due to all the ambiguity of the film.

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