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"Inception" was a whole lotta "Wha?"

July 19, 2010 - Deb Gau
My sister and I went to see "Inception" at the movies this weekend. She was a lot more intrigued by the trailers than I was, and after seeing the film, I'd have to say it was okay, but not quite my thing.

I can't really go into details, because it's the kind of movie where talking too much about the plot gives some key points away. Basically, it takes place in a world where people have the technology to go into each other's dreams, and there's a whole espionage industry devoted to tricking dreamers into giving away their secrets. In order to pull off a really big job, the main characters have to dive into a dream within a dream within a dream within a . . . you get the picture. In style and tone, it's a lot like "The Bourne Identity" meets "Memento."

What disappointed me is that the movie sets up pretty early on that once you're inside a dream, you can't just do whatever you want (you know, fly, punch through walls, fun dream stuff) because it will blow your cover. That means all the striking dream images being used in the trailers, like the exploding fruit stands and the city streets bending up vertically, actually come from a single five-minute stretch of the movie. No fair!

On the plus side, however, the whole cast did a good job, and there are still some scenes that are really visually startling and cool, even within the limits the movie sets up. Best of all, "Inception," unlike a lot of other sci-fi movies, doesn't waste any time trying to explain to the audience that we're in a world with unusual technology. The characters just start breaking out the sedatives and dream machines as if it's no big deal, and the audience comes along for the ride.


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