Time is getting closer and closer to the release of this monumental film, so I figured it would be appropriate to take a step back of sorts to see exactly what we know about Christopher Nolan’s new “in-between” project of sorts, Inception. The film is another one of Nolan’s projects to work on between the smash hit “The Dark Knight” and the third Batman film set to start filming next March, and just like his last “in-betweener” The Prestige, Nolan’s Inception looks to be no different in the mind-bending aspect. Nolan has the ability to craft the audience’s mind and perception of the world his characters inhabit, and often times he’ll twist your expectations and beliefs until the very end when he lifts the veil over your head and reveals to you exactly what you’ve been seeing, demanding a second and often times third viewing. Of course with the Batman features Nolan focused less on twists and “inventive” storytelling, even though his two Batman films so far have been works of art in that they re-define the genre by crafting engaging characters and truly magnificent stories and scenery by using virtually no computer generated imagery, something rare in many comic book films now a days. Once Nolan lets his true creative juices go, there’s no stopping him, and no telling what the end product may be, which is why Inception may have some troubles appealing to a summer demographic. In a series of films that contain little story and maximum action and explosions, it’s rare to see a film that puts story and mind bending in the forefront, sometimes being “hard to follow”, and putting brilliant action setpieces, although still thrilling, in the background. The film was made for $170 million, which while really evident in the trailers for the film (the film has some massive builds and looks incredible), is going to be a daunting task for the film to make back by the end of its run. It’s reasonable for the film to make $60/$70 opening (and that’s lucky), but by the end in international markets if there’s some good word of mouth it should do fine. Here’s practically every other reason to look forward to the film-
- The Story-Based on what little we know about the film, Leonardo Dicaprio plays a con man, trained in the art of stealing thoughts. He goes into people’s minds, takes out thoughts while the victim is in their most vulnerable state in the dream, and using it to exploit them. In the film he’s faced with the task of placing a thought instead of taking out a thought for his final mission so he can get back his normal life, he must complete the task of “Inception”.
- The Cast-Sir Michael Caine once again appears in a Nolan film as a professor, Leonardo Dicaprio (who was incredible in this year’s Shutter Island) as the lead, the very talented Ellen Page is the sidekick of sorts to Dicaprio, Ken Watanabe serves as the villain of the film that blackmails Dicaprio into the mission, Joseph Gordon Levitt who is also very talented and up and coming is an assistant to Dicaprio, Tom Hardy is a member of the team, and Maria Cotilliard is Dicaprio’s wife. Each and every one of them is incredibly talented.
- The Visual Sense-One of my favorite aspects of storytelling is when a filmmaker is able to transcend the sense of normal story and take us somewhere else, and vividly show us a world (the dream state in many cases) that isn’t too flashy but is nonetheless amazing to look at. Nolan looks like he’s done that just like Gondry did in his own, more fantastical way in one of my favorite films “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Nolan’s way is more subtle, but at the same time you can’t stop watching it. He’s taking us to familiar but brilliant locations and some places we couldn’t have dreamed of. The scale in the film from what we’ve seen looks unbelievable.
- It’s Christopher Nolan-To this date, Nolan’s not had a bad film. I’d like to think he thinks through each of his projects, but I’m not saying he’s not capable of a downfall, or that Inception couldn’t be that downfall, it very well could be. But coming from a guy that perfected the Batman franchise, crafted the third highest grossing film of all time, and has blown audiences away time and time again, the film has a certain chance to be good considering it’s in the hands of one of the smartest and best filmmakers around.
- Enough Action To Go Around-Based on the look of the trailer, Nolan’s taking advantage of the story and of what his actors are giving him, not to mention what’s possible in these fantastic locations. The film looks to be exciting, have some absolutely incredible action shots that are hopefully going to look fantastic, and keep us all on the edge of our seats. It’ll definitely have as much if not more action than many films from this summer in the same demographic, all that it’s going to require is some thinking, and to be honest that’s not a bad thing.
- Great Press So Far-Rolling Stone gave the film 3.5/4, and many early reviewers on Twitter are calling the film Nolan’s best project yet, and although a little hard to follow, tremendously entertaining.
- To Support More Films Like This-I’m tired of the summers being dominated by loud stupid action movies. I have no problem seeing a few (I loved the A Team), but there comes a point when there’s no creativity left in the Summer’s well. Nolan’s clearly injecting some new and exciting here, it’s a brand new idea and all it’s asking of us is to think a little, and there’s not been many films that have done that this summer. So come July 16th, go to your local theater, support this film, if nothing else just so that we can get other films LIKE this one.