Posts Tagged ‘Inception’

In a nutshell: Puzzling and disorientating but rewarding if you stick with it

Popcorn rating: 3.5/5

Colter Stevens wakes up on a train he doesn’t remember boarding and is sitting opposite a woman he doesn’t recognise. Eight minutes later the train explodes.

Stevens, a soldier, then wakes up again but is suspended in a flight suit in a strange dark cubicle. He is back, it seems, in the Source Code. Let the mayhem commence.

The film starts off as it means to go on – as a disorientating thriller that has you guessing and speculating until the end.

The first sequences are brilliantly executed as the audience shares the puzzle and anxiety with the equally confused military protagonist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, whose only connection to the outside world is through a tiny screen, to Captain Goodwin (Vera Farmiga).

Source Code is the story of secret military technology which Colter is able to use – unwittingly at first – to prevent a crisis by accessing someone’s memory eight minutes before their death.

The idea, with this situation, is that if Colter can find the train’s bomber, he can prevent the next terrorist attack. As you might expect, nothing is ever that simple and there’s more twists than a Latin dance class – with some decent surprises along the way.

Added into the mix is Director Duncan Jones who brings his distinct visual style to the film.  As with his previous work on the excellent Moon, he successfully creates a sense of claustrophobia when it comes to modern technology.

Trying to keep up with the science may give you a headache but it’s essentially a cross between Deja Vous and Vantage Point with a little bit of Quantum Leap thrown in for good measure.

And yet, when the whole plot unfolds, it’s difficult not to feel a little disappointed.  There’s a sense that the filmmakers were trying too hard to find a happy ending which only seems to muddle things up in the closing scenes.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan



Posted: December 11, 2010 by curlyshirley in Film
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In a nutshell: A breathtakingly stylish movie with a twisting plotline; perfect for a night in with a pizza and beer.

Popcorn rating: 4/5

Director Chris Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) seems to have reinvigorated cinema of late with movies for audiences who want more than the usual bland CGI action fodder. A new concept, Inception was a gamble, an expensive gamble for studios who like to play it safe, and having opened with a healthy $60.4 million (US and Canada) Box Office earnings in its first weekend, the gamble has certainly paid off.

Of course box office success and a good film are not always one and the same thing. Think The Expendables. Think Titanic (sorry, but it really was dross). See what I mean?

Fortunately, Inception does have the kudos to pull off the rep. It is confusing, irritatingly so (especially if, like me, you engage obsessively in forums regarding what exactly the ending meant – is he still in the dream? But the kids haven’t changed – or have they (Nolan says they have)? And does the totem really fall after the end credits?) but it overall it is a good movie. That may sound like condemnation by faint praise. It isn’t. In a year of some truly dire offerings,  Inception is a shining example to Hollywood that movies can be intelligent and still get bums on seats.

Leo di Caprio as Cobb, the dream agent whose life we get entangled within, pretty much plays the character he played in everything he has been in over the past three to five years. No matter, his brooding, furrowed brow works fine here, it’s not an Oscar contender kinda role after all. The story, the set pieces, the delightful lack of CGI does all the work.

That’s not to say the cast aren’t outstanding. Juno prodigy Ellen Page is excellent, if annoyingly smug, as student Ariadne and the remainder of Nolan’s chosen ones are all engaging without ever taking the shine off the star (which is, of course, the magic of dreams – a city folding in upon itself anyone? A Paris cafe exploding around a patient couple? The crumbling city of the future etc etc). The magic of Inception is that the sheer beauty of the scenes unfolding before your eyes with a frenetic energy is entwined within a sharp, twisting plot that will keep you guessing long after it finishes.

There are flaws, of course. Di Caprio supping soup in the opening scene is overplayed and Michael Caine merely phoning it in as Di Caprio’s weary mentor are all slightly jarring but are not enough to damage the whole.

Overall, Nolan seems to be unbeatable at the moment and, with the rumour mill currently in overdrive for Batman 3, he will hopefully continue to deliver and inspire for many years to come.

Reviewer: Curlyshirley