Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inception: Know What You're In For

I had been told in advance that Inception is "not mind-bending," but still "very well done." Although I think that's a fair estimation, I was still disappointed; I was expecting something in the genre of, say, (one of my favorite movies) Memento--a film driven by a creative, clever plot. But I'm afraid Inception is really just an action movie with a fun premise.

I suppose the plot is uncommonly smart and original, for an action movie. But I'm not a huge fan of action movies. I don't like having to overlook contrived plot devices and apparent lapses in logic. The "contrived plot devices" part bothered me most. The "rules" of entering someone's dream have nothing to do with what dreams are actually like. For example, in Inception, if you die in a dream, it causes you to wake up. This makes for a good plot device, but it does not at all correspond to my experience of dreaming. If I die in a dream I might wake up, or the dream might change to something else, or my vision might go black and I would be thinking to myself it's not so bad being dead. Or the dream might rewind five seconds and then as it replays, I avoid getting killed after all.

The dream world in Inception operates according to very strict rules--which, again, is useful to the author of the script--but as a result, the "dream" sequences are really not that dreamlike; they're much too coherent--and some of the rules of the dream world are just plain silly.

Although I would highly recommend Inception to action movie fans, if you want an artful exploration of the fascinating idea of entering someone else's dream, check out Paprika instead.

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