Inception: When Dreaming is Bad for You

inception-filmDear Reader, I regretfully must inform you that Christopher Nolan's bombastic Inception has enough startling footage with which to edit 30 exquisitely enticing trailers, but not enough to compose one comprehensible movie from.

So what is the most anticipated film of the summer like? If you recall the scene in Dahmer (2002) where Jeremy Renner as the deranged killer drills holes into his victims' heads, you'll know what watching this Freudian claptrap of a thriller is like.

You'll sit in your seat, possibly with overly salted popcorn, and immediately become bewildered. But then you'll tell yourself the creative force behind Following (1998) and Memento (2000) is always in control. Of course you'll soon know what's happening. But a half hour later exasperation will start settling in over you like a cup of cherry Jell-o firming up in your fridge. Then another 20 minutes will pass, and you'll start feeling like Timothy Leary's severed, cryogenically preserved head. Will there be any relief arriving at all?

Suddenly you'll realize there is no hope when one character asks, "Whose subconscious are we going into?" and another admits she doesn't know what's going on either.

Inception's plot, you see, is about the possibility of remolding a person's mind by subverting his dreams. And sometimes to execute this task, you must enter a dream within a dream that is within another dream. And within this dream within a dream within a dream, you can bring a gang of friends along with you. And on this nightmare journey, people who don't really exist will attack you and your pals because they know you all don’t belong in this other person's dream. And as these folks turn on you, there are a lot of guns blasting away, speedy car races, and buildings disintegrating, but little sex. No sex in a dream?

What's more confusing is that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, seems to be an extension of his deranged Teddy Daniels of Shutter Island (2010). You see, his "deceased" wife keeps popping up and his faceless children are not within his reach, and certain people think he’s a murderer, and . . .

Then there's the great Japanese actor Ken Watanabe as Saito, an ambitious executive, whom we first meet as an old man, then as a much younger man. But whatever age he is, you can’t make out 90% of what he is saying.

As for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, one of American greatest young actors, here as Arthur, Dom Cobb's sidekick, a piece of cardboard could have nearly given the same performance.

And Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard? She walks about to Piaf music. Mr. Nolan, please don’t remind us of better films.

Only Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Michael Caine survive Lee Smith’s breakneck editing. Unlike with Christopher Rouse's brilliantly seamless, razor-sharp cutting about for The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), the splicing here is haphazard and exasperating.

All of which brings us to an anonymous quote: "The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened."

The main problem with Inception is that it’s soulless. - Brandon Judell


Mr. Judell is featured in the forthcoming documentary Activist: The Times of Vito Russo and has been edited out of Rosa von Praunheim's New York Memories. In the fall, he'll be teaching "American Jewish Theater" and "Theater into Film" at The City College of New York. He has written on film for The Village Voice,, The New York Daily News, and The Advocate, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs's Spike Lee Interviews (University Press of Mississippi).

Get a Life, and some Intelligence.

So, I guess your fragile, infant, unintelligent mind couldn't keep up with this amazing movie. Dude, try a friday the thirteenth movie, maybe there you'll be able to keep up. Maybe I should spell it out for you: Masked killer kills. With Inception, you cant be playing with yourself, texting, or daydreaming: you have to be alert, or you will not understand the depth of this film. Christopher Nolan has done a magnificent job, don't listen to this unintelligent man. Critics have nothing better to do than sit around writing terrible reviews of amazing movies. You may not like depth to plot or characters, but a whole lot of people love it. If you want a plotless movie, go watch a horror remake.

I didn't think the movie was

I didn't think the movie was that hard to follow and the plot was comprehensible sans the ambiguous ending. So I completely disagree with this review. But the problem I do see with a movie like this is not the movie itself but the movie-goer. Some people just can't accept certain aspects of sci-fi and if it seems absurd to your logic and you can't get into the fantasy, then I understand why it might read as soulless. You really have to give into the world of Inception.

And what do you mean JGL had a Neo/Keanu cardboard performance? I thought he was so bad-ass and he played it the way that fit the film. And if there was sex in this movie, I would've thrown popcorn at the screen. There were too many important things to do in the dreams to waste time having sex. That would have seem like it came from left field and that it was just thrown in for some gratuitous nudity. Sheesh.


once the "movie critic" asked for sex in this movie... i completely disregared everything else he had to say... like.... sex? really dude? hmmm... matrix 2 had sex, inception no sex... any questions?

Wow I completely agree with

Wow I completely agree with this comment. I'm also glad that the poster didn't resort to namecalling etc. Definitely well said and addresses what was actually said in the review.

You know it's pretty

You know it's pretty ridiculous to call a movie critic names & trash him simply because he didn't have the same experience of a movie as you. But I guess that's what little crybabies love to do on the Internet.

Three hours of my life...wasted!!

Action packed with great screen shots and decent acting.....and that's it.
Half way through this movie, I didn't care anymore. I became bored of the constant shooting and explosions, bored of "Let's go to another dream level" and bored of the predictable and formulaic script.
Just because the writer loved the sub-conscious mind line at every opportunity does not make this a thought provoking and ground breaking flick. Some of the scenes were breathtaking and fantastically shot, but that just papered over the cracks of this non-movie.
The Matrix comparison has to be drawn; as this is the more expensively shot and produced follow on....that totally misses the point.
This film also has more holes in it than Edam cheese. One character laughs at his colleague for not thinking big enough during a fight scene then produces a rocket launcher and kills the enemy from within (yawn). Then throughout the film, the characters take on the enemy from the mind with the same weaponry......just blow them up perhaps and save me from two more hours of this complete rubbish!
My main sadness is that I will never get back the three hours of my life I wasted last night. On the plus side, my wife loved it.....then again she’s likes the Bridget Jones movies 


edam cheese doesnt have holes unlike ur brain does! Thanks for does!
Thanks for the comment ;)

edam cheese with holes?


Edam cheese

Edam cheese poker........FFS!

You're smart ass comment.....was not smart!,0,59,584,509,269,2deb9521.jpg&imgrefurl=,1001242676.html&h=269&w=509&sz=23&tbnid=-rQWhLbCGsZBNM:&tbnh=69&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dedam%2Bcheese&hl=en&usg=__1cYMkQYmWwntjwer8LjwabxwiWM=&sa=X&ei=F_BDTKu-B4ii0gTfjomnDw&ved=0CC0Q9QEwBA