Inception may be the most complete Christopher Nolan film yet; it seems every film he has done previously has been working towards this cinematic dream. There is the intricate, puzzle-box nature of the endeavour, issues of control and grandiose action honed on the Batman films. It’s also his most emotionally connected film since his breakout Memento; too often his films can feel cold and distant. Not Inception thankfully which is grounded in an emotionally full way, thanks in no small part to the contribution of Leonardo DiCaprio.
This is the most intelligent summer blockbuster in quite some time. Not only is Nolan asking you to think, he’s asking you to engage. Not only do you have to follow the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-
But going back to those actors: this is a super-star cast, with every member wringing the last drop of character from their screen time. DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt are always great to watch, and their characters and relationship carries an interesting dynamic (the first time through I though Gordon-Levitt's character, Arthur, was actually working to betray the team but at the same time he seemed like the really dependable guy). Marion Cotillard brings a real fury, and sense of loss to her femme fatale character while the most enjoyably scene stealingly watchable is Tom Hardy as Eames. After this and Bronson the man should really be a bigger star.
And Nolan balances this cast superbly, juggling the dynamics between them all. But that's not all he's juggling. My gods. The man has not only made one of the most mind-boggling films of the year, it's also a sci-fi/heist/James Bond adventure/psychoanalytical film. With some of the most staggeringly original action scenes since, well, The Matrix. This, more than The Dark Knight even, is the film that all his future work will be judged against. This is, as I said oop top thar, the film his career has built towards. I'm still pondering things around it (by the by, I'm fairly convinced the whole thing is a dream, or at the least, in his head. It fairly well spells it out at various points throughout the film) and think I will be for some time. It brings a smile to my face that something as original, intense and intelligent as this was made in today's Hollywood studio climate. Not only made, but released succesfully but picked up by audiences who were engaged with the whole thing. It's nice to think that every once in awhile, for all the sequels and retreads and Twilights and Epic/Disaster/Whatever Movies, we can still get something as truly great as this.
But hey, what did you make of Inception? Anyone want to lob their two bob in? I'd love to hear what you guys made of it.