Review of Inception (2010)

Summary: Like Avatar, with guns, and a less believable premise.

And now for the differences:
The story tries hard to earn the "thinking man's movie" title by employing multiple (although diminutive) concurrent story lines. This plan falls flat on it's face when the redicullous premise is revealed. Only one character is developed, and it happens in a step-by-step fashion only through his narrative.

In general, movies like this (rediculous premise, attempt to make story non-trivial to follow) really fail for a specific reason. A movie only has so much surprise or disbelief it can give this audience before they reject the story. Inception spends all this "surprise capital" on introducing the premise and a couple of artifacts*. Once the story was up and running, there were a couple of interesting things that could have happened to develop a second character, or throw a twist (the chick got very close to him, she could have turned out to be a spy; something could have gone not according to plan; anyone could have died) but the suspense capital was spend and the author couldn't risk alienating the audience. The story opened many loops**, just for the sake of opening them, that they couldn't effectively use the multiple story lines to do anything interesting. The result is that story is very linear - climbing levels of a mountain and desencing the other side; everything inside the mountain was wasted. Only at the very end of the story, when all loops were closed and artifacts used could they add a twist - was this whole movie occurring inside a dream? (as implied by the spinning top). Of course the movie didn't have any time to develop characters or do things surprising, the audience has nothing to postulate with to answer that question (for example, if some team member was a plant, there might be reason to suspect the top will keep spinning).

* Artifact is when something is introduced just to be used once, like the never ending staircase that is introduced and then used in the hotel chase. The Babysitter is filled with artifacts. There is probably an official name for this.

** Open loop is a level of a story that is entered and then exited, like each dream level. Other types of loops could be going on a trip and then returning... Anything that completely changes context. There's probably a term for that too.

You can also look at the whole story as tale about drug use. A little lost on me, I'd like to hear what a heavy drug user's perspective of this movie is in the respect.

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