Last Summer, the hype revolved around a PG-13 movie called “Inception,” which included Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead role in charge of a team of several moderately famous actors and actresses that infiltrated people’s dreams to steal information. Most of the time when I see these kinds of movies becoming popular I think of Nicholas Cage’s career and about wasting $10 at a movie theater which can be better spent as fuel for my winter fire pit. Therefore, I decided I would wait for it to come out on DVD and see why everybody was practically drooling over pictures of DiCaprio. While the movie is entertaining and thrilling at best, there is no way it can ever be considered “thought provoking” as much as it is a flat out confusing mess. (If you haven’t seen the movie, this will be confusing and contain spoilers.)
Let’s start with the ending of the movie: DiCaprio’s character, Dominic Cobb, leaves the 5th level of dream worlds, also known as “limbo” by killing himself, even though every other member of his team has to go through an intricate and unnecessary series of “kicks” to return to reality. That’s right. The entire movie every member of his team is worried about getting back because they are told you cannot kill yourself to return from a dream world. Basically, one of Cobb’s members dies in level one and is stuck in level 5, so Cobb kills himself and turns up in level 5, where he kills himself again and somehow goes to level 0, or reality. It really seems like director Christopher Nolan just made up random “dream” rules and told everyone “just watch the movie even though it makes no sense” and everyone replied “haha! Leonardo DiCaprio is hott!”
Now let’s get to the most blaring, unbelievably stupid ending a movie has ever had, with the exception of Nolan’s last film The Dark Knight. As stated throughout the movie, the higher level of dream a person is in, the more they accept it as being real. That’s why if you don’t know it’s a dream you can be stuck in that world forever. In order for every person on the mission to know whether they are in reality or dreaming, they carry around certain items with them at all times. They memorize the weight and dimensions of these objects so if they are dreaming or in someone else’s dream they will know. It doesn’t really make sense like the rest of the movie, but I’m willing to accept it. The entire movie Cobb avoids looking into the face of his kids because he fears he will forget he is in a dream (again doesn’t really make sense,) but in the end, without using his gadget to detect whether he is in reality or dreaming, he looks directly at his kids. His gadget, a top, is seen spinning on the table, and he decides he does not care if his kids are his dreamt up versions or the real beings. So basically, the movie started out with him really wanting to see his kids, but then he decided after weeks and weeks of training and planning for this mission that it didn’t really matter if he saw them again. In essence, the entire movie, including the intricate and complicated “kick” system as well as the multi-billion dollar man quitting his job had absolutely no relevance to the overall message the movie gave, which is also not relevant to our reality in anyway either. Therefore, there is no point to watching this movie other than the entertainment it provides.
While the ending is the most blaring inconsistency, but there are multiple unrealistic or just plain stupid details in the movie. For example, they visit an “alchemist” for sedatives in order to enter the third dream level, and he has all of these highly illegal potions just sitting on his shelf. Honestly, where did he even develop the research to make these potions? He has them but the most powerful governments in the world don’t? Alchemists that live off random bums in the middle of the city clearly don’t have world class technology and definitely not shelves of it.
In addition, when Cobb needs an “architect,” someone who can create the environment of dreams that they enter he decides to hire what looks like a 12 year old girl because she can draw a circular maze on a piece of paper (that’s seriously the reason.) Throughout the movie, this 12 year old (supposedly a grad student) coaches Cobb on how to do his job and what the risks are, even though she literally just learned what they were even doing.
In essence, this movie is filled to the brim with blatant plot holes and irrelevant messages. The movie harps on questioning reality until the very end when it states it does not matter, and therefore none of the events in the movie matter. In fact, if reality does not matter nothing we do matters. We base all of our ideas, actions, and beliefs on how we perceive reality. Why not just sit around and sleep all day? On a final note, the movie was entertaining, somewhat original, and probably worth seeing. It’s just not even remotely as good as people claim it is.