TV Tropes Org
site search
Inception back to reviews
Comments
Missed Opportunities
Really, Inception is not a bad film. In fact, it's quite a good film. The problem is, in true NeverTrustATrailer style, it is not not what is promises itself to be.

The film is a pulse pounding, heart racing thrill ride whereupon Dom Cobb (Leonardo di'Caprio) must lead a band of thieves to pull off the ultimate heist: placing rather than taking something. Now, due to the nature of exposition in this film, it's very well put down that MagicAIsMagicA and therefore the general {{Mind Screw]] the story creates is the good kind rather than the SoBadItsHorrible kind. Inserting yourself into another person's dream is done through a mysterious intravenous briefcase that, provided you are aware that you are attached to it, allows you to walk lucidly walk around the Dream World. It is through this that the film's plot, to subtly place an idea rather than steal a memory, is conducted.

Now, the trailers very vividly demonstrate what you can do in the Dream World. Ariadne (Ellen Page) folds her world in half, bisecting Paris as if it's totally normal for the roads to be in the sky. Dom Cobb washes ashore of a collapsing city supposedly illustrating a warped mind. This is pure fascination for the astute mind! It is demonstrated that, within the Dream World, those who are not aware of the dream state do not perceive the various warps of space nor time and that the geography of M.C. Escher fits right in. Finally it is demonstrated that it is possible to convince the unaware that you can take the form and voice of another person!

The ability to manipulate the very nature of the world without The Mark noticing seems to be the recipe for Criminal Team's wet dream! But, in favour of extravagant gun fights and Daytime TV style drama, they throw all of this built up potential away.

And this is where Inception fails. Christopher Nolan had the opportunity for a film that would take Ocean's 11's scope and combine it with Momento's Depth. A heist pulled by Dom Cobb's crew that would plunge The Mark into an intricate Long Game within his own mind. Convince The Mark, through subtle conversations, time lapses, and full out Mind Screw that dissolving his father's company (the idea they want to plant in The Mark's mind) is his own idea.

But they threw that all away... a waste.
I don't understand: "A heist pulled by Dom Cobb's crew that would plunge The Mark into an intricate Long Game within his own mind. Convince The Mark, through subtle conversations, time lapses, and full out Mind Screw that dissolving his father's company (the idea they want to plant in The Mark's mind) is his own idea."

That's what they did. What was wasted?

Did you want more surrealistic dreams? Is that it?
comment #3994 MatthewTheRaven 15th Aug 10
An in universe explanation could be that if they made the dream worlds too surreal, the inspiration to dissolve his father's company might not stick as easily when he wakes up. Sure in the dream world he won't notice the strangeness of what is going on, but when he wakes up and looks back on it, he might say "what a weird dream" and dismiss everything in it (including the idea that was planted). At least if they keep the dream somewhat realistic, the idea might come across as more palatable in the real world.
comment #4011 92.233.235.66 16th Aug 10
"Christopher Nolan had the opportunity for a film that would take Ocean's 11's scope and combine it with Momento's Depth. A heist pulled by Dom Cobb's crew that would plunge The Mark into an intricate Long Game within his own mind. Convince The Mark, through subtle conversations, time lapses, and full out Mind Screw that dissolving his father's company (the idea they want to plant in The Mark's mind) is his own idea."

I see a big problem here. Yes, I too wish the dreams had been more like dreams and less like slightly heightened reality. For instance, when his subconscious attacks the invaders, why not come in the form of Ninja Turtles? Nevermind, the point is, what sort of movie would Ocean's 11 have been if George Clooney had absolute matery over time and space? Heist movies wouldn't be fun if the robbers were omnipotent. How hard is it to trick a mark when he believes whatever reality you give him?
comment #4330 63.228.61.182 6th Sep 10
matery = mastery
comment #4331 63.228.61.182 6th Sep 10
When Nolan put down Magic A Is Magic A in the exposition, he explained why continued/heightened warping of the Mark's perception of reality in the dream world couldn't be incredibly overt - The Mark's subconscious needed to be tricked into thinking it was the real world. When the projections are alerted to the fact that it is, in fact, a dream, they become hostile and destroy the intruders. It's hard to pull off a heist (well, sort-of heist) when angry mobs kill off all of the players.
comment #4761 MollyWalker 11th Oct 10
What did the film waste?
comment #4764 165.91.15.41 11th Oct 10
I would like to submit that, if you want crazy, off-the-wall dream imagry, you can always go for Paprika. My guess is that going all Salvador Dali (full on surreal) instead of simply MC Escher (everything still connects to reality... sort of) with the main plot would have lost many audiences at some point. Nolan, being a salesman as well as an artist, wants to stay as true to his own vision while making the most money.
comment #4775 Dracomicron 13th Oct 10
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy