TV Tropes Org
site search
Inception back to reviews
Comments
Taking a concept to the point it becomes a tedious, charmless, exhibit.
When movies try to break away from the notions of reality, it is an excuse to do the impossible. All of which is to achieve the core objective; which is to entertain and maybe even convey ideas. Unfortunately, Nolan contructs a movie as you would a card game; full of rules that exist as a formality, which then begin to infringe upon the entertainment value. The rules begin to become far more of an obstacle, then a tool for something that creates or inspires something truly creative.

Inception uses painful exposition to steer in these rules and conditions; where something must happen or be averted and yet for all the huffy seriousness, it fails to create stakes that make the game really interesting. Death is a removed concept here in favour delving further into dreams and finally limbo. None of which seems to create any real fear or terror. But there just isnít even anything in this movie to generally care about in the first place. The characters are all vague and lacking; just like the universe at large. All that they have to show for it are the basic names such as Cobol engineering. Everything seems so sterile and detached and even the central character, Cobb feels uninteresting and stodgy.

By the end of the movie they devolve into ho hum action, which just lacks the raw passion or energy to make even that entertaining. Even the concept (which aims to hold some gravity) becomes a long worn-out joke by the end which continues on because Nolan completely fails to create a reality that has the depth or love to be believable, acceptable or even desirable. All this movie does is poke holes at itself and suggest there is but another dream, around the corner.

It really isnít Sci-Fi because where is the jargon or the scientific explanations? The so called PASIV technology in no way feels scientific but a very obvious phlebotinum. This is a movie that tries to capture some slick noir and just like Blade Runner, it becomes boring because of it. Itís not necessary and it doesnít really add to it except the feeling that the movie is overtly and creatively sterile.

Beyond the concept of a dream beyond a dream beyond a....no, there is nothing else visceral. Donít see this movie, as it wonít occupy your dreams or your thoughts, for reasons good.

I'm having a hard time responding to this review, mostly because I'm having a hard time figuring out what you're even trying to say half the time.

That said, I thoroughly disagree. I found the movie quite creative, if only because it actually established consistent rules for how the technology worked within the setting. Too many movies just handwave and Ass Pull this sort of thing; few movies and writers are really willing to establish consistency and rules within their setting and work within those rules. That was a big part of why I really liked Inception: the characters had constraints and they had to realistically work within them.

I also disagree that there was no tension due to fear of death, etc. in the movie. The movie made it clear that one risked death if one enters Limbo, because your brain can't handle it and you'll lose yourself in there. Aside from that threat of death due to overclocking your brain, there's also the threat of insanity, and the ever-present threat of Cobb being arrested if he fails on the mission or being killed if Cobol finds him.

And what's this bullshit about it not being sci-fi because of a lack of jargon or scientific explanations? Science Fiction does not require technobabble to be considered science fiction. + Phlebotinum is very much a staple of science fiction across the genre. I find it hard to accept your review as being in any way informed when you don't even understand the basic definition of the genre.
comment #7294 Zaptech 17th Apr 11 (edited by: Zaptech)
I don't think there was any tension or threat of death. To be honest, I didn't care at all if the whole team went into limbo and their brains fried. Why? Because Nolan didn't make me care about the characters. If Cobb died/got lost in limbo forever, I'd think, "so what. He was pretty much a jerk anyway." Same goes for the rest of the team (except maybe Ellen Page, because she's awesome.) I feel like Nolan doesn't ever make me care about the characters in his films. His movies are like sterile pictures: you know there's character depth somewhere, but you don't get a sense of it from watching the movie/looking at the photo.

So I agree with the OP.
comment #7296 longstreth 17th Apr 11 (edited by: longstreth)
No, I felt there was characterisation to a minor extent, but the only character who really mattered to the story was Cobb. It was ultimately his quest to get back to his children, and his suffering, and his emotional hang ups. Everyone else was there to help Cobb accomplish his goals, and they had no story for themselves. Poor Ellen Page was only in this story so that people could provide exposition to her and the audience. I thought Cobb was well developed and his story did have stakes. In this movie he risks: getting trapped in a dream for decades/dying/going insane/being arrested/being murdered in real life/never seeing his kids again. I was worried for Cobb, but not really for anyone else.

The movie's biggest problem was its lack of any subplots. It was wholy devoted to telling the story of Cobb's heist, and nothing else. If it took the time to include secondary stories for its supporting characters, it would be excellent. But then it would probably be really long as well.
comment #7299 maninahat 18th Apr 11
A zap; how can it be considered sci-fi when the ONLY peice of futuristic tech (PASIV) is phlebotinum and it has no technical explanation? But also, the fact that it can make 3D impossible objects which is well...impossible makes it closer to the realm of science fantasy.

Oh limbo is such a big threat as Saito was made to grow old in the comforts of a tycoon, oh the horror... Not to mention, that Cobb experienced it and he didn't go pants-on-head bonkers. If perhaps thye experienced a fate worse than death like say being stuck in hellish dimension ala Event Horizon; that would have created a more genuine threat and a real source of tension and fear.

This movie might have been creative had they made a movie where they fully utilised what they showed; such as the initiation with Ariadne, but the didn't. Instead the rules became a restrictive and boring framework of what couldn't be done, rather than what could.

If you can't understand the review then perhaps you need to think just a little harder.

@Maninahat, Yes the lack of subplots hurts the movie. But I didn't really care about Cobb at all. His profession was breaking into people's heads and extracting information, which doesn't sound all to legal. He just didn't have any real gorm or quirks to him to make him feel unique or real enough.
comment #7310 shinfernape 18th Apr 11
how can it be considered sci-fi when the ONLY peice of futuristic tech (PASIV) is phlebotinum and it has no technical explanation?

Because YOUR definition of science fiction is not the generally accepted definition of science fiction. Sci-fi does not require technical explanation, and creation of impossibilities is not a disqualifier (otherwise 99% of sci-fi that uses Faster Than Light Travel would not be considered sci-fi). Your definition is entirely arbitrary and incredibly limited.

Oh limbo is such a big threat as Saito was made to grow old in the comforts of a tycoon, oh the horror...

And he would have died if Cobb hadn't gone after him. As explained explicitly in the movie.

Not to mention, that Cobb experienced it and he didn't go pants-on-head bonkers.

Cobb's own mind is actively trying to sabotage the mission in order to lock him in Limbo for eternity. That is not what would be considered "sane."

This movie might have been creative had they made a movie where they fully utilised what they showed; such as the initiation with Ariadne, but the didn't. Instead the rules became a restrictive and boring framework of what couldn't be done, rather than what could.

I disagree. Establishing rules creates consistency. Establishing limits eliminates the possibility of a character using an Ass Pull and forces the characters to come up with creative solutions within those constraints, just like in real life. The consistent rules of the setting don't ruint he creativity, they make it more interesting.

If you can't understand the review then perhaps you need to think just a little harder.

I'm not the one who is routinely failing at basic grammar. Improve your English.
comment #7318 Zaptech 18th Apr 11
That ad hominem in the last sentence...

I agree that Inception was science fiction. But that doesn't make it a good story.

Saito would have died if Cobb didn't save him? Sure. But everyone dies sooner or later, regardless of whether they're in limbo. And don't tell me Saito's limbo experience was painful. Sinfernape is right: he was an old rich dude in limbo. That's a fairly pleasant way to go, if you ask me.

As for the rules, all films need rules, true. Most of the time the director doesn't have to show us, because it's assumed that we're on Earth and we're subject to gravity and everything we're used to. In Inception, I can see why rules are important; otherwise we'd have no clue what the heck was going on. Having said that, I would have liked to see a lot more creativity in the dreams. When I dream, I have crazy dreams about being lost in foggy worlds where dead people come back to life and stuff. In Inception, the most dream-like thing we got was a zero-G hallway. Cool? Yes. Enough? No.
comment #7324 longstreth 19th Apr 11 (edited by: longstreth)
^^"Because YOUR definition of science fiction is not the generally accepted definition of science fiction. Sci-fi does not require technical explanation, and creation of impossibilities is not a disqualifier (otherwise 99% of sci-fi that uses Faster Than Light Travel would not be considered sci-fi). Your definition is entirely arbitrary and incredibly limited."

Yeah well actually read some of the stuff on your link; "The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality but the majority of science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader's mind by potential scientific explanations"

Between the definitions of science-fiction or science fantasy; Inception is better suited to the latter.

On you ponderings of FTL, I'd like to say that sci-fi shows like Star Trek do indeed explain such working s as warp travel and the idea of subspace.

"And he would have died if Cobb hadn't gone after him. As explained explicitly in the movie."

Yeah he would have died the envisioned life of a powerful and wealth businessman; does what you say change any of that?

"Cobb's own mind is actively trying to sabotage the mission in order to lock him in Limbo for eternity. That is not what would be considered "sane." "

Yes but was that all a result of limbo? Or, the death of his wife; whome he used inception on.

"I disagree. Establishing rules creates consistency. Establishing limits eliminates the possibility of a character using an Ass Pull and forces the characters to come up with creative solutions within those constraints, just like in real life. The consistent rules of the setting don't ruint he creativity, they make it more interesting."

More interesting? Interesting would come from the tentative level of details to the universe and the characters at large which was sorely missing in Inception. It might also come about from the perspective relation to real life as well. All of this would be why I found films like District 9 or 12 monkeys to be far more interesting than the dull caper; Inception.

comment #7329 shinfernape 19th Apr 11
"Yeah he would have died the envisioned life of a powerful and wealth businessman; does what you say change any of that?"

Except he wasn't even interacting with real people; he spent years essentially alone.
comment #7330 silver2195 19th Apr 11
"Between the definitions of science-fiction or science fantasy; Inception is better suited to the latter."

I don't think "science fantasy" is very useful terminology. Perhaps such a subgenre exists; there is a reason scifi and fantasy are conventionally lumped together. Surely a movie has been made wherein the disperate elements bleed into eachother enough to resist being strained out. But not in this case.

I'm sure the distinction you're looking for is "soft" as opposed to "hard" scifi. Inception does not bother much to explain extraction, inception, limbo, the apparatus that allows them to enter dreams, sedation, etc. At least, not in the psuedo-scientific jargon of the much harder Primer. But that does not make it fantasy.

comment #7361 tublecane 22nd Apr 11
"I felt there was characterisation to a minor extent, but the only character who really mattered to the story was Cobb"

This seems to be the consensus, but I wonder why everyone discounts the Cillian Murphy character and his relationship with his father and uncle. I'll admit they he is also there as something for Cobb to figure out, and may seem no different than, say, the blue print for a vault in some other heist film. Or he may also seem to be a plot contrivance in the same manner as Ellen Page is merely an excuse for exposition. But he is a person, with feelings and so forth, and we get to explore many more of his feelings than the admittedly thin characters played by Page, Gordon-Levitt, Watanabe...heck, all the rest of them.

Watch the film again and treat him like he's an actual character, and voila!, you might see he was an actual character all along.
comment #7362 tublecane 22nd Apr 11
That ad hominem in the last sentence...

Was no ad hominem (or at least was not intended to be one). I'm simply pointing out that shinfernape needs to improve his grammar, because it is hard to understand many of the points the troper is trying to get across. When said troper responds by telling me that I need to "think harder" to overcome a flaw with their argument, I think it's only right to point out that said troper is the one who needs to make said argument more coherent.

Yeah well actually read some of the stuff on your link; "The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality but the majority of science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader's mind by potential scientific explanations"

Emphasis mine.

Between the definitions of science-fiction or science fantasy; Inception is better suited to the latter.

Why? They use technology to achieve things that would otherwise be impossible. That they don't use technobabble does not disqualify it from science fiction. No one explains how the digitizer works in TRON. No one explains how the hyperdrive or blasters or repulsors or tractor beams work in Star Wars movies + . No one describes how the engines work in Firefly. No one describes precisely how the Arc Reactor operates in IronMan beyond its effects. No one describes how the PASIV works in Inception.

Yeah he would have died the envisioned life of a powerful and wealth businessman; does what you say change any of that?

He didn't seem happy. He was, in his own words, a tired old man, waiting to die, who seemed like he was dissatisfied with a life where the only people he had to interact with were his empty security guards.

Yes but was that all a result of limbo? Or, the death of his wife; whome he used inception on.

Both. It is strongly implied that Cobb's issues stem from the fact that he was the one who did everything to his wife while in Limbo. He performed an inception on her, but he was also performing an inception on himself at the same time by performing that act on his wife. Ultimately, you can't do anything in Limbo without it deeply affecting you.

All of this would be why I found films like District 9 or 12 monkeys to be far more interesting than the dull caper; Inception.

To each their own, then.
comment #7376 Zaptech 22nd Apr 11 (edited by: Zaptech)
@ Zap

"The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality but the majority of science fiction RELIES on a CONSIDERABLE degree of SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF, which is FACILITATED in the reader's mind by potential SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS"

Emphasis mine. You see that is what makes Inception so contentious in this regard. The movie may outline rules but it doesn't connect them with any real explanations which rely on any sense of science or indeed logic. In the Matrix, Morpheus explained that if you die in the Matrix, you die in real life because your mind makes it real. But in Inception they just tell you the rules without any real explanation as to why there is a limbo instead of just exiting the dream etc. Without the explanation, you just can't really suspend all that disbelief.

"Why? They use technology to achieve things that would otherwise be impossible. That they don't use technobabble does not disqualify it from science fiction. No one explains how the digitizer works in TRON. No one explains how the hyperdrive or blasters or repulsors or tractor beams work in Star Wars movies + Yes, I know they describe them in detail in the Expanded Universe, thanks . No one describes how the engines work in Firefly. No one describes precisely how the Arc Reactor operates in Iron Man beyond its effects. No one describes how the PASIV works in Inception. "

(sigh) If you actually watched the first Tronn they do indeed explain what the SHIVA ray does in a scientific manner. Star Wars has always been considered Science Fantasy. I never watched Firefly so I can't comment, it might just be a space opera really. In Ironman they at least use some science in explaining some of the problems such as the icing problem. Ironman uses the jargon and shows the construction and the testing, which all helps to ease people into the world. All it takes really is the awareness of science and using it to explaing things which help to suspend disbelief a little.

"He didn't seem happy. He was, in his own words, a tired old man, waiting to die, who seemed like he was dissatisfied with a life where the only people he had to interact with were his empty security guards."

Yes it is the age part that makes him seem tired. Something he would have to face in real life, so I still don't see how you are making it seem like an awful existence. Especially when he is still wealthy and has underlings.

"Both. It is strongly implied that Cobb's issues stem from the fact that he was the one who did everything to his wife while in Limbo. He performed an inception on her, but he was also performing an inception on himself at the same time by performing that act on his wife. Ultimately, you can't do anything in Limbo without it deeply affecting you."

You say he preformed inception on himself by doing it on his wife. How? Inception is planting ideas into people's heads and how could he plant an idea in his OWN head when it comes from there in the first place? What new idea did his wife plant in HIS mind? You aren't making any sense.
comment #7384 shinfernape 23rd Apr 11
A zap; how can it be considered sci-fi when the ONLY peice of futuristic tech (PASIV) is phlebotinum and it has no technical explanation?

Science Fiction has classically been about taking some impossibilities that are not found in the real world (Generally technological) and seeing how the world would be with that impossibility. The genre has expanded to pretty much any speculative fiction (Which I'm glad of), but that's the original idea.

By all accounts, Inception is classic Science Fiction. A technical explanation is not needed; Asimov's robot stories are still science fiction without an explanation of the positronic brain actual engineering; they just establish the rules for the brain and then the stories progress with those rules. Inception does the exact same thing for its dream tech. Inception's world is made by taking real life and inserting one impossible phenomenon (Dream entering technology) into it.

Merely adding a fake technical explanation does not make something science fiction; Star Trek is still science fiction whether there's a technobabble explanation for a phenomena or not.

As for Mal, it's pretty clear she's just a manifestation of Cobb's guilt.

Emphasis mine. You see that is what makes Inception so contentious in this regard. The movie may outline rules but it doesn't connect them with any real explanations which rely on any sense of science or indeed logic. In the Matrix, Morpheus explained that if you die in the Matrix, you die in real life because your mind makes it real. But in Inception they just tell you the rules without any real explanation as to why there is a limbo instead of just exiting the dream etc. Without the explanation, you just can't really suspend all that disbelief.

The rules make perfect sense. When you're sedated, you don't wake up due to the drug. It's like going to sleep again; you lose consciousness. However, because your body in the dream can't wake up, and your physical body was prevented from waking up when it needed to, Limbo is a more permanent state.

If you can suspend your disbelief for the nonsensical plot of The Matrix (Conservation of energy? What's that?), then you can probably do it for Inception.
comment #7387 Scardoll 23rd Apr 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
@ Scardoll

"Science Fiction has classically been about taking some impossibilities that are not found in the real world (Generally technological) and seeing how the world would be with that impossibility. The genre has expanded to pretty much any speculative fiction (Which I'm glad of), but that's the original idea."

You see the key word there that you use, impossible. Now go see the definition of science fantasy and see what it has to say about that.

"By all accounts, Inception is classic Science Fiction. A technical explanation is not needed; Asimov's robot stories are still science fiction without an explanation of the positronic brain actual engineering; they just establish the rules for the brain and then the stories progress with those rules. Inception does the exact same thing for its dream tech. Inception's world is made by taking real life and inserting one impossible phenomenon (Dream entering technology) into it.

Merely adding a fake technical explanation does not make something science fiction; Star Trek is still science fiction whether there's a technobabble explanation for a phenomena or not."

A fake technical explanation is used to suspend disbelief, that's one of the key things in science fiction. Simply just the awareness of the scientific method or principles in something might be enough to do so.

"The rules make perfect sense. When you're sedated, you don't wake up due to the drug. It's like going to sleep again; you lose consciousness. However, because your body in the dream can't wake up, and your physical body was prevented from waking up when it needed to, Limbo is a more permanent state."

And yet Saito has to die...twice? No kinda deadly trauma from that kind of experience? Especially in somewhere the brain is processing time faster than in reality? Without a technical explanation I can't just accept that.

Your saying that the drug forcing them into limbo and yet the conscious act of killing yourself in limbo undoes the effect of the drug? Why can't the PASIV tech just get them out of limbo?

"If you can suspend your disbelief for the nonsensical plot of The Matrix (Conservation of energy? What's that?), then you can probably do it for Inception."

Ah you see in the section for Viewers Are Morons you'll see that they were going to explain that the machines are using human brains as extra processors but it was changed to the stupid energy thing because they thought that the oridnary film-going audience couldn't understand that concept.

Whilst that is incredibly silly, I think that most the stuff and explanations that the Matrix use hold up well enough.
comment #7399 shinfernape 24th Apr 11
Star Wars was assumed to be in another galaxy, where everything is crazy and technology is awesome and aliens exist.

Firefly takes place 500 years in the future, where they have intense new technology.

Inception takes place when? RIGHT NOW. In our world. So I expect things to happen like they do in real life.
comment #7403 longstreth 24th Apr 11
shinfernape: A fake technical explanation is used to suspend disbelief, that's one of the key things in science fiction. Simply just the awareness of the scientific method or principles in something might be enough to do so.

Except that disbelief can easily be suspended without one.

Once again, in most Asimov stories, we are given no information on how, physically, the positronic brain works. However, we are given rules of how the tech has an effect (The laws of robotics), much like the rules of dream insertion in Inception, and the story works around those rules. The robot stories are generally regarded as classic Science Fiction, so I have no idea why Inception would not be science fiction by that definition.

Even ignoring that debate, the label of science fiction has nothing to do with the actual quality of a work. There are plenty of terrible science fiction stories, just as there are plenty of great non-science fiction stories. Adding a piece of technobabble to a work will not make it better.

longstreth: Inception takes place when? RIGHT NOW.

You'll notice that there is no single company that controls most of the world's energy at the moment.

Either Inception takes place in a speculative near future, or it is an alternate reality which would of developed had dream technology been made. Either way, it falls under the label of speculative fiction, much like the robot series or 2001.

Of course, that brings up the question: Does science fiction have to be concretely speculative? Dune and Star Wars focus more on building a creating an engrossing world than being rooted in our own, but both are Science Fiction too.
comment #7413 Scardoll 24th Apr 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
Oh, Inception is definitely science fiction. But at least in Star Wars, we're 100% sure that this is a purely "fantasy" world (I mean fantasy in the sense of "not real", rather than in the dragons and sword-and-sorcery sense). Inception seems to be set in our world (they go to Paris and that place in North Africa... Mombasa?), and while it's true that there is some strange company controlling world resources, it doesn't seem that far removed from the world of today. That's why it's so weird to see the random PASIV machines in action. I feel like Nolan went through a lot to make Inception as realistic and "real-world" as possible (which is something that many also see at work in The Dark Knight), but the whole dream mechanic feels so otherworldly.

As another example, look at iRobot. I've only seen the movie and haven't read the Asimov book, but I got the impression that the Earth of iRobot is vastly different than the Earth of today. I know that there are still cities and stuff, but I think it's pretty clear that this is way in the future. Inception didn't give me that impression. The characters still fly in airplanes (Boeing 747) just like the ones we have today. If Inception were set in the future, would they still be using 747s? Not sure. The characters also use guns like the ones we have today. I'm no gun expert, but they're certainly not shooting laser beams at each other. See, this is why I think Inception is so grounded in the real world. This makes the PASIV phlebotinum all the more jarring. What's it doing in a movie that is otherwise a near-perfect representation of Earth as we know it?

You definitely bring up some good points. It's certainly possible that Inception is set in the future. But so many of its elements are just like the ones we know in real life.
comment #7425 longstreth 25th Apr 11 (edited by: longstreth)
@Shinfernape: No because PASIV is the ONLY peice of futuristic tech in the world of Inception and it is nothing but plebotinum. It's hard to suspend the disbelief when there is but one element out of the realms of realism that entirely draws your focus and it has absolutely no technical explanation what so ever. And it is moreso because you do not see the evolution and how this peice of futustic tech even came about.

They do explain how the tech came about. They don't need to show the evolution of the tech directly because that has nothing to do with the story.

If robots were the only otherworldy element in a story, would it be Sci-fi? Most certainly.

Again I cannot comment on Asimov's robot stories if I haven't read them and yet Sci fi from what I've seen has tried to see the impications created by the inovations and introductions of new ideas, technologies, alien cultures etc. It has something to say of the whole of humanity and whether that is in some way an analysis of how we live now compared to a potentially new situation.

And Inception does that. We see what is essentially a heist only allowable by this technology.

Inception has this PASIV tech but it makes it only accessable to all but a few in a world which heavily resembles the modern world and that said tech is plebotinum. I don't think Inception had anything to say about humanity or even the potential futures and directions on the whole, but it was sorely about one man: Cobb.

One man is an example of humanity. There's a story in I Robot (The short story collection) that is about a single family and their reaction to a robot nanny; it still falls under science fiction.

The PASIV is accessible to the main characters, and we do see the impact it has on the world; corporations will use it for espionage, and it's become an illegal career opportunity. But what matters is the way the main characters react to it.

@longstretch Inception creates a very vague universe. In fact you say Inception is in modern times and yet you'll notice that omits things that might relate it to a specific date i.e. Michael Jackson cd's or Sony Walkmans or even iPhones. Yes, Inception was made to appeal beyond an era by not adhering to any particular one. But that also makes it contentious as to be considered sci-fi. As we've seen in films like Blade Runner in that although they don't create anything like fictional future leaders or persnonalities; there are a lot of Japanese posters and oriental influences. That is due to the old speculative trope: Japan Conquers The World. In fact if you've noticed in many sci-fi movies in might start with "in the year 21XX..." and though not all of them use specifiy dates and it may not be totally exclusive to sci-fi, but you'll see that it's a more solidified attemtp at creating a universe and an intensified effort to be speculative. Inception to me is just not really speculative.

The only thing Inception really explores is Cobb.

Inception is about Cobb, but Cobb's story is only made possible through the innovation of dream entering technology.
comment #7426 shinfernape 25th Apr 11 (edited by: Scardoll)
@Scardoll, I'd appreciate it if you didn't edit my posts that I spent time on. Especially without even asking.

They do explain how the tech came about. They don't need to show the evolution of the tech directly because that has nothing to do with the story.

Yeah something vague about the military or something. If they had shown the evolution of the tech then it would have helped ease the audience in and suspend the dibelief a little ala Iron Man.

It does nothing to change the nature of PASIV being such an incredibly blatant phlebotinum in a more "realistic" universe.

And Inception does that. We see what is essentially a heist only allowable by this technology.

A heist. A...heist.... How does this give an examiniation of how we live and where we are going? It doesn't. It's all about some heist.

Inception has this PASIV tech but it makes it only accessable to all but a few in a world which heavily resembles the modern world and that said tech is plebotinum. I don't think Inception had anything to say about humanity or even the potential futures and directions on the whole, but it was sorely about one man: Cobb.

"One man is an example of humanity. There's a story in I Robot (The short story collection) that is about a single family and their reaction to a robot nanny; it still falls under science fiction."

I don't know about these stories...But we can talk about the film I Robot and how that is Sci Fi. You see it is all through the perspective of Will Smith's character but you can see how the wider world uses advanced tech and all the implications. You see the old lady who trusts the robots and other people who use them. You see from the perspective of the AI. Although Will Smith plays the main character who has a central story; it is not an overwhelmingly central story and the technology is the focus instead of the vehicle. The PASIV tech could have been a magical ticket of sorts because it was a vehicle to the mind of Cobb. But I Robot has it's focus honed specifically on robots and AI.

"The PASIV is accessible to the main characters, and we do see the impact it has on the world; corporations will use it for espionage, and it's become an illegal career opportunity. But what matters is the way the main characters react to it."

But we don't "see" how it effects the wider world, we don't get to see this for ourselves. We are simply told about it through exposition. It's not like we see slogans or an ad campaign or even buildings of all these companies. They are so vague that they lack all the typical corporate characteristics. That's how badly bland and vacuou,s the Inception universe is. We don't hear the opinions of people on whether the companies are lying cheating, honest or thoughtfull. You say the main characters react to it and yet I don't recall Arthur saying "Those b*stards! My grandmother won't freeze to death over energy bills!". The main characters don't give any emotional reaction or guage the ramifications of all of this. They are simply told all this and then off they go, on a silly heist.

"Inception is about Cobb, but Cobb's story is only made possible through the innovation of dream entering technology."

Cobb's story might have been possible through pixie dust or a cursed condom. Perhaps Cobb was just ridiculously high. And that is the beauty of phlebotinum; it is just a convenient vehicle to do crazy stuff without needing to give out any proper explanations. The movie was all about Cobb and PASIV was merely a conduit, not a focus.

comment #7430 shinfernape 25th Apr 11
"Yeah something vague about the military or something. If they had shown the evolution of the tech then it would have helped ease the audience in and suspend the dibelief a little ala Iron Man."

The military developed it as a combat simulator. I think that's the line you're thinking of. Quick explanation, done.

Is that Iron Man comparison serious? First of all, different genre. Second of all, Iron Man was about the development of the technology. This was about doing something to push the limits of the preexisting technology, using a new mastery of the preexisting technology, in a world affected massively already by the preexisting technology. You can't just want it to track the evolution of the technology when this isn't about the evolution of the technology.

You seem to have a real problem with phlebotinum. Take a look at the page for Applied Phlebotinum, please. Do you see how gigantic that thing is? It's the foundation for an enormous number of fictional works which aren't realistic. Tropes Are Not Bad. There's no real way to explain how they visited someone's dream (and it certainly seemed realistic enough, everyone was hooked up, asleep, etc.) and I for one think the story was better because they didn't spend so much time on it.
comment #10934 Ultrayellow 20th Oct 11 (edited by: Ultrayellow)
^

Sorry but some very crucial tech in Iron Man was actually pre-existing. I am talking about the Arc Reactor of course.

The more obvious something is phlebotinum then the more disbelief you are going to have. With a film as stiff and gritty as Inception they were aiming with some sort of realism but the PASIV tech was just one giant pin next to the balloon.
comment #19996 shinfernape 29th Jun 13
@ shinfernape: I will give you that Inception has very little characterization, but I loved it anyway for being one of the better action movies that have been made in a while, and even saw it a second time. I actually liked that it had rules governing The Verse, but I think the movie takes too long explaining them.

I'm not even going to get into the science fiction debate. "Science fiction" is a broken term anyway, I'm just going to call it "speculative fiction" and call it a day.

By the way, do you consider yourself a "casual moviegoer" or a "movie connoisseur"? How picky are you about what movies you see?
comment #20007 shiro_okami 1st Jul 13
@ Shiro_okami

I just watch movies to be entertained.

I watch a whole gamut of movies from critically acclaimed like Shawshank Redemption to so-bad-its-good like Commando.
comment #20016 shinfernape 2nd Jul 13
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