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Reviews Comments: By the end, I was watching it alone Inception film/book review by Red Hudsonicus

Having heard positive reviews, I bought the Inception blu-ray for my dad as a Father's Day present. My parents and siblings all gathered around the TV to enjoy the film as a family (since we're so very rarely all together anymore) and started it up.

About 2/3 of the way through, I was the only one still watching and I finished it alone.

I was a bit surprised at how little I enjoyed the film. It had such an interesting premise from the blurbs I had read. And yet watching it play out onscreen, it felt so utterly...banal and generic. Here was an idea that had seemingly limitless possibilities - examining a person's dream state and using it to implant an idea in their mind. An idea that was not their own, but this fact would never be apparent. Certainly, such a premise could be taken in innumerable directions. Dreams are utterly chaotic — they have no rhyme or reason to them but often reflect subconscious desires. Likewise, the ability to implant an idea would be, on some level, akin to mind control. Except, of course, the beauty of it is that the control itself would emerge from the subject's own mind rather than any external influence. There would be no way to resist.

Sadly, however, the film seemed to simply rely on generic thriller tropes. The dreams themselves were of perfectly normal-looking locations and had to adhere to a set logic, for some reason. Perhaps it is because I've never lucid-dreamt, but I found this premise to be odd and difficult to relate to. I have never once in my entire life confused my dreams for reality, nor do they feel "real" when I'm in them. If a giant train suddenly sped through any of my dream-worlds, I would find it positively mundane.

Also, I honestly failed to see what was so confusing about the film. It was laid out pretty clearly — the way that "kicks" functioned and the need for a layered dream in order for inception to work. I had issues with the premise, but following the story wasn't at all difficult. Sure, the ending introduced some ambiguity by questioning whether Dom actually was in the real world or yet another layer, but this is hardly an insightful idea. The Matrix brought this notion up in 1999 and it certainly isn't the originator.

Overall, I found the premise unengaging, the plot to be rather intellectually undemanding, and the characters poorly developed. Pass.


  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 17th Sep 12
The complaints of it being confusing were completely overblown on it's release (but they were that complaints, the people weren't trying to sell it as benefits, the film sold itself as a fast paced thriller that kept up the tension by drip feeding knowledge and world information rather than just pure action). I don't really know why some people found it that way but as you said the film does a good job of making sure the audience knows where it is and whats going on.

I always figured that the film would have worked a lot better if they'd talked about the subconscious instead of dreams, then all the worlds would have fitted in better with the tone. I confuse dreams with reality a lot, but even for me I didn't really think of them as dreams, dreams capture being caught up in something, they're like Memento, they're only work because you're in that place where your too busy concentrating, caught up in something to take in everything around you, and the levels of subspace didn't represent that.

You wouldn't even have to drastically change much to make subconscious fit. A couple of lines and the con-trick would be telling someone that someones performing an Inception on their subconscious instead of being able to tell them the clearer 'you're in a dream'. But they do that anyway. You wouldn't have to lose the crazy affects or anything and I think it would even fit better with the idea of the Architect creating the world and the persons mind filling it out

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