There is a certain quality about cinema which is always greatly underestimated, in my opinion. A certain power to suck you in an entirely new world, total escapism, an unrivalled yearning to experience something more than what is put in front of us. Some people would ever say the same about dreams. Why not combined the two, some might say. Indeed some might say, but enter Christopher Nolan to be the one who acts.
Taking his contractual break from his trilogy of the Bat, his latest film Inception tells the tale of a group of very smart thieves, lead by a mysterious man named Dom Cobb - Leonardo DiCaprio - who steal ideas from dreams for the highest bidder.
When their latest heist goes wary, they're hired by the man - Ken Watanabe - whom they were originally stealing from in the first place (keeping up so far?) to plant an idea which could have a huge impact on world events. This method is known simply as Inception. Excited yet?
Having been a long admirer of Nolan's work, it was quite remarkable for even myself to see Inception surpass everything he has made previously. The director takes everything learned from all the films to come before and constructs a masterpiece of modern cinema. It takes the 'headmelting' qualities of Memento, combines it with the sheer scale of his Batman films and rounds it off beautifully with enough twists and turns worthy of The Prestige (my favourite entry).
The assembled cast is perhaps the most impressive seen in a film this year. There isn't any good guys or bad guys as such, they're all very grey characters in their own right. DiCaprio's leads his team with his own personal agenda while Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'point man' follows his best friend to the depths of reality - while also providing the odd patch of comic relief.
The heart and soul belongs to the wonderful Ellen Page as 'the architect' but her true power, to the story, is in her innocence and naivety, forever keeping the team on the moral high ground. Tom Hardy's 'forger' got all the best lines while the stand out performance, worthy of praise on an award level, belongs to the gorgeous Marion Cotillard as the 'femme fatale' of the entire piece, a ghost from Cobb's past who has huge ramifications to the entire plot - despite not directly being a significant character in my eyes Fascinating, truly fascinating.
Similar in settings and approach, the film borrows a lot of its production value from The Dark Knight (strangely a bit of Modern Warfare 2 thrown in also) but the comparisons seriously do end there. This was perhaps the first film, Nolan had to, heavily rely on CGI and he used it to amazing effect, twisting and manipulating landscapes, then slowing it down with Matrix-esque bullet-time. Simply glorious.
The haunting and intense score from Hans Zimmer could only add the cherry to an already scrumptious cake in this elegant mix of science fiction crossed with a psychological thriller.
However Inception is more than just a brilliantly made film, its hopefully a landmark and wake up call to the entire industry. Proof, if you place your trust in truly talented film makers to attempt something entirely original, outside of the countless remakes, comic book films and reboots you can have your faith rewarded.
Let's be honest, if you've seen the trailer you've already made up your mind with this one. An enjoyable headmelt for all. Christopher Nolan not only surpasses the achievements of his previous films but has firmly cemented himself as perhaps the best director kicking about Hollywood at the moment. The cast is excellent, the story is excellent, this film is, if you haven't figured out by now, excellent.
See this if you liked...
The Matrix, 007 films, The Dark Knight and The Prestige.
Inception is in cinemas everywhere today.