‘Inception (2010)’-Throwback Review: Nolan’s Dreams Inside Dreams Sci-Fi is Breathtaking

Ever had your mind feeling messed up while really questioning about everything? Inception‘s brilliance can cause that after a pure experience with a film like this. With Christopher Nolan’s 2010 hit, this is just one of those films where I honestly can’t trust you if you don’t like the kind of sci-fi experience that will take your breath away for its entire 148-minute runtime. We don’t get summer blockbusters like these anymore based on an original idea and not on anything existing.

What’s The Story: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task: Plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.

“Dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and Dileep Rao in Inception (2010)

The summer movie season of 2010 was becoming dull at that point, but it was apparent that there could be that one saving grace that could lift the dryness of that summer. And while Toy Story 3 is perfect all the way through, it’s about time this came along. And the hype of real for this one because it’s directed by Christopher Nolan. At the time, he was becoming one of the best directors working in the movie industry. This was his follow-up to the masterpiece The Dark Knight, and he came up with this wholly original movie that doesn’t fall flat on its head. Upon thinking about this after it’s done, Inception might be one of the coolest films of the past few years. This became those movies that I couldn’t stop talking about when school started because it’s a genius thing to experience on the big screen when you watched it the very first time. Years later, this one of my favorites of all-time.

The writing and directing should get the most credit here because this is one of the best original films to come out. Nolan came up with this idea for ten years now, and as it comes into play, it became an unpredictable and intelligently written film that can’t be re-imagined making it better. Because I always wanted to know the concept of dreams and the workings of the subconscious, watching this was the closest thing to the reality of what can occur in them. But bursting into someone’s thought to plant an idea? Sounds pretty complex if reading the screenplay, but it’s outstanding when watching everything unfold. And the script has the best way to provide exposition without it feeling cheap. It’s not just a science fiction film, it also combines the exciting feeling with the element of a heist.

Everything on a technical achievement is spot-on. The sound quality amazing, but the score by Hans Zimmer is dramatic, adding some emotional pieces throughout, and it was the right music to accompany the overall experience. To this day is one of the best film scores I’ve listened to in a long time. “Mombasa” was incredible listening to, feeling like you’re being chased, but the piece “Time” near the end hits all the feelings so hard and connects to anyone’s soul while it’s playing. I would want this to play at my funeral.

The performances are spectacular without a single flaw. Leonardo DiCaprio delivered one of the best performance of that year. There’s so much to care about for Dom. There’s a reason why he wants to do this last job: so he can go back to his family. His performance in Shutter Island was great despite being in an alright movie, but Dom Cobb is DiCaprio’s role I will remember as time goes on. Joseph Gordon Levitt has been impressing me in the past few years and as Arthur, this is the role that’s meant for him. Ellen Page does against type in this proving she not just play moody teens, she’s admirable in her appearance as Ariadne. The chemistry between her character and Dom worked great. Fun fact: The name Ariadne in Greek mythology means she’s the mistress of the Labyrinth. Which explains the scene where Dom tests her abilities to design a maze that can take a minute to solve. Possibly the best performance came from Tom Hardy as Eames. He’s an associate of Cobb and basically a thief in some ways, but he’s classy about everything. Hardy was kind of breaking out at that time as he was already in films like RocknRolla and Bronson, but this was definitely a breakthrough performance for what’s to come for him in the future. He also had two great lines in this: “ You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” and “So, now we’re trapped in Fischer’s mind battling his own private army, and if we get killed, we’ll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg.”

But then you have Ken Watanabe as Saito, the businessman who employs Cobb for the mission, Cillian Murphy as Robert Fischer, and the lovely Marion Cotillard as Mal, Cobb’s dead wife bringing their best in every scene there’s in.

Everything delivered on a high scale. We all wondered how we start in a dream and never know what happens inside them after it’s done. It may sound confusing at first, but it’s fairly understandable and unpredictable. And Inception takes on that idea and put it in reality. Even when you when a dream sequence starts, it never becomes annoying since you’re always invested with how it will turn out. All the action sequences are memorable and exciting that you don’t want them to end. Everything happening on screen blew me away, especially knowing most of them are practical. One of my all-time favorite scenes in any action movie was the hallway fight with Arthur. That sequence alone is pure genius. The visual effects are outstanding, with buildings folding and everything tossing and turning. Along with that, the cinematography from Wally Pfister is beautiful as he captures the landscapes of each action set piece, having it all fit on the screen to make it enjoyable to watch all the fantastic elements of the film itself. To me, it’s like The Matrix, Minority Report, Casino Royale, and Heat all rolled into one.

To this day, it has an ambiguous ending that’s still talked about today, wondering what it all means. Those kinds of endings will have people love or hate it; I love it, as it always made me try to think about what it all means. Its theory about how the entire thing is set in Dom’s dream and how he’s performing Inception himself messes with your mind. Every act never fails to be less exciting, but the third act is when you’re at the edge of your seat until the very last frame. Problems? Maybe I wanted to know a bit more about the characters, but that’s really a minor detail in an otherwise phenomenal work that hasn’t left my brain ever since.

Inception is one of those films that makes you think while watching it. I’ll never get people who can’t understand the basic concept of the film and thinks its too confusing. Some moments where they had to explain the logistics of what’s going on took a bit to think over when watching it again, but I actually understood this from the beginning. You must use your brain and pay attention to what’s being presented on screen. There was never a moment where it’s dull. This was fast-paced through and through. Everything should be thanked by Nolan and his brilliant mind to consider him one of the great directors of recent memory for crafting an original, pure masterpiece of cinema. Without a doubt, it was the best movie of 2010 and the decade by far.

As this came out, Nolan has proven to be my second favorite director behind Steven Spielberg, and he’s the reason why he gave us the savior of the summer. This might’ve been the first film that made me understand unique storytelling in a way I never noticed before. Before this, I haven’t seen a ton of his previous work besides The Dark Knight and Batman Begins; this made me remember his name, and there’s always something new on repeat viewings. Though it was nominated for Best Picture and eight other nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Nolan being snubbed for Best Director was the biggest mistake the Academy ever made. It’s great that the film itself won four Oscars (Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, & Sound Editing), but almost everybody was angry he didn’t get recognized for his directing.

Also, this is still the greatest trailer ever made, in my opinion. These trailers also started that trailer cliché of the “BAAWNNNNN” noise in other movie trailers.


Inception strongly brought the smart complexity to make this absolutely mind-blowing sci-fi a future classic.

Grade: A

Inception Movie Poster

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