I watched Inception last night. Eventually. I tried to watch it using Virgin Media’s much trumpeted Movies-on-Demand service, and after charging me a fiver it took 7 tries to finally get the film to play, citing ‘high demand’ and ‘quote this number’. If it’s charged me 7 lots of five pounds there will be riots, let me tell you.
Anyway. Inception was hyped as a ground breaking film due to it’s setting, plot, and whizz bang special effects. For me though, it played out as a ‘best of’ compilation of numerous films and games from the last 25 years. My brother once had a brilliant idea that somebody should take the Oasis route for film making; take the best bits of several films, tie them loosely together and release, much as Oasis did with the best bits of British pop music in the late 90’s.
Some things Inception brought to mind; Bladerunner, Metal Gear Solid, Ronin, Call of Duty/Modern Warfare, The Day After Tomorrow, 2001, The Matrix, Mission Impossible, Empire Strikes Back, Grand Theft Auto, The Living Daylights, etc etc. I started to wonder if this was a conscious decision; when you dream, you use memories as reference, as described by the characters early in the film. Are these little flashes of existing works suppose to suggest that it is you, the viewer, experiencing the dream? Although that may be me over-analysing.
It kind of works though. It’s a lovely film, but you can imagine that in the wrong hands it may have burnt itself out quite quickly. Some of the action is a bit unnecessary (the length of the snow fight), and more of an insight into the creation of the dream worlds and the fine line between realism and dreaming would have been nice. For such an open ended film with so many potential interpretations it hangs together really well, and can be watched as a linear, face-value action film or something more profound.
It finishes on an (slight spoilers) ambiguous note, much as the Bladerunner ‘versions’ do. It allows you to make your own mind up, rather than setting the finale in stone when so much before could have gone either way - again, I wonder if this is a nod toward that uneasy feeling experienced when waking from a vivid dream, and trying to seperate fact from imagination. Overall, a clever film, but never too clever for it’s audience. Like the best entertainment, it has a little something for everybody.