Inception – Too Much Show, Not Enough Story

I reluctantly did see Inception. My reluctance has nothing to do with Chris Nolan. I really like Memento and Insomnia. But my reluctance centers around the film’s star – Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t care for the actor. Not even in Gilbert Grape. I once saw an interview where he said,  “…an actor better try his hardest to be believable in the role, otherwise people won’t care.”  I think that’s his problem. He tries too hard (The Aviator) and then misses the mark (Gangs of New York). It’s a shame, because he is the catalyst for a lot of movies getting made, particularly with his newfound partner in Martin Scorsese…but this isn’t about Mr. DiCaprio. Well…maybe it is, but let’s get to the story.

A lot of people will disagree with me – well, the two people that read this blog and that’s not counting my mother – but there are some problems with Inception, mainly the exposition that poor Ellen Page is in charge of dishing out. It is a complicated theory to explain and because of that there is little emotional connection to the concept. The script really doesn’t trust the audience to “get it” and the film suffered for it. Perhaps, the story has a better arc on paper, but just doesn’t translate to film. Although visually stunning, the movie relies too much on the “special effects” and very little on characters, making it hard to buy-in to the whole situation. And for whatever reason I get the feeling that I have seen all this fancy CGI before. It just reminds me of the Verizon Towers commercial mixed with a little Transformers and throw in some Matrix.

Also the puss face that Joseph Gordon-Levitt wears the entire time is really annoying. It’s charming in 500 Days of Summer, but not so much in this movie. A friend of mine points out that if you close your eyes, you’d be listening to Keanu Reeves. Try it!

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