OK, I’m not in the mainstream of adulation this film has garnered. Even though I loved director Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and “Dark Knight”, this hodgepodge of hokum and special effects, based on the flimsiest of premises gave me “happy feet” about halfway through it’s 2 hour and 28 minute length. The problem for me is I didn’t really give a damn about any of these characters.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb is able to extract corporate ideas by getting into the dreamworld of his clients while under the guise of providing subconscious security, but Saito (a thickly accented, almost incomprehensible, Ken Wantanabe) hires Cobb to implant an idea in the mind of Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy) that daddy’s company should should really be disbanded for the good of Saito’s bottom line. Normally lawyers would be the go-to guys in this kind of scenario but Nolan has Cobb assemble a team of dream experts, using some kind of magic box, to handle it. The actors are accomplished and well cast, with the notable exception of Ellen Page as Ariadne, the Architect – a college graduate student who constructs the world of the dream. She is not believable to the point of distraction. Marion Cotillard is Cobb’s wife and one-time dream companion, whose apparent demise provides the emotional pull for Cobb that might distract him from his mission. Nolan gives us the usual summertime quota of action sequences with lots of gun play and explosions, once again, lawyers would have been cheaper…maybe, but Hans Zimmer’s annoying synthesized score saws away so relentlessly during the climactic action segment that it’s a wonder anyone could sleep, let alone dream
To be fair, I’m not a gamer, and movies enjoyment depends in great part on one’s state of mind during the viewing, so I would recommend buying this one when it comes out on DVD so that you can piece together Nolan’s many audio and visual puns and the confusing twists and turns that get lost in a theater viewing, but for me this was a mess, as Simon Cowell would say, a ripe mess. Rated PG13.