Picofarad #23 movie review

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Inception (2010)

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Running Time: 148 minutes

Inception is, at its core, a reverse heist movie. The hero, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is hired for a seemingly impossible mission to break into a secured vault. After protesting the impossibility, he gives in an hires a team of quirky experts from around the world. Dry runs are staged. Finally, the team suits up for the full, incredibly complicated attempt.

The vault in this case is the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), which does not need anything liberated from it, but rather planted in it. The conglomerate assembled by his just-deceased father (Pete Postelthwaite) is the only serious rival to one controlled by Saito (Ken Watanabe), who hires Cobb to convince Fischer junior to break up the company he's just inherited-- by infiltrating his dreams and using them to make Fischer think he's come up with the idea all by himself.

This lays open all sorts of philosophical territory concerning dreams, reality, how they mingle and how to tell them apart, almost none of which is explored in the course of the movie. However, if you come prepared to see an action movie, you get one which for once has a decent excuse for breaking the laws of physics, for someone to be able to whip out an outrageously overpowered piece of military hardware when a simple machine gun isn't doing the job, and where it makes perfect sense that a fortress contains a convenient network of human-sized ducts for the team to sneak in through.

As an action movie, the only serious fault is the ending. Perhaps intended to spark deep philosophical conversation, it instead comes across as a little tantrum by a writer-director who's too auteur to allow a happy ending and not good enough to think of a better one.

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