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Friday, May 27, 2022

When “Inception” came out, the general populace joined together in solidarity and screamed out in unison, “OHMYGODWTFBBQSAUCE!”

In my naivety, I believed them. I saw the trailers featuring trains smashing through the streets of a heavily a populated city, of dudes in tuxedos fighting in zero-g, and of an entire metropolis folding in on itself.

I thought, in my innocence, that no movie so critically lauded could ever be boring. The kicker: it was directed by Christopher Nolan, who is known for blowing out brains like a gangsta with a gat. So I took my little brother and fought through the unwashed masses to see it opening weekend.

“Inception” was like watching overpriced paint dry on pretentious growing grass, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  “Inception” reminded me of that fat kid in high school who read Melville for fun-- it seems smart at first, but the more it talks, the more you realize it’s just a big, bloated lard sack that doesn’t know what the hell it’s talking about.

There’s a great premise here: Professional thieves who instead of stealing jewels or money, steal ideas directly from peoples’ minds while they’re dreaming.  

With a little imagination, this could have been a hugely original movie that finely blended big Hollywood action movies with art house mind tripping.  But somewhere between “The Prestige” and “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan ran out of imagination.

“Inception” starts off pretty intriguingly. The opening sequence where DiCaprio and his studly gang are attempting to steal some vague secret from the head of a Pan-Asian politician/businessman/chinchilla farmer(it never really explains what he is or why his suits are so damn fancy)  is balls-dropping awesome. It’s part “Oceans 11,” /part Freddy Krueger, all sexy.

Eventually this sequence leads to the Asian guy, who from this point shall be referred to as “Mr. Roboto,” bribing Leo and his studly pack of studs to go double agent, and steal from the people that hired them. I think. I’m not entirely sure about this. I paid attention while I was watching the movie, but I don’t think Nolan paid attention while he was making it.

But there’s a big trippy movie twist!

Mr. Roboto wants this grab bag of beefcakes not to steal from their employer, but to plant an idea that will crumble the company! In return, he will grant Leonardo DiCaprio a pardon for murdering his wife, because you know, Japanese businessmen have the power to do that. It’s in the Constitution.

Leo and his (life) partner, the kid from “Third Rock from the Sun,” set off to Paris to ask Batman’s butler-- who teaches at an anonymous big-name university-- if he has any students that could help them.

Alfred offers his most American student: a scarf donning hipster chick who wouldn’t be out of place in Juno (Get it? Because she WAS in Juno!)

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In the next scene, Leo teaches Juno and her ugly boy jeans that she can do anything in the dream world.  It really builds this part up, showing her folding the city in two, making whole parts of the city appear out of thin air, and just being a god in general.  

Then Christopher Nolan left that idea in the dust and decided to make the rest of the movie about people with guns.

“Dream big,”says the token European guy as he creates a dream-grenade launcher and kills some dream-baddies with some dream-grenades. 
That’s dreaming a little small, don’t you think, Nolan? It’s a dream world where you can literally make anything, and you opt for a grenade launcher.

Do you know what’s even bigger-dreaming and light-years more bad-ass than a grenade launcher? A freaking tank. Then the hunk brigade (featuring Juno) wouldn’t even have to worry about dodging bullets. Justin: 1, Christopher Nolan:0.

“Inception” isn’t bad by summer blockbuster standards, but it’s not the gift from a benevolent god you mouth-breathers make believe it is. One commenter on Imdb.com by the handle of D_Burke went as far to say that “In a decade, ‘Inception’ may be a religion.” 
D_Burke is a moron, and so is anybody that thinks this movie is any kind of major step forward in the “art of cinema.” “Inception” isn’t even Chris Nolan’s best movie. It’s long, boring, unimaginative and there isn’t even a shot of a shirtless Christian Bale.

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