Imposter: An Inception Review by Michael Hall
I went into this movie with high hopes. I heard from others that this was a high concept movie full of imagination and depth. What I saw on screen was a bad heist movie masquerading as intellectual. The main reason I hate this movie is it takes something as wondrous, diverse and imaginative as the human subconscious, and makes it bland and sterile.
Both the story and the people involved had a lot of promise. Leonardo DiCaprio who plays the lead is a good actor, and Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. Neither one really fails here. It was the script and the art direction that failed.
The movie’s premise has merit. It is about a version of the real world where the technology to enter someone else’s dreams has become commonplace. This technology is never explained, not even in technobabble. Apparently the contents of a small suitcase allow you not only to enter someone’s subconscious, but create the world of the dream. The big failure here is what is created is always similar. It is always a modern city. Even the mountaintop stronghold of the last act is not that divergent. They have to actually climb the mountain. It is a dream, but they never choose to fly or treat the world as anything more than reality. The dreams do not feel or act like dreams. In the movie Paprika there were odd cuts, transformations, flight, bizarre and symbolic imagery and logic that only made sense in the context of the dream. The dreams in Paprika feel more like dreams. The dreams of Inception feel like a bad Matrix rip-off.
Why is the subconscious always populated by a hostile mob of “projections”? Why in a world where certain people have training to deal with unwanted intrusions into their subconscious was the only solution arming the mob of projections with guns? Why not have an active volcano, or devious traps or huge monsters swooping out of the sky, or Freddy Krueger, or a thousand more interesting ways to protect your secrets? Why does every subconscious mind place their secrets in a safe or vault provided by the “architect”? Why if the “architect” designs the dream world, do they make the safe or vault hard to reach? Why is Limbo still filled with the remains of what the last people there created if it is some sort of collective deep subconscious? I mean are the characters that went to Limbo the only dream spies to die in the dreams? They are not even the only ones to die to the “projections” in the movie, let alone over the course of years all over the world. Where are the creations of others stuck in Limbo? There are just too many questions and too much that goes against how the human subconscious actually works.
Now I should say some good points before I wrap this up. The scene with the train is interesting and good symbolism. The concept of time being stretched while in a dream is spot on and seems to be a real mental phenomenon. Also as I said, the failure of this film for me was how the subject matter was handled, what the script was and what was shown on screen not being the vivid visuals of the movies that typically deal with the human subconscious, not the acting or the direction
If you want a heist movie, watch Snatch, or Entrapment, or Ocean’s Eleven, or The Great Train Robbery. If you want an intellectual film probing the human mind, watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or Paprika, or The Matrix, or Mirror Mask. In my opinion this movie is overhyped and you would not miss much skipping this one.