Christopher Nolan returns after giving us the greatest comic book movie adaption of all time, The Dark Knight, with his new film Inception. This is a movie that has been building hype like a tidal wave for months, and it has finally crashed. The movie we have been anticipating has exceeded the unreachable hype that was cast over it. Leonardo DiCaprio takes us on an emotional, beautiful thriller that enters a world that we all know–our dreams.

Nolan is most prominently known for reviving the Batman franchise as well as his psychological thriller Memento that was released in 2000. This was around the same time that Nolan began working on his screenplay for his newest tour de force, Inception. This was a project that has been in the works for around ten years, and after seeing the film I understand why. Inception is a beautiful labyrinth of a story that gives us a layered puzzle to follow and put together.

I can understand how this movie is not for everyone because it is a lot to wrap your head around. This is a movie that takes solving, and it can’t be fully appreciated on the surface level. With that said, if you are looking for a movie that makes you think and keeps you on the edge of your seat holding tight then Inception is your type of film. Personally, I was only able to be on top of what was happening through a combination of events: First, I have not only seen but been a huge fan of several movies that will be compared to this film. The list includes Memento (Nolan), The Matrix (similar), and Shutter Island (Leo-stream of consciousness). After being exposed to those films I was prepared for the journey through people’s dreams. Second, the anticipation for the film was impossible to avoid. Knowing that Nolan was going to test the viewer’s attention ahead of time was crucial to being able to follow the movie. Finally, the movie despite being long is fairly straightforward if you can follow it. Nolan does not really waste time trying to confuse you so much as he tries to explain thoroughly. The intricate combination of details is what might throw the viewer through loops, not an intentional attempt to deceive.

The movie is such an ambitious project that I feel like details and explanations got a little muddled. I won’t spoil anything, but I personally have a lot of unanswered questions concerning the end of the film. When I first left the film I was so blinded by the brilliance of the film that I ignored the fact that a few things didn’t add up. There are potential explanations out there and it is a credit to Nolan that he did not attempt to give all the answers as some directors do. Oftentimes, allowing the audience to decide for themselves what they think is the most convincing act of storytelling as life is rarely black and white.

In my defense the brilliance of this movie shines bright enough to blind the average film junkie. This is one of the most brilliant, creative, and unique blockbusters I have seen in years. The recent trends in summer movies have been unimaginative sequels and comic book translations. It is truly refreshing to see a major studio give a director the type of budget to translate the script to Hollywood. If not for the sheer scope needed to accurately depict someone’s dreams (which are oftentimes larger-than life), this movie could have been made years ago with an independent label. Nolan in fact spent well over a decade developing this project. It would have been a shame had he opted to make the movie without such a cast or backing from a major studio as it would have felt like Memento’s brother as opposed to its successor.

I found myself shaking my head and marveling at the beauty of a number of scenes. One fight scene instantly comes to mind. Inception was over two hours and it was a movie that I felt needed at least twice as much time to do the immensely involved story justice. At times it felt like one scene cut to another without giving me all the juicy details I wanted and desired. When the ending came I felt myself already missing the world of the human subconscious we were placed in.

There were some sound issues that I noticed throughout the movie. Christopher Nolan doesn’t skimp on extra loud background noise, and there were a good number of times where I literally lost dialogue to the other noises going on.That is knit picking, but it was a consistent problem I saw. Some will find this movie to be too complicated, while others will inevitably be bored, finding the story to be too long. Regardless, this is not a movie to be missed as there is enough depth that even if you are not completely in love with it–you can find redeeming qualities. The only thing missing from the film was some thought-provoking moral to take away. The movie definitely prompts you to think about the larger concepts that relate to dreaming, but it doesn’t give you anything to relate back to as some of Nolan’s other films have.

After it is all said and done Christopher Nolan has blown me away. I find myself puzzling and piecing things together 24 hours after the credits rolled. This is one of the most ambitious movies in the last decade, and it deserves to be regarded as one of the best. It is the must see film of 2010 thus far.

James: 8.5/10 | DJ: 9.5/10

The verdict: 9/10