Cobb’s relationship with Mal doesn’t work, and not just because it’s impossible to believe that the man-child Leonardo would ever end up with Marion Cotillard. No, it doesn’t work because Nolan, like so many little-boy directors preoccupied with automatic rifles and explosions, has nothing believable to say about adult relationships. (The deepest romantic sentiment comes when Cobb asks Mal to marry him: he tells her he has a dream (!) that they will “grow old together.” Cue Spielberg-esque footage of a cute old couple shuffling along hand in hand.) (We even get a close-up of their old—but not too elderly and withered and liver-spotted—hands!)
This (besides all the dialogue) is the actual content of Inception. The folks who love this movie, who think it’s an instant classic, one of the all-time greats (right up there with Shawshank and The Usual Suspects!)—this is what they think great filmmaking is: scenes of casual slaughter. (What’s the body count in Inception? How many shots of death by bullet did Nolan have to plan and then execute in making this film? …Quite a lot.)
What so many folks really like about Inception, I’d argue—the reason why it’s currently #3 of all time at the IMDB, and has grossed $200+ million—is that this summer’s big dumb blockbuster has a whiff of intellectualism about it, so no one need feel any shame for liking all the ‘splosions
It saddens me to hear that it took Nolan ten years to write Inception, because, honestly, it’s just so terribly written. Some sample dialogue:
They come here to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise? She had locked something away, something deep inside her. The truth that she’d always known but chose to forget. Limbo became her reality. Do you think you can build a prison of memories to lock her in? We wanted to live in a house, but we loved this type of building. In the real world we’d have to choose, but not here.
I am so glad that I agree with such smart people about how stooooopid this movie was.
This is pretty cool though: