Well, I finally got around to seeing Inception last night. Took me long enough, I suppose, but hey!
I'll start this review by talking about some of the hype. Now, I don't normally trust hype, because only very rarely do things actually live up to it. I'd rather just go in with baseline expectations of enjoyment, and let the movie either impress or underwhelm me as it will. I find I enjoy watching movies more with that mindset.
Well, the hype surrounding this movie was hard to avoid. "Complicated" and "deep" were words I heard to describe the plot. People were making it out as if seeing the movie was a life-changing event; that it would be something to really make you think and ponder your existence.
I was a little wary of watching it, I suppose, because I didn't want to have to puzzle through a lot of difficult-to-figure out plot. "Complicated" did end up describing it, however, by the end, you pretty much know what's been going on. At first, you definitely can get the feeling that you're totally in the dark about what the heck is happening, but I was pretty satisfied with how much better you understand as the movie moves along. There are a lot of switches from character to character/timeline to timeline, so you sort of need to keep track, and some of the action is a bit manic and jumbled, but overall, I was comfortable with the level of complication to the plot. (And if you don't understand it, there are about a billion diagrams online you can look at to help.)
The movie has a sci-fi twist to it, and without giving too much away, I will note that they don't bother to explain it at all. This was fine by me. Instead of wasting time saying, "Well, nowadays, we can do this wacky magical thing!" they just make it obvious that this wacky magical thing IS possible in the world of the movie, and everyone just pretty much accepts it. It has its place in that fictional society, much like drugs and theft have their place in our own.
Now, let's get back to the hype. Deep? Life changing? I would not quite use either of those adjectives to describe Inception. While the plot was certainly complicated, that's not the same as being deep. This was a complex action movie. Because of that, also, I really couldn't say that I found this any more life-changing or thought-inducing than, say, The Matrix. Ok, so maybe you'll ponder things like, "Hmm, is this world real?" but that's not really a new idea.
Overall, I did really enjoy the movie for what it was! I thought it was a lot of fun, and though some of the action sequences seemed a bit crazy, it made sense for the context of the movie. The characters were pretty well done, though not absolutely amazing, perhaps. Leonardo DiCaprio's character, while not quite likable to me, was definitely an upgrade from his Man in the Iron Mask days. (Though he basically spent the whole movie bossing people around...)
So, if you want an action movie that will make you think a little bit more than normal-- if only to keep track of the details-- I'd check this one out. It's one I wouldn't mind watching again and owning.