But what Inception, which debuts in theatres on Friday, does have is Leonardo DiCaprio, Dark Knight director Chris Nolan and enough sharp thinking to sink the Titanic.
The big-budget, sci-fi film about a team of freelance dream thieves headed by DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb is no frothy teen dream populated by women in little clothing, men baring their six-pack abs, or robots bashing the pixels out of each other.
Instead, Nolan, who also wrote and produced Inception, plunges the audience into the murky and often disturbing depths of the subconscious mind, where anything goes but nothing is quite what it seems. In one harrowing scene, Cobb’s wife (Oscar winner Marion Cotillard) commits suicide in front of him! Or, is it all in Cobb’s deranged mind?
“I’ve always been fascinated with dreams, and with memory and perception, and I set out to explore those areas more in this film,” said Nolan, who first tackled such provocative themes in his low-budget thriller Memento.
Cobb is a thief, skilled in extracting valuable secrets from within people’s subconscious during their dreams. His rare ability has made him a coveted player in the world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive.
He takes one last job from a powerful businessman (Ken Watanabe) and to help, Cobb forms a group of dream thieves, including two played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page.
But this last job calls for planting an idea — instead of stealing one — in the mind of a rival businessman’s son, and the thieves’ plan soon unravels with dangerous consequences.
Well-known for his visual flair in films like Batman Begins and Dark Knight, Nolan pulled out all the stops on Inception to bring his dreamscape to life.
“I wanted to keep audiences guessing about exactly what’s going on,” Nolan said.
And he’s not kidding. Early reviews have, for the most part, been positive, yet few critics seem able to fully explain the movie.