This year’s biggest summer blockbuster, Inception, would have made a good episode of the Twilight Zone – the original half-hour version. Yes, like most big action summer movies, Inception is bloated and self-congratulatory, so impressed with its own coolness it forgets being cool isn’t enough – you still have to tell an engaging story. And there-in lies Inception’s biggest flaw, it’s boring. BORING. Watching Inception is like watching somebody else play a multi-shooter video game, mildly engaging to start, but quickly yawn inducing.
It’s not that I didn’t get Inception’s story of dream invasion. Anybody who has ever read a Phillip K. Dick short story, will quickly pick up on the overly convoluted, exposition heavy, always twisting back on itself, multi-layered nonsense. The concept is fine, but a concept isn’t a story, nor does a concept in and of itself provide characters to care about.
There wasn’t a single character in Inception with enough depth to make them anything more than cardboard cut outs. Inception is all about concept and flashy CGI, and at two hours and twenty minutes long there’s no there there.
All of Inception’s main characters spend the last half of the film worried about not making it back from the dream world and ending up in limbo – which is the level of dream hell where viewers are placed for most of the film.
It isn’t that Inception is too smart, it’s that Inception isn’t smart enough.