Leo DiCaprio can go into people’s heads and steal secrets or change their actions by entering their dreams.
There are SPOILERS here, although truly, if you have seen the trailers or heard ANYONE talk about it, you already know the big woo-woo surprise.
This got huge buzz. Intelligent! Brilliant! A mind-bender! said the critics and ads. I wanted to see it in the theater but didn’t get a chance. I got it from netflix. It sat on the shelf. Finally we said, okay, let’s watch it, it’ll be fun.
Oh my god. What an overhyped over-adulated piece of meh.
Now, Maid-of-Awesome had just gotten done showing us the latest season of South Park on DVD, and one of the episodes was the SP parody of this movie. Do you want to see this? Maid-of-Awesome said, you haven’t seen the movie, and it kind of gives it away. Sure, I said, we’ve heard so much about it we pretty much know what’s going on anyway. And the episode was pretty damn funny.
A few days later we sat down to watch it. And seriously? I was ready to like it.
I mean, DiCaprio is by no means a honey, but he’s a good actor. There are a lot of good people in this movie. The production values and f/x are great.
Then we saw the writer’s name. Christopher Nolan. Hm.
We vividly remember The Prestige, which was awful. But he wrote Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which were good. Hm. This is sounding like Darren Aronofsky, who veers wildly between very good and truly awful.
But we were still hoping it would be good.
And we kept hoping that til about half an hour into the movie, when it became obvious that all that was going to happen was that the plot would get more and more intricate while the writer pointed at the screen and yelled in our ears, See that? Aren’t I clever? You can’t figure this out, can you? See? See how much smarter than you I am? I’m so cool!
Well, Mr. Nolan, let me set you straight on that.
You are not smarter than we are (the moviegoing public). Um, wait, considering what the MP go to see, let me amend that: You are not smarter than we are chez Otter.
Having a ‘dream within a dream’ thing is okay, but you need ACTUAL PLOT AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT to go along with it or it’s just a gimmick.
Ditto cool special effects. They are cool. They add to the fun, but they do not replace the aforementioned plot and character development (also known as GOOD WRITING.)
Having them go ONE MORE LEVEL (four, by my count) into this whole thing does not count as either plot OR character development. And when the movie got there, I rolled my eyes and said, really? This is the huge plot twist that everyone said amazed them and made it the best movie ever? they just go one more level down in what they’re doing already? That was so not astonishing, intellectually challenging or even interesting, really.
We thought (even with all the great explosions and special effects) that this whole movie was one big yawn. Seriously, if you have to see it, do it for free if you can.