Release date: About two weeks ago
Inception, the latest film by the guy who made Batman boring, has been referred to as the cinematic equivalent of ketamine. And this is certainly true, in that it has a storyline so mind-numbingly convoluted, drawn-out and tedious it could put any large mammal to sleep for several hours; the bulbous man sat two rows in front of me in the cinema was splayed out like a heavily sedated walrus after just an hour-long dose.
The film centres around a troubled man called Dom Cobb, played by Leo DiCaprio, and his sidekick Arthur, played by Alan Shearer dressed in his Match of the Day suit, who are corporate Freddy Kruegers, entering dreams and turning them into a cross between a Bond film and an Orange mobile phone advert. The premise is that a Japanese businessman, Saito, hires the pair to enter a rival’s unconscious mind and deceptively implant some destructive ideas. They hire an architect, played by the little bratty girl from Juno, to ensure the dreams are more like a Renault Espace advert, but Cobb keeps getting stuck in a Nescafe Gold Blend advert that is etched into his subconscious. After another camp Bond dream involving ski slopes and white camouflage, they end up in a Guinness advert, then they all wake up – or do they?
Once you get past the inanity of the film’s plot, there are still a number of irksome issues. I have nothing against “authentic” indigenous people in Hollywood films, but the actor playing Saito has about as much legible English as Shane MacGowan after a six-month-long bender. Surely they could have got someone to, as they say in the industry, “yellow up” for the role. It’s a shame Steven Seagal was busy playing a black sheriff in American comedy series Lawman, as he would’ve been perfect. Secondly, the inclusion of Cobb’s dead wife, who troubles every dream he creates, has little other purpose than to add in some flimsy emotional depth to the film. I’m sick of stories involving dead wives, and I’m sure both DiCaprio and director Christopher Nolan must be too; Leo had one in his previous film, Shutter Island, and Nolan has directed three features involving deceased female spouses in his seven-film career.
It’s not all bad though. Pete Postlethwaite can overact his way through the smallest amount of lines, but luckily here he’s stuck in bed with half a word to stutter incoherently, before soon dying. It’s just a shame the rest of the cast didn’t follow his lead shortly after.