Note: This post contains a portion of a review originally written for CaryCitizen. To read the full review, click here.
There is a two-minute sequence in Inception that I’m convinced will one day be viewed with respect to Christopher Nolan the way Psycho’s classic “shower scene” is treated in relation to Hitchcock.
It is a scene so inventive, so brilliantly edited, so jaw-droppingly cool that both times I saw the film, the audience I was with could only respond with stunned silence.
When it was over, it took all my resolve not to stand up and start applauding the sheer audacity of what I had just witnessed. The only thought my brain could produce was an echo of a line from The Matrix, when its protagonist can only stare dumbfounded at the feats he’s witnessed and respond: “Whoa.”
It’s been two years since Christopher Nolan stunned audiences with The Dark Knight, which went on to become one of the few films to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box-office. It was one of those rare cases where commercial success was matched almost equally by critical acclaim, with many asserting his brooding take on the superhero genre deserved a Best Picture nomination.
While he had long been noticed by film buffs and none of his films had been box-office or critical failures, it was the overwhelming success of The Dark Knight that would make Christopher Nolan a household name – at least as much as most directors can hope to be. It’s no surprise, then, that Warner Bros. would do everything in its power to keep him happy, lest he refuse to return to direct the as-yet-untitled Batman 3, even if it meant giving him nearly $200 million to direct an original script about dream invasion in the meantime.
And thank God they did. Though it’s far from a perfect film, Inception has more creativity pulsing through its first 20 minutes than most films do in their entire runtime, and emerges as a breath of fresh air amidst this year’s batch of mostly-unspectacular mainstream cinema fare.