After just writing about the fact that I haven’t been to a movie for ages, I went last night to see Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. I was out an about Hanoi yesterday with my good friend Pete. We tired to squeeze as much into our Saturday as we could. After I finished my half day of work (seriously – should be a crime to work on Saturdays), we went and bought out movie tickets and then did a little shopping. I was happy to find and purchase a new phone, getting up to speed with the iPhone 3Gs (the 4G is over $1000 -can’t do). It was about time I had a proper phone! This is my first iPhone and within minutes, I was in love.
By the time I made my first test call to Pete, it was about 2:30pm and so we walked to his favorite place, The Metropole. High Tea starts at 3:00pm and so we opted to enjoy the occasion. I was sold the minute I learned there was a chocolate buffet. But you can read about that HERE.
By the time we finished tea and goofing around with our iGadgets (we tend to play any number of games of Angry Birds on his iPad), it was time to head to the theater. Movie tickets in Vietnam are cheap, thanks goodness. And with just 70,000VND comes your selection of seats. I like this concept tremendously.
Neither Pete nor I had read any reviews or even the plot or concept of the film. All we knew was that it was a thriller. Imagine my surprise when the film began in Japan and Ken Watanabe came on the screen. Woo hoo! So I sat back and relaxed and was willing to let this movie take me for a ride.
Let me just say that I like movies that mess with your head a little bit. I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I even loved a much less noticed What Dreams May Come. When I was a kid, Nightmare on Elm Street scared the bejeebers out of me so much, I was afraid to go to sleep for a few nights for fear that what might happen in my dreams would happen in real life. That spurred many “Have you ever died in your dreams?” conversations with my schoolmates. So at the movies, I am more than happy to surrender reality and let my mind wander into new territory. It is fun and that’s what we go to the movies for…to be told a story and enter a parallel world for a few hours.
Inception was great in concept, but the execution of the plot fell way short of good. There was not a significant enough reason to actually commit “inception.” Some of the sequences were long and tedious…that white van falling, Cobb spending so much valuable time saying goodbye to his wife, and while a cool visual, the zero-gravity kick preparation. And the ending? Give me a break. Without ruining it for those who haven’t seen it…can we get a little more original?
So at the end of the day, films like Usual Suspects or Seven (both of which coincidentally star Kevin Spacey…hmm…), Memento, or even classics like Vertigo, are far better at making me think about the movie long after I’ve left the theater. Even Ocean’s 11 and 13 were a little more witty and clever.
The sad thing about a movie like this that it has such great potential with a fabulous cast, great art direction, visual effects and a relatively unique concept. But instead of staying intelligent, it looses its way with unnecessary violence, James Bond-esque stunt scenes and a sub plot that doesn’t truly enhance the main theme.
Am I glad I saw it? Of course. I was happy to go to the movies and see a film like that on the big screen. But it is one that I do not plan to add to my DVD collection once it’s in the shops here. Once was enough for me.