“Inception” is desperately close to being a great film without ever quite making the final sacrifice required to complete the jump. The fatal flaw that keeps it languishing in the “merely very good” category lies in its inability to abandon the James Bond action sequences in favor of a little more heart and soul.
Visually, the movie is stunning. Despite the labyrinthine plot and huge scale, “Inception” manages to juggle everything to give audiences a clear and riveting narrative. I never felt overwhelmed by the excess. Director, Christopher Nolan, takes a lot of credit for not delivering a cinematic mess.
If Nolan had humbled himself a little and done away with the majority of the purposeless snow chase sequence and replaced it with more of the emotionally powerful scenes involving the central couple (Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard) – well, perhaps then I would have truly cared about this film, rather than admiring its skill from arm’s length. “Inception” teases us with grand emotion, only to yank it away in a sea of CGI and spine crushing bass notes. It is technically brilliant, but emotionally stunted… a very worthwhile watch, but an ever so mild case of what might have been.