Inception opens in theaters this weekend and by now you’ve probably heard that it’s good, really good. Yet having seen it, as a Sci-Fi fan, I think I’m ready to take that one step even further. It’s good enough that I’m ready to start considering it for a place among some of the all-time greats. Inception gets what great science fiction movies are supposed to be about. It’s a story full of big ideas, ideas so big that science fiction was really the only way to convey them and they play out perfectly.
Here’s 5, simply distilled reasons you may be ready to declare it one of the greatest science fiction movies ever filmed, after you see it this weekend. Make sure you buy a ticket.
Inception Is All New
The science fiction movie is alive and well in Hollywood but let’s face it, mostly it’s kept alive by sequels and comic book adaptations. While fresh science fiction ideas thrive in print, they’re a rare thing in the film industry. Yet Inception dares to be original. It’s a movie based on a completely original idea and presented in a completely original way by one of the most original, big-budget filmmakers on the planet. It’s not derivative of anything else or a remake or a retread or a redo or a borrowed concept. It’s fresh and it’s something you’ve never seen on screen before.
By itself this doesn’t a great sci-fi movie make, but if you have it, it helps. Inception’s brilliantly subtle special effects are a mix of practical and computer generated wizardry and the result is utter realism even in the face of a hallway sent spinning by anti-gravity. Hans Zimmer’s score is unlike any other, and it propels you through the film pulsating and blasting horns at all the right moments until it feels as if you’re falling into a dream of your own. Inception is a visually and aurally stimulating experience as much as it’s a mental one. It’s a complete and total package.
Inception Believes In You
Inception assumes you’re smart. More often than not, modern movies spell everything out for you because, well, they’ve seen how bad our schools are. The average Hollywood blockbuster is written at an eighth grade level because it believes most of the people in its audience simply aren’t up to the task of handling anything dense. But Inception dares to be smart and, without pause, assumes you’ll be smart enough to go along with it. Critics have worried that moviegoers might not be able to keep up with it, but Inception believes in its audience.
Inception Takes Sci-Fi Beyond Technology
Great science fiction is about more than technology. In fact great science fiction isn’t about technology at all. In its finest form science fiction fires the imagination, explores the depth of man’s soul, and connects on a deeply human level. Technology and science and futuristic mumbo jumbo is there, but only as a part of telling the story not as the focus of it. Inception takes that notion of what great Sci-Fi should be and, while it is a movie in which people use science to invade dreams, it’s not a movie about the technology used to make that happen. In fact, the where, how and why of the movie’s premise is barely addressed at all. It’s simply one of the tools used by director Chris Nolan to tell a story which delves into the inner workings of the human brain and wonders why we are who we are.
Inception Is More Than A Movie
One of the side effects of making a science fiction movie about more than technology, if it’s done right, is that it sticks with you. If you’re lucky, it even changes you. Inception is the kind of movie that makes you question your own reality. Remember that feeling you had the first time you saw The Matrix when you walked out of the theater and really wondered, if only for a second, if the reality in which you lived was truly real. For a split second it felt as though you were in The Matrix, surrounded by lines of code, with the real world somewhere just out of reach. Inception’s like that, and more. While watching it at times it feels as though you’re in a dream and when you leave you’ll do so not only questioning whether or not the things you see around you are projections of your subconscious, but questioning the way the experiences of your life have shaped you to become who you are. Inception attempts to unlock the secrets of the human mind and in the process it comes very close to defining who and what we are.