There are lots of pretty great things about Inception, but then, there are also a lot of really pretty awful things about it too. In the spirit of the film I have constructed a giant set of scales. These scales are enormous, each side is bigger than the observable universe, and within each is all of everything. You read that correctly, on each side of the scales is every known, and unknown piece of matter, anti-matter, cat, steam train, robot life form from another planet, absolutely everything. Everything, that is, except the good and bad things about Inception. At the moment, all of everything is reproduced on each side of my meta-cosmic scale, so it is perfectly in balance, we’ll start adding some things and tipping it one way or the other. I am adding amazing special effects to the plus side of the scale. It is so finely balanced just this one tiny addition causes all of everything to come crashing down, the all of everything on the minus side is launched skyward, coming to rest with the scale firmly tipped in favor of Inception being a good film. There is a caveat though, we need to add the fact that the special effects are often so derivative, mostly of the Matrix, that they are not that mind blowing at all. What is the point of special effects if they are not mind blowing? No one can answer that. The scale tips back slightly. The acting is great too, that’s a huge weight on the left of my scale. Then, we come to the storyline. A storyline so self-consciously complicated it is almost akin to creating a giant meta-cosmic-super scale and weighing filmic concepts on each side. A storyline that, in fact, shouldn’t be complicated at all. It boils down to ‘These people can go into dreams and all that’. It’s a playground fantasy gone completely over the top. The thing is with playground fantasies is that they should really stay in the playground, or drunken conversations in the pub, those two contexts are the only places where the ‘what would you do if you were invisible/could stop time/could go in peoples dreams’ conversations should happen. This is not multi million pound movie territory – because it’s bloody stupid. I have put it on the scale, it has not fully taken back the advantage from the ‘Inception is a good movie’ side, but it’s getting pretty close. The only reason the stupid storyline didn’t weigh more is because there are millions of stupid movies with stupid storylines which are absolutely brilliant. It does mean that we have to return to that amazing acting though. It is perhaps, a bit too amazing, a little too deadpan, cares just a bit too much about trying to make its stupid premise believable. I came to watch worlds get folded in half and mildly derivative special effects, not heartfelt conversations about the sub-conscious…which have no basis in the reality of what we know about our psychological make up at all. I am taking acting out of the plus side of the scale, and with that, the balance is tipped. The mega-complicated-meta-cosmic-super-metaphor-scale dictates: Inception is a worse movie than it is a good one.

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