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i hated inception (SPOILERS)

I hated Inception. I think Michelle Collins has a brief hate-view here that I agree with, but there’s not enough rage. I also liked this one a lot and which I found by googling “I hated Inception,” which I think is going to become part of my daily internet routine.

Obviously I am neither the first nor last to say it, but that last shot of the movie is infuriating. That god damn spinning top. That spinning top is not just a signal for Dom Cobb’s stasis in the dream world, but it’s a symbol of an entire sect of movie-making and movie-going that stupidly believes that a twist ending or an unhappy ending makes a smart movie. NEWSFLASH: it doesn’t.

When Cobb tells Ariadne about the continuously spinning top in the beginning (that’s what, thirty minutes in?) I went, “Oh, it’s going to end on the still spinning top, GOD DAMN IT, M. NIGHT CHRISTOPHER NOLAN.” and I got irritated enough to consider walking out. 1. Because I KNEW he was going to pull some bullshit (I DO NOT TRUST CHRISTOPHER NOLAN AT ALL). 2. Because that’s some serious bullshit. 3. BECAUSE YOU SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO DO THAT. EVER. But I thought, “No, man, don’t be that guy! Don’t walk out! This might still be cool!”

IT FUCKING WASN’T and I spent the rest of the time: hoping it wouldn’t end that way, hating Marion Cotillard (if there’s one thing Christopher Nolan really sucks at, it’s writing female characters. Dude has some Issues.), trying to remember things I actually liked so I could talk about those parts with people who actually liked it, getting irritated at how hard it was trying to be smart and edgy, staring at Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy and Ellen Page, wishing Batman would swoop in and kill everyone, resenting Christopher Nolan for having a career (even though I fucking LOVE The Prestige), wishing M. Night Shyamalan had never made The Sixth Sense, hoping for more Michael Caine, thinking about walking out, thinking about Harry Potter, thinking about how irritating hypnic jerks are, wanting to see Ellen Page topless, wishing I was watching Mysterious Skin or reruns of Third Rock From the Sun, wondering what I would use as my totem, thinking about a totem dildo, and wondering if catering served nothing but beans because it always looks like Leonardo DiCaprio is smelling a fart.

The ending is more than just frustrating though, it’s shitty. I’m not just talking about the people who think sad or twisted endings make movies instantly smart or good. Those people are the cause, I’m just talking about the symptom, about the FIVE MINUTES out of TWO AND A HALF HOURS at the end of the movie that negated every emotional or narrative connection the viewer has made with the story.

The spinning top marks irrefutably that at least some portion of the preceding events have been a dream (And it does, you would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise. He wakes up on the plane, clearly unaware of how he got there and then the top keeps spinning. Even if it wobbles, the viewer never gets the drop. There’s no getting around it.) Nolan is telling the audience that they must now disregard EVERYTHING THEY JUST WATCHED. They can speculate about which parts were real and which were not, where the lines drew and how it was shaped and that speculation can be fun and engaging and take a movie to an additional level, but that’s not how Inception feels.

Inception feels like Christopher Nolan jerked me off (and badly at that) for TWO AND A HALF HOURS then took a dump on my chest with the last shot and said, “Fuck you, thanks for the money, eat that shit.”

TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

I even stayed through the credits (I always do, but still.) LITERALLY CROSSING MY FINGERS that there would be a tag where the top fell. Fuck, god damn, I would’ve ejaculated mountain streams on the AMC carpet! I would have eaten Christopher Nolan’s shit.

But no. I found only more rage.

I won’t go into the rest of the movie’s failures — and oh are there many, characterization, effects, writing, dialogue, that god damn snowscapades bullshit where everyone is Alpine skiing from DANGER — because the ending is so god awful that I am willing to let everything else go.

In summary: there was some cool imagery — I was very, very into the concept and the way the dreamscape could be manipulated, even though it looked terrible 60% of the time, a couple of badass scenes — I thought the zero G sequence with Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the best part of the entire movie, and a totally bullshit ending.

Further: neither a “twist” nor an unhappy ending make a movie good.

Now I’m going to go have a lie down and think about the sequel I would write where Michael Caine orchestrated the dream world in order to give his son-in-law some peace and hope that in the inevitable nap-dream that will follow, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy will like to drink and smoke and tell dirty jokes.