Droid drops a deuce – Inception and Predators
Who is responsible for this? Written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins) is an action/thriller/heist flick starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Tom Berenger.
What’s it all about? Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a thief, specialising in corporate espionage. The difference is that he steals information directly from the victims mind. He and his team are hired by Saito (Watanabe) to do something that is supposedly impossible. Instead of taking information from someone, he must place it in their head. This process is called Inception, and has only been done once before.
Is it any good? Yes, it’s very, very good. This is a film I think will reward a second viewing, because it’s quite complicated. There is a lot of exposition (slightly too much if you ask me), but the information is well layered throughout the film. All the performances are excellent, particularly Ken Watanabe. Ellen Page’s character is a little too much of an audience surrogate during the films first hour, but it’s necessary for explaining the immense detail of the complicated story. The action is brilliantly filmed, with the most exciting set piece involving JGL in zero gravity. ‘Inception’ reminded me quite a bit of ‘The Matrix’, in terms of the heroes being able to infiltrate and manipulate a world that can alter at a moments notice, as well as wage war within the confines of the mind. But what sets this apart from that film, what I think is it’s strongest asset, is that all the characters had their important role to play. It’s an ensemble film, with each individual playing their part for the plan to be successful. It didn’t just come down to
Neo Leo going to work cracking skulls while the others looked into a computer monitor and ooh’d and aah’d.
Essentially the plot boils down to a two and a half hour therapy session dealing with grief and guilt, but it’s brilliantly handled and about half way through I began to suspect the reality of the situation. But just when I thought I was mistaken the film ends on a note of ambiguity in which it could go either way.
The special effects are superb and the editing and score are terrific. ‘Inception’ whips by and before you know it those two and a half hours are behind you.
Recommended? Definitely. This is the best film of 2010 thus far and it demands the big screen experience. I’ll be seeing it again before it leaves theatres.
Who is responsible for this? Produced by Robert Rodriguez, directed by Nimród Antal and starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, and Derek Mears.
What’s it all about? A random group of Earths deadliest are dumped onto a planet as game for a trio of next gen Predators and their Predadogs.
Is it any good? No. It’s utter shit. ‘Predators’ begins awkwardly and never recovers. Royce (Brody) awakens in freefall, his parachute opens and he crashes to the ground. Then all around him land others. The dialogue as they try to figure out where they are and why is shamefully awkward and doesn’t get much better. One of the biggest problems with this film lay in it’s earnest dedication the the brilliant original. It fell into the ‘Superman Returns’ trap of emulation and endless referencing. But while ‘Predator’ was above all else a perfectly paced action thriller, this film plods along going nowhere before a brief action sequence mildly spices things up. Rinse and repeat. ‘Predators’ is a film we’ve seen many times before, only much better. The film even takes a scene right from last years surprisingly good ‘Pandorum’. The other big problem with ‘Predators’ is that it looks cheap. It was only made for $40 million but when you consider the achievements of films like ‘District 9′, or ‘Daybreakers’ which were both made for much less and contained more, there really is no excuse. Director Nimrod Antal builds no tension whatsoever, and after last years similarly boring ‘Armoured’, I’ve got no interest in seeing another one of his films. Adrien Brody is totally miscast as the mercenary super soldier and really needs to do everyone a favour and stay away from sci-fi.
Recommended? No. Not at all. I wouldn’t even recommend this for a rental. Just rewatch the original masterpiece and stay happy.