What is the most resilient parasite? An idea.

November 2, 2010

I apologize for this review being so late. I’ve mentioned too many times on this blog that being out on my own has its perks, but going to the movies is a rare treat. So hurrah, cheap theaters with second runs of films!

So, we watch the trailer and the idea of the movie planted into our minds. It’s radical enough to peak our curiosity. So we give some money to go into the theater and we passively observe. We laugh at the human moments, we are amazed by visuals and we follow along with the story. And, then we leave and discuss the movie with our friends, overhear other people’s reactions, and come to our own personal conclusions.

To begin with, the idea is wonderful. The visuals are wonderful as well, but after a point they become cliche and eventually meaningless. CGI here, green screen there. Slow motion here, there, everywhere.

And then, it gets simple. The mission is completed and the main character goes home. Hollywood ending.

Is that it? Well, yes and no, depending on your perspective. You see, this movie came out in the middle of summer, so for a middle of summer adventure, it’s really good. For a movie seen after the summer due to financial problems, it isn’t so good. I mean, it’s enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. But this is a Christopher Nolan movie. For those in the know, we’re talking the guy who made Memento. For those just going to big Hollywood movies, we’re talking the guy who made the Dark Knight.

While I think Batman Begins is way better than The Dark Knight, think about scenes in the Dark Knight. Especially the bank robbery at the beginning. Masks, robbers shooting robbers so the exchange-of-hands is lost. And, finally it gets to the Joker, who is driving a school bus and goes right into school bus traffic – there is no way the cops will find him.

If Nolan spent half as much energy as he put into that one scene of The Dark Knight into Inception, it would have been so much more wonderful. If he put a third as much energy as he put into Memento, it would have been wonderful.

This isn’t to discourage anyone from seeing it. It’s very good for what it wants to do. But for Christopher Nolan, we’ve come to expect more.

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