Friday, August 6, 2010

Inception lacks stakes

Despite the impressive effects and decent acting, Christopher Nolan's script for Inception lacks a fundamental requirement:  what's at stake?

Watching the film, I couldn't help thinking that he'd been told this, so he lathered on some dialogue to justify Sato's desire to break up his rival's company - "they'll control the world's energy!" and more dialogue to motivate Dobb - "you'll get to go home".  But this is the clumsiest and least effective way of achieving something so basic and important to screenplays.  I never believe what a character says.  It's what a character DOES that matters.  So injecting stakes by dialogue doesn't convince.

Ultimately, the concept of entering dreams is interesting and impressively achieved, thanks to the effects, but I never stopped wondering why are we bothering?  Why do we care?  In the end, I didn't.

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