I think the reason Inception went over so well this weekend (to the tune of $61 million) is because it works on multiple levels. And if you’ve seen the movie, no – that is not a pun.

Inception has both visceral and intellectual thrills. I think you can figure out that comic-Tom is probably responding to the former rather than the latter. But for real-life Tom, I found myself thoroughly engrossed by all of the film’s many facets.

Inception is the rare Hollywood blockbuster that rewards you for having an attention span longer than 5 minutes. There’s a lot going on in this movie – some high-concept stuff. But it never treats the audience like idiots and leaves a pretty clear trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow as it establishes the rules at play in its universe.

At it’s core, Inception is a heist movie and I love how they gave each of the players a specific role – The Point Man, The Chemist, The Architect, etc. Everyone is sharply dressed in elegant suits and form-fitting vests as they trot around the globe on personal jets for high-profile and dangerous clients.

Incidentally, Christopher Nolan has expressed an interest in directing a James Bond movie. After watching Inception, I say LET HIM!

A few things that crossed my mind while watching Inception:

  • The weightless fight sequence in the hotel hallway succinctly and authoritatively spit in the eye of Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski and everything they accomplished with The Matrix.
  • The physical prowess Joseph Gordon-Levitt displays in that sequence puts his Donald O’Connor homage from hosting Saturday Night Live last year in a completely different context. If I could find a clip right now, I’d be sharing it.
  • Between Inception and Shutter Island, Leonard DiCaprio (or “Leo-Dio,” as I like to call him) has delivered two fascinating portraits of broken family men wrestling with their subconscious. Maybe it was the suits, but for some reason, I kept thinking of Jimmy Stewart’s performance in Vertigo while watching DiCaprio in Inception. I think when The Academy puts together his inevitable lifetime achievement reel, people are going to look back to this time as the height of his power.
  • Lastly, I don’t want to say too much about the ending. But I have to share it was probably one of the best audience reactions I’ve heard in theater in a long time.

So, what about you guys? Did you see Inception over the weekend? What did you think? Leave your comments below and let’s see if we can untangle the Christmas lights this movie left behind in our brains, shall we?

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