“Extractor” Leonardo DiCaprio who specialises in invading the dreams of others for the purpose of industrial espionage is recruited by an industrialist to “persuade” the heir of a competitor to dissolve his father’s company.
Christopher Nolan once more produces a mind-bending concept for a genre spanning thriller that is sci-fi, spy thriller and heist movie in equal measure. The alternate reality based structure and gravity defying action scenes are very Matrix-like, the concept rather like Dreamscape – an old Dennis Quaid vehicle with an intriguing concept as Nolan no doubt recognised that was unfortunately compromised by 1980’s cheese – and execution rather like that of Minority Report. As such I didn’t think it was quite as original as everyone else seems to but it is done with considerable style and intelligence and is never guilty of dumbing down for the audience. By the end, the multi-layered story is a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream, each with not only their own timeline but timescale too, but thanks to Nolan’s sure-footed direction it is still relatively easy to follow. The cast are all very watchable, DiCaprio once again proving that he is one of the most versatile leading men around and there are some absolutely eye-popping visuals. My only gripe is that the core of the story centred on DiCaprio’s personal problems rather than the more interesting heist thread, meaning that the twist is fairly predictable – by his standards at least – and at times it did feel to me that he was being clever for the sole sake of being clever.
It is supremely entertaining however and I felt that it finished in the perfect way.