I have never liked Christopher Nolan a whole lot. Memento was fun, and I could relate to it, Insomnia was…. Okay, and I really enjoyed The Prestige. But that was back in the mid-2000’s. I hated Inception, I hated The Dark Knight and didn’t even bother with the others. I have always been one of those people who doesn’t rag on the guy, but if asked would say, ‘he is alright, but massively overrated’. I always honestly believed that, and I still despise Inception and his Batman movies.
It would seem then, that Christopher Nolan and to a lesser extent his brother have taken a leap into the unknown, into the different, and have created something that is simultaneously unique, beautiful, epic. This needs to be seen in a cinema. There simply should not be another way to view this movie.
I thought I was seeing things at first, but there was a noticable amount of scenes that looked extreeeeemly familiar. Honestly, there were some scenes that looked as if they were lifted almost verbatim from 2001… but done in a different, slightly inferior way. This isn’t to suggest the movie looks terrible at all, but being so similar to 2001 visually, it somehow just doesn’t seem to look as good as it actually is. Which is to say, it looks very, very good. Stunning. But, this film comes closer to any other film I can recall that steps over that line of influence into a grey area, somewhat ripping off numerous techniques/styles from a single movie. I would prefer a director using that influence, then combining that with his imagination, to create something ENTIRELY visually unique rather than a film that – at times – looks extremely similar to one of the truly great looking films.
All that said though, it did look incredible. Jaw-dropping. There is no doubting that. Stunning isn’t enough, it looked dare I say it, ground-breaking? Not to mention I really think the similarities to Kubrick’s techniques were entirely unnecessary. Though there were some scenes that looked like long lost takes or a remaster from 2001, for the most part, this film looked un-fucking–believable AND unique. The obvious ‘homages’, let’s say, are there; but they are outnumbered by far by the rest of the movie, which looks nothing like anything I have ever seen before. I was in awe. I can’t think of the perfect adjective to describe how the looks of this film blew me right out of the cinema. It is fucking great and filled with tension and exploration of ideas that go far beyond the realm of science-fiction, ranging from the main theme to studying aspects of humanity, such as family, love, what defines a hero, I could go on but I don’t want to spoil this movie by spelling it out. It is here where the film masterfully plays two separate stories side-by-side, creating a unique sense of tension that is something I have never seen before.
Kudos I think must go to Nolan. It isn’t often that a blockbuster film has such scope and potential to be a unique and truly great film. I think it took some balls for Nolan to make this. For a multi-god-knows-how-many-dollar-film, it is truly one of a kind. Its scope is massive and it achieves what it sets out to do almost entirely. The final act falls down a bit, but there were so many moments of extreme tension, while still looking amazing, that I wasn’t bothered at all.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this at all. What I feel like I have seen is something never done before. Almost. It feels so incredibly different to any major film released in the last 15 years. One last thing this shares with 2001, arguably, is that they both are incredibly unique, visually astounding movies that permeate the ‘mainstream’ society/consciousness. Kudos again to Nolan, great fucking job and what a giant set of balls to make such an ambitious movie – without his Batman franchise to fall back on no less!
I never thought I would give it this score but I have honestly been typing and retyping this for hours, the movie is replaying itself over and over in my head. The only real places it falls down are in the score, which I found a bit generic and certainly not an OST I’d run out to buy, and arguably the final act loses the momentum that has been built up previous. The inoffensive humour that is accessible to a massive array of people didn’t click for me, though there wasn’t much of it. I understand why that sort of humour is used, makes total sense… But really not my thing. In saying that though, again, there were few moments like this.
A generic soundtrack and a small amount of humour that didn’t gel with me hardly counters a revolutionary movie with revolutionary looks and ideas/concepts. A movie that touches on what feels like every classic theme from every classic movie, mixed with obvious modern influence. It may have minor flaws, but the massive scope and pure effort to create such a multi-faceted movie, a blockbuster title no less, is insane. I haven’t liked Nolan at all until today. Now I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
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