The science fiction thriller, "Inception" is the most talked about movie of the summer so far. I don't think it's as good as its fans insist it is, but at the same time I don't think it's as bad as its detractors claim. It's got patches of brilliance that make it worth seeing.
The film is based on an ingenious concept: Leonardo DiCaprio plays an "extractor," a man who makes his living by inserting himself into a person's dreams to plant ideas or steal secrets.
Unfortunately, this fascinating concept is almost wasted on a convoluted story about trying to break up a big corporation.
"You create the world of the dream. You then bring the subject into that dream and they fill it with their secrets," Di Caprio tells a future colleague played by Ellen Page.
Page is an architect. DiCaprio wants her to design dreams they can use to get deep into the subconscious of a man who's about to inherit a huge company. There his team will plant the idea of breaking up that company.
It's a very clever premise, but its execution is so complicated you may feel that you need to see the film twice just to understand exactly what happened.
Many fans of "Inception" are doing just that while its critics say the movie's not worth another two and a half hours in a theater.
I'm somewhere in the middle. I was fascinated by elements of "Inception," but overall I found it to be an extremely loud, overstuffed action film with a story line so convoluted that I couldn't always follow what was happening especially when it turns out that sometimes we're watching a dream within a dream within another dream.
Still, it was fun to try to keep up with this film and to watch some of the amazing effects used to show how a dreamer can control his dream.
There's also a dark love story. Marion Cotillard plays DiCaprio's dead wife who now appears in the dreams and tries to sabotage his work. But the love story almost too tragic for a movie that's otherwise so entertaining.
Director Christopher Nolan who made "Memento" and "Dark Knight," is obviously a talented filmmaker who's worth watching even when he uses a huge budget to go way over the top. But once was enough for me.