Christopher Nolan has a knack for making complicated movies seem effortless. His grasp of plot & story is second to none and he may be one of the most intelligent filmmakers working today. You only have to look at his short, 7 movie filmography to realise this.
To then have to follow up a worldwide phenomenon like The Dark Knight is no mean feat. Many directors would have crumbled under pressure and suffered at their own hand, turning out a mediocre next movie, forever to be remembered for their past glories. Thankfully, Nolan has done the complete opposite and in some ways, dare I say it, I almost prefer Inception to TDK.
What Nolan and his team have achieved with Inception is extraordinary. The concept in it's rawest form - entering the dream space of other people - is simple and has been touched on before - The Matrix, Dark City & the classic Dreamscape - but the way it is handled here takes it to the next level.
The next three levels, actually.
To go into too much detail would be criminal, much like the movie's protaganists, but suffice to say, if you think you know Inception from seeing the trailer, you are grossly mistaken.
The cast is fantastic too. I've never been a big fan of DiCaprio but, as has been said elsewhere, there are very few - if any - actors of his generation who could pull off a performace like this. I can't wait to watch Inception as a double-bill with Shutter Island.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also surprisingly good. Having seen him most recently in (500) Days of Summer, I had him pegged as a rom com kinda guy yet here he has transformed into a brooding action hero and features in the films most impressive, and memorable, sequence that will literally set your head spinning. Tom Hardy is a genuine highlight - his take on Eames, the dapper, intelligent rogue with a very good aim, provides most of the humour.
Visually it's a marvel and it's very easy to assume that anything out of the ordinary in modern movies (and there's a LOT of out of the ordinary stuff going on here) is achieved with CG. Nolan is a master of his craft and knows when to use practical sets and techniques. It really does add a weight to the film and it's here that the movie really shines.
Hans Zimmer - working here with Nolan for the third time after the Batman installments - has created the perfect audio accompaniment. From the deafening horn blasts to the subtle underlying pulse to accentuate tension, the synergy it creates with the visuals is unparalleled.
Inception is a modern masterpiece. A labyrinthine experience that by it's very nature, deserves repeat viewing and will no doubt be hailed as a classic for years to come.