"Inception" gives fans a movie to think about

Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:23pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - What's wrong with this picture? The summer season's biggest buzz movie has no robots, no vampires, no aliens, no toys, or no comic book characters in iron suits.

And it's not even in 3D!

But what "Inception," which debuts in theaters on Friday, does have is Leonardo DiCaprio, "Dark Knight" director Chris Nolan and enough sharp thinking to sink the Titanic.

The big-budget, sci-fi film about a team of freelance dream thieves headed by DiCaprio's Dom Cobb is no frothy teen dream populated by women in little clothing, men baring their six-pack abs, or robots bashing the pixels out of each other.

Instead, Nolan, who also wrote and produced "Inception," plunges the audience into the murky and often disturbing depths of the subconscious mind, where anything goes but nothing is quite what it seems.

In one harrowing scene, Cobb's wife (Oscar winner Marion Cotillard) commits suicide in front of him! Or, is it all in Cobb's deranged mind?

"I've always been fascinated with dreams, and with memory and perception, and I set out to explore those areas more in this film," said Nolan, who first tackled such provocative themes in his low-budget thriller, "Memento."

Cobb is a thief, skilled in extracting valuable secrets from within people's subconscious during their dreams. His rare ability has made him a coveted player in the world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive.   Continued...

<p>Leonardo DiCaprio attends the premiere of "Inception" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>