So I'm off to see Inception tonight, and will no doubt be reviewing it very soon. Before I do so, however, I thought I might give all of you a little preview of my thoughts going into this movie. Not about the movie, as such, but more about its Director, Christopher Nolan...
Christopher Nolan’s newest movie, Inception, has received nothing but praise from audiences and critics alike since its release a few weeks ago. It has risen to #3 on the Internet Movie Database’s list of the top 250 films (a list that Trailer Park Boys is curiously absent from, despite having an average rating of 8.1), and is being talked about by damn near everyone. But I’m still not sure it’s going to live up to the hype.
Now, it’s no secret that I disliked The Dark Knight, despite the fact that almost everyone else I’ve mentioned this to thinks I’m an idiot for saying so, and it may seem like I’m getting ready to hate on Inception based solely on my dislike for Nolan’s last film, without even giving his newest offering a chance. But the fact is, Nolan does have a real problem with his movies, despite the fact that I seem to be the only person on Earth to have even noticed this (just like how I seem to be the only non film student who realises the violence in David Cronenburg’s movies isn’t at all ‘realistic’ just because it’s graphic; but is in fact heavily stylized). And that problem is this: the endings of his movies NEVER make sense.
Oh, don’t believe me? Well, let’s see, shall we?
The ending to this one is actually pretty cool, and was a nice twist. Hell, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it turned out M. Night Shayamalan wrote this movie (Though I was surprised when I learnt he wrote Stuart Little), because I can imagine people saying “ooh! What a twist!” whilst watching it. But it doesn’t make sense: Larry discovers that his wife survived the attack, and that the story he had been telling everyone about Sammy killing his diabetic wife was actually his own story – fine, I get that. It’s cool. Then we have the fact that his wife’s attacker is already dead, and that Teddy in fact helped Larry find the guy, and that Larry was the one who killed him. Again, nicely done, I’m loving this shit. But this is where it gets dodgy. Larry finds out the guy he’s just killed was some drug dealer Teddy wanted off the streets, and that Teddy has been using him all along, playing on the fact that Larry wants revenge for a crime that he can’t avenging already, and using this to get Larry to take care of people he wants dead. Larry isn’t happy about this, but Teddy points out that it gives Larry’s life a purpose; his hunt for the killers is the only thing that’s keeping Larry going. Larry is mad and wants revenge on Teddy, so decides to set him up as the next victim in the hunt for his wife’s attacker, and leaves himself clues to find Teddy, knowing he will kill him once he has followed all the clues.
Now, let’s think about this for a second. Larry sets Teddy up to be his next victim as revenge for Teddy using him. But why does he do this? If Larry just wants revenge on Teddy, he might as well just kill him then and there. After all, there’s already the body of a drug dealer in the basement, an undercover cop’s body turning up at the exact same scene would just make it look like a rip-and-run had occurred, or the deal had gone bad. But maybe Larry feels that he can’t just kill Teddy, because he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he did? Well, thinking about this logically, this is also a ridiculous suggestion, for 3 reasons
1. Larry has just killed a man 5 minutes earlier, so is clearly capable of doing so. Now, you may say that this doesn’t count, because he killed this other man in revenge, and hatred makes you capable of doing things you couldn’t normally do. Fine, that’s a sound argument. Were it not for the fact that:
2. Larry wants Teddy dead as revenge for using him before! If Larry just wanted to find someone to kill to make himself feel better, he could have set up literally anyone. Hell, if he’d stuck with the guys Teddy was getting him to kill, he would have been killing far more deserving people. The only reason he chose Teddy was as revenge for Teddy using him, and he therefore has his motivation right there. If he wants revenge on Teddy enough to kill him, he should do so then and there. If he doesn’t want to kill Teddy then, why does he want to set himself up to kill him in a few days? Either he wants Teddy dead, or he doesn’t, and if he does, why not kill him right then? After all:
3. It’s not as if he’ll remember anything! If Larry is worried about feeling guilt or remorse for killing Teddy then and there rather than setting him up to be killed later, then he must already feel guilt for setting Teddy up – but he knows he will forget about that. So why doesn’t it seem to register with him that if he murders Teddy he will be no more likely to remember it than he is to remember setting Teddy up like that?
Of course, if he kills him on the spot, Larry won’t be able to keep going, trying to find his wife’s killer, and so his life won’t have purpose, but in his ending monologue, Larry goes on about how he thinks the fact the world goes on without him is important, and that he’s glad there’s a bigger world out there than just what his mind will allow him to see. He says he wants his life and actions to have meaning, so why would he set up a scenario which can only benefit himself, by giving him something to do? After all, the real attacker is already dead, so any real impact on the world Larry wants to gain from going after Teddy has already been achieved. He is only going after Teddy because it will keep him busy for a while, and yet he then says how important the world outside of what directly effects him is to him. It doesn’t make sense, and is nothing but hypocrisy. Plus, since it only takes him a couple of days to kill Teddy, it means that he is basically back in the exact same position of not having a John G to kill only 2 days later. A man gave his life to keep Guy Pearce entertained for about 2 days, which he forgot five minutes later anyway. Yeah, great ending there, Chris.
The only thing I can think is that I didn’t get the ending, and there’s some kind of hidden meaning in the ending monologue. Maybe Larry is actually Sammy, and he’s sitting in the mental hospital imagining everything? That’s all I can think of. Otherwise, this ending doesn’t make any logical sense. If he wants Teddy dead, he should kill him then, if he doesn’t, he shouldn’t. Simple as that. The whole film is therefore rendered essentially pointless by the ending revelation – which makes for what I call a bad ending. Hell, having it so he was in a mental hospital imagining everything wouldn’t be any worse than that: either way the whole thing was pointless.
Ok, Hugh Jackman has a cloning machine which he uses to put on the greatest magic show ever. He walks in, and clones himself, then he falls through a trap door in the floor of the stage, and into a glass box filled with water, which he drowns in. At the same time, however, his newly created clone appears at the back of the theatre, becoming the Prestige which he ends the trick, and the show, with. He can perform this trick as many times as he likes, but either he or the clone will die each time, as the one in the machine must fall into the water. This must happen because if he did not kill either himself or the clone every night, eventually there would be countless versions of him walking around, and this would create a massive problem. Killing is the only way.
Except that the trick would have worked just as well if he had cloned himself once, and then done the trick exactly the same way as Bale’s character did, only with a clone instead of an identical twin. That’s it. No killing, no dying. No worrying about whether he is going to be the man in the box, or whether he shall be the Prestige, just Jackman and his clone, chilling like Bale and his twin. Simple. Hell, at the end of the film, Hugh Jackman’s character acknowledges that the original version of himself must be dead: if the original was transported and the clone created in the machine, then he shot his original self when he first used the machine. If the original stayed in the same place and the clone was created elsewhere, then the original drowned on the first night of the show. In this same conversation, he speaks of the horror of stepping into the machine, knowing there was every chance he was about to die a horrible death, despite the fact it was so easily avoidable if he just used common sense! He had already used a body double earlier on in the film – and that only failed because the guy didn’t look quite enough like him (it’ll probably turn out Jackman played his own double now I’ve typed this) – why not just do it the exact same way but WITH AN EXACT CLONE OF HIMSELF? Seriously, what a retarded plot hole.
Again, all I can think of is that his subconscious wanted him to go through drowning all those times over so he could experience what his wife went through in the final seconds of her life, but then why bitch about the horror of it to your mortal enemy when he’s just about to kill you? I just don’t understand…
THE DARK KNIGHT
Batman unites the people of Gotham against the mobsters and other criminals, and forces the police department to clean up its act, which allows the election of Harvey Dent as the DA for the city. Harvey Dent is involved in a big explosion which causes half his face to be burned off, and his girlfriend is killed at the exact same time, which drives him insane. Dent becomes a villain, named Two-Face, and decides to start killing dudes, because why not? At the end, Batman is forced to kill him, and then explains to commissioner Gordon what must be done to regain the trust of the people, so that evil will not prevail. How does he do this? By getting Gordon to tell everyone that he, Batman, the man who brought Gotham back from the brink of collapse into a society of scum and villains, killed the innocent Harvey Dent, and to deny that Two-Face ever existed.
So let me get this straight; the great hero that all the people of the city are rallying round, the one that keeps the criminals scared and the police in order, is being made into a scapegoat for the murder of a DA? And that’s supposed to help? There are only 2 ways that scenario could possibly pan out:
1. People think Batman’s lost it and killed an innocent man. Everything reverts to exactly how it was before Batman turned up in the first place, and the mob take over the city again.
2. People think Dent must have been corrupt, and that Batman is just branching out and tackling corrupt officials. Dent’s name is smeared even more than if people knew he had lost it and become Two Face.
Literally, that’s it! I don’t see any other way that can resolve itself. God, I hated that ending, but since I’ve done a full review of The Dark Knight already, let’s just sum up by saying; it doesn’t make sense.
And let’s not forget Batman Begins; the guy who trains Batman to fight crime is actually evil and wants him dead? I mean, I don’t really mind that ending, but it’s hardly brilliant, is it? Plus, they just close down a whole big section of the city and give the inmates of the mental asylum free reign forever after? I’m sorry, what?
Basically, fuck Nolan’s endings. Let’s hope Inception’s a bit better (and that it won’t turn out the characters were dead all along, or something).