summer 2011

Why everyone who loves movies must see Inception, because next summer sucks

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Seen Inception yet? Sorry, what do you mean it’s not really your kind of thing? It’s an intelligent action movie, at least by my reckoning. You may not agree on either or both of those counts, and that’s fine, but hopefully you won’t disagree that it’s a movie overflowing with ambition, not afraid to take a few risks and to try to stimulate the brain cells or the adrenal gland.

But you should see it, not only to have an opinion on one of the most talked about movies of the last couple of years, but also to show your support for movie-making of this kind? Why should I fork out my cash to see a movie I might not like, I hear you cry? Because, dear reader, if you don’t I may have to hold you and your kind accountable for what’s to come. Now not every movie is going to have that Inception level of ambition, but it would be nice if at least the odd one or two summer blockbusters did.

And not only do film-makers need ambition and courage, so do the studios. Inception took $62 million in the US at the weekend – that’s the second largest amount of money ever for a sci-fi movie that wasn’t a sequel, behind only Avatar. So to have the balls to believe you’re going to see that money again, with only the director and cast’s past histories to go on, requires leaps of faith.

To illustrate my point, consider the list of big summer releases currently lined up for next year. These are all due to land between May and August next year in both the States and the UK.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Hangover 2
X Men: First Class
The Green Lantern
Transformers 3
Winnie The Pooh
Rise of the Apes
Cars 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom
The Smurfs
Cowboys and Aliens
War Horse

Not the most inspiring list, is it? I am passingly interested in the majority but there are maybe two at most that genuinely excite me at this point. The thought that this might become the summer movie norm makes me weep for the souls of humanity. So see Inception – if you accept the mediocre and the derivative as standard, don’t come crying to me if that’s all you get in future.

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