Inception is a complex and interesting movie that does some daring things and in some ways pushes the limits of the cinematic experience. But despite it’s complexity, it’s flaws are somewhere are in the parts where the movie gets “blockbluster-ified”. Let me explain. This will be long. (Not Quantum of Solace long, but long).

The premise of the movie is strong enough to stand on its own and explore. Technology exists to allow corporate spies to enter people’s dreams, unmasks their secrets and potentially plant ideas and change the way they think. This, in and of itself, is an intriguing idea that gets pushed to the fringes during the movie. Imagine if they crawled inside, say, Obama’s head and causes him to start World War 3 or end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Very little of that concept is explored. That’s sort of the job of the main characters and it’s considered almost routine in some ways.

The main character is Leo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb. (spoiler alert) Much like his character from Shutter Island, he is tortured by the images of his dead wife. Only, in this movie, his dead wife appears as part of his subconscious sabotaging his gigs while running around in people’s dreams.

The plot of the movie is that DiCaprio and his team are hired to create “Inception”. To plant an idea in a future CEO’s head that he will sell his conglomeration of companies so that another company can prosper. (Basically.) If not, the conglomerate will control all the world’s energy concerns.

So DiCaprio’s guys have already invaded dreams and they have even done a dream within a dream. But they’ve never done it three times. The theory goes, if they go one more step in, they should be able to achieve Inception. That’s kinda of cool, but the movies only partly about that. It spends more of its focus on Leo’s problems, him missing his dead wife and his live kids.

Ellen Page, who is excellent in the movie, plays the newbie “architect” to the team. There’s a few moments of her manipulating the dream world, but despite the trailer, you don’t see much of that. The trailer would have you believe that it’s a little closer to the Matrix in that you imagine it and it happens. You need a gun and you just pull it out of a wall or something. Sadly, that’s not the case either and the lack of structure about the “rules” of doing that are a shortfall of the film. Confused yet?

The good part of this movie is that it’s two and a half hours and it doesn’t feel that long. Director Christopher Nolan is the king of pacing. His use of camera shots and special effects are incredibly nuanced. There’s some mind blowing sequences as you are watching the characters simultaneously existing in four different dreams at the same time. You go to the bathroom during the last reel and you might as well get in the car and go home!

Okay, as I’ve said (spoiler again) there are three (and then four) dream levels the characters invade. The first two are very subtle, but the third one seems oddly out of place and just an excuse to include lots of machine guns, equipment and henchmen. It seems to me that if Nolan had opted for a more subtle ending focusing with the characters than an orgy of action scenes just to keep the tension going, they’d be polishing an Oscar for him right now.

Instead, you get a bunch of breathless scenes and then instead of the movie really being about the target whose dreams they’ve invaded, it’s about DiCaprio and his dead wife. It works and it’s a good movie, but I think there was a great movie in there that got run over by a snow tank with guys riding on it with machine guns.

Regular readers of this column know I am no violence prude. The story in Inception seemed to me to be about ideas and how they impact the people. Sure, good stories are always about people, but then I’ve already seen Shutter Island, The Matrix, The 13th Floor and all the other movies this one seems to borrow from.

So should you see Inception? Yeah. It’s definitely something that plays well on a big screen. Will you be satisfied with it? Maybe. Some people left confused, not sure if they should like the movie or not. I give it 7 out of 10 keggers, but I’m actually still kind of digesting it. It’s a bit dense and a challenge to watch. If you’re looking for a blockbuster that’s a challenge, then yeah, you’ll like. If not, they you should probably just wait for the Expendables.