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Inception

INCEPTION

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. JAPANESE CASTLE THING

LEONARDO DICAPRIO awakens on a BEACH and meets KEN WATANABE IN AWFUL OLD-PERSON MAKEUP. After some cryptic words, we cut to KEN no longer wearing the makeup, and also JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT is there.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

I can help train you to maintain control while you dream, Ken. No guys with razor gloves, no ex-girlfriends you're trying to erase, and absolutely no Jennifer Lopez.

KEN WATANABE

What makes you so confident, Romeo?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Because I'm the best there is. Except when a tragedy involving my wife's death that haunts me daily prevents me from focusing on my job, at which point I'm pretty much the worst there is.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

This sounds familiar. You didn't accidentally bring your Shutter Island script, did you?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Nah, just the main character in a Christopher Nolan movie, so the love of my life is dead.

MARION COTILLARD

Hello Leonardo, it's me, the mental projection of your wife. Now I'm going to loosen the rope you use to rappel, tell Ken Watanabe he's dreaming, and shoot your partner. Suck it, hubby!

KEN WATANABE

So this is a dream! I should have known something was up in the other room when I was naked in the middle of Calculus.

Everyone WAKES UP.

INT. APARTMENT - SOUTH AMERICA

KEN, LEONARDO, and JOSEPH all awaken as IRRELEVANT SHIT HAPPENS OUTSIDE.

KEN WATANABE

I'm back in my mistress's apartment! I just had the strangest dream! And you were there! And you!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Tell us about your secret thingamathing!

KEN WATANABE

Wait, something's not right. My mistress has five cats, but this carpet doesn't smell like a fucking zoo. I'm still dreaming!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Yo dawg, I herd you like dreams so we put a dream in oh fuck it, this meme sucks.

KEN WATANABE

Very impressive. I'd like you make you an offer.

(indecipherable accent)

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Clearly the best guy to explain the crucial plot points is the one with the thickest accent. Maybe we could have a helicopter blaring overhead, too.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

He's saying he needs us to plant an idea in Cillian Murphy's head to destroy his father's business.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Why not just kill the guy? Is it really that much better to completely brainrape him?

KEN WATANABE

Assemble an ethnically diverse team of well-dressed men and one woman so that we can all burrow into Cillian's mind and destroy his fortune!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Wow, someone wrote Ocean's 14 while tripping balls.

KEN WATANABE

If you are successful, I will immediately make a phone call that will allow you back into the United States so that you can see your children. Please ignore the fact that there's no way to know if the plan was a success until months later.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Great! This will be much easier than just moving my kids to France!

INT. SCHOOL

LEONARDO goes to visit MICHAEL CAINE.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Michael, I need one of your architecture students for my team. I'm doing one last heist, and then I'm out forever so I can retire and be with my family.

MICHAEL CAINE

Very original. In any case, I've got a very bright student I can recommend. She'll be perfect as long as you don't mind people saying things like "forshizz" and "homeskillet."

ELLEN PAGE

I hear you need me for a mission. I assume the mission is "be the audience surrogate for the next hour," right?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Basically. But first I need to make sure you're ready. I want you to design a maze in two minutes that takes one minute to solve.

ELLEN PAGE

What the fuck is that going to prove? Well let me just blow your mind by drawing... get ready... A MOTHERFUCKING CIRCLE HOLY FUCK.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Darn, you got me!

ELLEN PAGE

For reals? Just start at the exit, homeskillet.

LEONARDO and JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT train ELLEN PAGE.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

We use this video game controller in a briefcase to connect everyone's minds together to share a dream. So obviously it connects to the human body's natural conduit to the mind: your wrist.

ELLEN PAGE

Where did you get that?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Where else do science fiction movies get far-fetched devices without having to explain them in any way? It's either aliens or the military.

ELLEN PAGE

Alright. So do you only have eight hours to perform any heist, since that's how long people sleep?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Modern cognitive science would suggest so, but no. In the dream world, time moves at 1/Xth time, where X is whatever is convenient for the scene at hand.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

You should make a totem that you'll never actually use for anything. It was Leonardo's wife's idea to help her recognize a dream.

ELLEN PAGE

This is the same wife that went crazy and killed herself because she couldn't recognize a dream, right?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

The very one. Also, since you're the architect, you can create paradoxes.

ELLEN PAGE

Why?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

BECAUSE IT'S COOL, ISN'T THAT ENOUGH!?

ELLEN PAGE

IN THAT CASE, I'M GOING TO FOLD THIS WHOLE CITY LIKE A TACO!

LEONARDO recruits TOM HARDY and DILEEP RAO.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Alright everyone, roll call! Leonardo, with the power to endanger everyone with my personal demons!

DILEEP RAO

Dileep, with the power to physically hand you sedatives that you could just buy from me!

TOM HARDY

Tom, with the power to mimic handwriting, which somehow translates into physical metamorphosis inside of a dream!

ELLEN PAGE

Ellen, with the power to-- oh hang on, I just got a call on my hamburger phone.

KEN WATANABE

Ken, with the power to get mortally wounded in Christopher Nolan movies!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

And Joseph, with the power to mysteriously prevent audiences from seeing me as the kid on 3rd Rock from the Sun!

Everyone enters a DREAM with CILLIAN MURPHY on a PLANE.

EXT. CITY

THE TEAM finds themselves in a rain-soaked city.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Dammit Dileep, why didn't you go to the bathroom before this?

DILEEP RAO

Pee humor, lovely. Hate to see what happens when the dreamer has to take a huge dump.

Suddenly some BAD GUYS and a FUCKING TRAIN show up to make everything more difficult.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Shit! He's had his subconscious trained to defend against hostiles! Obviously what we need to do is kidnap him at gunpoint!

ELLEN PAGE

You can train your subconscious? Since there aren't rules here, are we going to have to fight a bunch of Ninja Turtles or giant monkey robots or something?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Nah, it's just guys with guns that can't aim.

ELLEN PAGE

Oh. Well what was that train, then?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

That was my bad. It was a manifestation of the guilt I feel from when I convinced my wife to lay down on train tracks and die.

ELLEN PAGE

...

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

I wanted the "Dastardly" achievement, okay?

They KIDNAP CILLIAN MURPHY.

CILLIAN MURPHY

What do you want with me? Why are you putting a bag over my head? I'm in a Christopher Nolan movie, aren't I? Dammit, why does that guy love putting my head in a bag so much?

TOM BERENGER

They got me too, Cillian! They want the code to a safe because it contains a will from your father that says to destroy his company!

CILLIAN MURPHY

Why would they want that? This makes no sense at all.

TOM BERENGER

Everything is a dream, so anything that seems ridiculous is simply due to the nature of a dreamscape that otherwise lacks any kind of remotely fantastical elements!

CILLIAN MURPHY

If there aren't any elements of fantasy, what are you doing in a movie that was actually released in theaters?

KEN WATANABE

Leo, I've been shot. If I die, I wake up, right?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Well, that's what we needed to happen for the first scene in the movie. But now we need people to worry about that happening, so no. If you die here, your brain is basically turned into creamed corn. But don't worry, if you die again once your brain is mush then you wake up back in reality.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Basically, dying is bad whenever we need to increase tension, but it's the only way to escape when we are written into a corner.

KEN WATANABE

So when we go on these dangerous heist missions, we make sure to bring every kind of specialist possible, including a fucking architect, but no doctor?

They connect everyone to another DREAM MACHINE that somehow still works inside a DREAM.

INT. HOTEL

LEONARDO approaches CILLIAN MURPHY.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Ah, the Mr. Charles gambit. It's where Leonardo tells Cillian that he's dreaming. Normally that would make everyone kill us, but in this case it makes everything awesome.

ELLEN PAGE

Great, now we're violating the staggeringly small number of rules we actually bothered to establish. Why'd you even bother teaching me all this shit?

Outside, in the CITY, DILEEP RAO drives off a bridge, causing everyone in the hotel to FLOAT.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

There's no gravity in Level 1 right now, and as a result there is no gravity in Level 2!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

But even though there's no gravity in Level 2 right now, there will be gravity in Level 3!

ELLEN PAGE

What? You guys fail at induction.

EXT. SNOW FORTRESS

Everyone finds themselves in GOLDENEYE.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

We're running out of time! Ellen, did you make any hidden passageways that Ken and Cillian can use?

ELLEN PAGE

Of course I did! Everyone in my school has to take ARCH103: "The Architectural Importance of Man-Sized Air Ducts."

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Great! Rather than tell Ken and Cillian where those are, you should tell me so that I can tell them, even though I warned you never to tell me the architecture of a level and this rule has absolutely no reason to be violated!

She DOES. MARION COTILLARD shows up and shoots CILLIAN.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Well, that's it. I guess Cillian will just be trapped in limbo forever. I'll go ahead and feel no remorse for this. Boo hoo, I miss my kids.

ELLEN PAGE

Come on, I'm sure we can solve this using kicks or suicide or totems or going one level deeper or some other random thing we made up!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Going one level deeper might work, but that's the last one. If we get a stack overflow, the entire movie theater will crash.

EXT. CGI-LAND

LEONARDO and ELLEN find CILLIAN, but also encounter MARION.

MARION COTILLARD

Leonardo, stay here with me. I know I'm just a figment of your imagination, but I'm all you've got.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

My entire memory of you is as a vindictive, mean-spirited, violent, self-centered pile of bitch. Christ, why did it take me the entire movie to stop giving a shit about you? Fuck off.

ELLEN PAGE

And now that you've finished risking the lives of your only friends in the world for the sake of a little catharsis, we can finish the mission!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

You're right! We've got an innocent person's memories and relationships to completely ruin!

LEONARDO, ELLEN, CILLIAN leave. RETURN;

EXT. SNOW FORTRESS

CILLIAN enters a BANK VAULT containing his father, PETE POSTLETHWAITE.

PETE POSTLETHWAITE

Son, I am disappoint.

CILLIAN MURPHY

Fuck you, dad! I'm dissolving your company! Out of love! Give me a hug!

TOM HARDY

It worked! And just in the nick of very very slow time!

RETURN;

INT. HOTEL

RETURN;

EXT. CITY

RETURN;

INT. AIRPORT

The plane lands and everyone parts ways.

KEN WATANABE

Even though I was dead for half of the mission, I'll assume the gang of morally ambiguous thieves I hired finished the job honorably. I'll magically dissolve the warrants out against you, Leonardo.

CILLIAN MURPHY

Miraculously, I don't recognize any of you from my dream. Not even Ken, my primary business rival! So everything worked out for you guys, now I'm off to set my money on fire to make my dead father proud! Wait, what?

MICHAEL CAINE

Leo, somehow I knew to pick you up at the airport! I'm so happy to see you and also not be playing a butler! Let's get you home.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Great idea, I can get on my computer and post a billion retarded theories about this movie on the internet!

HOLLYWOOD desperately tries to write ZERO-GRAVITY FIGHT SCENES into every newly-greenlighted action movie.

END