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10 Good Guys Who Are Major-League Jerks
by Rebecca Pahle | 12:30 pm, October 10th, 2012
The Inception Team
Part of what I love about Inception is that its team of protagonists could in another movie easily have been the bad guys. You wouldn’t even have to change the plot. You’d just have to refocus on Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the poor guy (if a jerk himself) who was coerced into breaking up his father’s company and giving up his fortune by a team of criminals who got paid a boatload of money to do so (with the exception of Cobb. More on him later). The argument could be made—was made at one point in an off-the-cuff remark by Tom Hardy’s Eames, actually—that Cobb and co. actually helped Fischer by retroactively repairing his relationship with his father. I don’t buy it. If Fischer benefits emotionally from the belief that his father was proud of him, well, that’s all well and good, but it’s not like the team would care either way. It would be silver lining at best. They couldn’t care less what happens to him. They’re there to get paid…
…all except for Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has to finish this one last job so he can go back to his children and rebuild his life. To do so, he ruins one man’s life and betrays his team by dosing them with a too-strong sedative, risking their lives in the process. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have taken the job (there wouldn’t be much of a movie if he hadn’t), but I am saying that Cobb—driven, amoral, and more than a bit mentally unhinged—would be a more likely candidate for a villain (albeit a sympathetic one) than a hero.
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