Given Hollywood's penchant for mixing two existing films to make a new one, here's an idea for a sequel to Inception. Think of it as Nightmare on Elm Street meets Inception - kind of bit more Freddy and lot less Ellen Page.
The tagline is: Reception: Your Mind is the Scene of Your Death
We open on Ellen Page on a train she's been waiting for, a train she doesn't know where it's going, even though it said clearly on the front and she must have at least worked it out when she bought the ticket. It's years later and Cobb is back in the US running a single-parent family and a day-care center where he implants ideas into the crumb-crunchers' little brains to keep them quiet and make them do their homework.
Page is doodling weird mazes on a piece of paper which somehow translate into the James Bond Nintendo snow levels when people fall asleep. Page dozes off, presumably as a result of thinking about Juno, and in her dream she's still awake but there's nothing to be seen out of the windows and the train is empty.
A voice behind asks for her ticket BUT when she reaches up, it's not a hand - it's a small chainsaw (Freddy's upgraded from the Swiss-army hand since it was confiscated at an airport by a TSA agent who now makes light work of vegetables and does a mean impression of Edward Scissorhands). GRRZRRZRRZRR! whirs the fairly inconvenient machine, which not only needs gas but makes it almost impossible to use the express checkout line at Trader Joe's.
She gasps and looks scared, in an unconvincing Ellen Page sort-of-way. "But I don't know where this train is going!" she pleads. Freddy cackles back, quipping "It's going to your grave!" before slicing her up into steak tartar lumps of terrible actress.
In an unrelated page 10 event, Cobb gets a call from Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt), who declares that Saito (Ken Watanabe, who would probably do an awesome Miss Piggy impression) has had Robert Fischer killed - which is strange, because you would have thought he'd have done that in the first film, and Saito is now trying to build his own energy monopoly. <Insert some Hollywood greeno stuff here>
There's then a shoot-out involving machine guns in downtown Los Angeles, just for the hell of it.
THE MIDDLE BIT
Ok, so that's our broad set-up, but here some of the cools things we can shoe-horn into Act II:
Freddy obviously goes after Cobb's kids, since we need some dramatic tension and he seems to roll that way.
Eames has discovered that he can not only can fake an appearance but he can now shape-shift, which on the surface doesn't change much but the CGI potential would make Michael Bay orgasm by just thinking about it.
We introduce a fifth dream level which has the potential to communicate with ghosts and the dead, etc. Unfortunately we need this so Ellen Page can tell the other characters that Freddy's here, and since she was so good at exposition in the first film, let's do it again.
We add an extra character who has a mental illness (Charlie Sheen?) that causes entire sections of shared dream space to get erased. If you thought limbo was bad, this is like a weekend marathon of every season of 24 doing shots every time Jack Bauer picks up a cell phone.
We discover that Michael Caine is really working for Saito, and Page was on her way to work with him when she got a little butchered to death at the beginning.
Hans Zimmer is going to kick it up a notch and basically have the strings on fire and the horns poised to make the entire audience deaf. DER-DER-DER-DER-DER-DER, etc.
Rather than discuss plot, here's are some super-cool fight sequences to keep up munching popcorn:
Now Freddy has a chain-saw, we have a chase sequence through a forest ("a la running from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park") with the heroes running away from trees he's tearing down. He has a bunch of one-liners about remembering to recycle, not "losing your head", blah blah blah.
Just to rip-off the rolling hotel corridor ride from the first film, we're going to this time use the mentally ill character to delete key areas during a fight sequence in a ship, so the protagonists have to avoid disappearing completely into gaps appearing - but with WATER! Cool, huh?
I want to see Ken Watanabe with a sword. Maybe a sword-chainsaw duel with Krueger?
HOW DOES IT END?
Michael Caine gets into a chainsaw fight with Freddy on the ship. One liners are faster and cheesier than a whole year's worth of Oscar speeches ("It's getting a little choppy", etc.) At the same time Cobb brings Page back from level 5 in an attempt to use her lack of charisma to defeat him but it fails and Freddy gives Caine a trim (arms and legs, and a little off the top).
Out of nowhere, Mal shows up all pissed that Krueger going for the kids - which he hasn't really been doing but - hey! - this is a draft. She's returned from level 5 with some new awesome fighting skills that she unleashes on the burned one (ninja-star croissants come to mind), thus killing him for the fiftieth freaking time in his movie career. In Caine's dying words, he apologizes to everyone and they wheel his limbless body off on a cart.
Saito reveals that he didn't kill Fischer after all, and they're all already in a dream state (level 3) that was induced by Fischer in level 2. Fischer's research showed that Cobb had a fear of cheaply-made Wes Craven horror movies, and that Freddy isn't really in the dream at all. In an award-winning piece of monologuing, Fischer explains how he has recepted everyone, which is really clever.
In a highly-confusing and nonsensical scene, they deduce that Mal isn't really there since level 5 was created by the guy with the mental illness - which is odd since he never met her, but she's still just as cute and French. She says her goodbyes as the Zimmer score gets cranked up another 20 decibels.
Then it turns out ultimately that Ellen Page (of all people!) actually started this whole thing in level 1, and she's been behind it all. In a speech that isn't going to win any awards but may boost coffee sales nationwide, she explains how she precepted everyone, which is really f***ing clever.
Freddy appears in the final scene back in the real world where Cobb's totem is still spinning faster than a Democrat on his principles, and naturally he gets to finish off Page once more in the epilogue.
Ok, anyone got $150 million so we can get started on this?
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James Beswick (jbeswick)
Lunch.com's "token Brit".
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