The Kick

This 2010 contemporary sci-fi actioner follows a subconscious security team around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams.
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Joined: July 2010
jm9843 wrote: Almost. Cobb knew that Saito would be lost in limbo somewhere but he was certain that he could find him and bring him back. After all, he would need to do so in order to avoid spending the rest of his life in jail and never seeing his kids again. However, he knew exactly where Fischer would be: with Mal. Mal wants him to stay with her in limbo for an eternity and knows that Cobb will be coming for Fischer. They do share the same brain after all.
I mean't lost as in state of mind, not physically lost
jm9843 wrote: Through a pull-kick in combination with death could they leave limbo. "Normally" death is the way to go, as discovered by Mal & Cobb. But a pull-kick is also required due to Yusuf's designer sedative. I believe that the pull-kick is necessary so that the lucid-dreaming part of the mind can find its way back to "constructed" dream space. Ariadne believes that they can ride Eames kick back from limbo and says as much before going under. Eames reminds them that he won't be waiting for them if they aren't on time.


I can buy this, but it seems like a lot of extra narration outside the set up logic of the movie. Again, I can accept it though.
jm9843 wrote:Cobb already knows that dying will be required because of his experience.
His experience in this regard are not relevant. Dying in general was required. Not becasue they were in limbo state, but because they were dreaming and without sedative (so it seems).
jm9843 wrote:We can assume that he filled Ariadne in on this little detail on the stroll to Cobb and Mal's old apartment. Nolan doesn't show you this because he knew people would be bitching about too much exposition. ;) This isn't too much of a leap (pun not intended) to believe because of the events in Mal & Cobb's apartment. Cobb alerts Ariadne of the kick and tells her that she needs to go. Which she eventually obliges by pushing Fischer out of the window and jumping to her death. But not before pointing the gun at Cobb, which we can assume was to kill him so that he'd come along on the pull-kick too. Cobb convinces her that would be bad and he stays in limbo to find Saito. The pull-kick, by itself, was not enough to bring Cobb back to level 3 with Ariadne and Fischer.
What is a jump, though, is the logic of this. Killing yourself while under sedative would send you further. Once in the furthest dream state, if dead logic would mean that you would stay in limbo or go to the unconscious (past subconscious) state where a kick from level three would be null and void. If not, how does killing yourself get you "closer" to level three for the kick to work. Even if thinking about it differently that it getting you closer, how does the logic of killing yourself to get out of limbo but then to get pulled into level 3 work? Where do you go before being pulled by the kick in level 3. It's almost logical and I know many share this view and its almost almost almost plausible, but still just missing that one last bit of logic.
jm9843 wrote:It was the pull-kick created by Eames in combination with Fischer's assisted suicide courtesy of Ariadne. It doesn't matter that it wasn't his choice. He hadn't been in limbo for very long and as such, hadn't yet accepted it as his reality. i.e. no scrambled eggs for brains.


Assisted suicide is the common term for controversial actions by which an individual helps another person die upon their wanting to do so. You can't assist in a suicide unless the recipient chooses to die. Your version of assisted suicide is murder (relatively) and does not hold true. Death in general, maybe, but suicide, no. Again, the suicide in Cobb and Mal's dream has no relevance to a law about suicide and limbo.
jm9843 wrote:Which kick are you referring to? Arthur is never supposed to "feel" a kick when the van hits the barricade right before it goes over the bridge and into free-fall. The plan is for Yusuf to put the headphones on a sleeping Arthur in the van right before he drives off the bridge. This is intended to signal Arthur to initiate a pull-kick to bring everyone at level 3 up with him at level 2. With everyone on level 2, the kick created when the van hits the water (the only one that Arthur is intended to "feel") is supposed to pull them all up to level 1 where they will share oxygen in the submerged van before waiting for the dream machine on the 747 to hit 00:00.

However, things don't go according to plan. Usuf is taking unexpectedly heavy fire in the van on level 1 and rushes the job. He plays the music too early for Arthur who can't get back to the hotel room in time (he's handling some baddies at the time) to detonate the explosives to drop everyone through the hotel floor to pull-kick them back from level 3. With the van now in free-fall, Arthur needs to find another way to do his one job: create the kick on level 2 that brings everyone from level 3 back up with him. Zero-g high jinks ensue.

Just to be clear: the act of the van hitting the barricade on the bridge before going over is NOT the kick that the characters are talking about in the dialog. The reason that the characters at level 3 realize that they "missed" a kick is because they didn't wake up in the hotel room at the time of the avalanche! Please ignore the misleading "levels" diagram on Cinemablend!
This is the first time this narration makes completely logical sense and without much need for "faith" from the audience. Okay. Check. My bad along with everyone else's. It was just sly and easy to scramble.
jm9843 wrote:Dying in limbo while under sedation and no synchronized pull-kick just leads to more limbo. Maybe you find yourself washing up on a shore and being taken hostage by guards? It seems plausible enough. :D
And yet still, there is no logic to how a death-pull works in unison...shoot I almost had it kinda like the tip of my tongue revelation...but nope. How would a kick work when you can't feel it in death. Meaning they can supposedly feel a kick in limbo, but only after death will it be in effect...hmmm....B.S. logic, but since I love the movie so much I can just take a leap of faith and go where it decides to take me. And it doesn't matter where that is because we will be together in the end.

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bmneu wrote:His experience in this regard are not relevant. Dying in general was required. Not becasue they were in limbo state, but because they were dreaming and without sedative (so it seems).
Point taken. But, in general, Cobb is the most skilled extractor and the only one on the team to have traveled to the limbo part of the subconscious. We can assume that he has calculated the risk in going to limbo while in a sedated state and has a plan for bringing everyone back. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been convinced by Ariadne to go under in the first place.
bmneu wrote:What is a jump, though, is the logic of this. Killing yourself while under sedative would send you further. Once in the furthest dream state, if dead logic would mean that you would stay in limbo or go to the unconscious (past subconscious) state where a kick from level three would be null and void. If not, how does killing yourself get you "closer" to level three for the kick to work. Even if thinking about it differently that it getting you closer, how does the logic of killing yourself to get out of limbo but then to get pulled into level 3 work? Where do you go before being pulled by the kick in level 3. It's almost logical and I know many share this view and its almost almost almost plausible, but still just missing that one last bit of logic.
My theory on this, which is supported by the events in the film, is that the act of dying or getting pull-kicked in a dream is essentially reseting the subconscious. Experiencing death has a far more profound effect on the subconscious than simply being slapped or pull-kicked while under sedation. The subconscious freaks out and seeks whatever "safe reality" that it can find. So death normally simply wakes the subject up.

However, when sedated, the subconscious is unable to wake the subject up during a death event and becomes lost in limbo. The sedated pull-kick doesn't have a powerful enough subconscious effect at the limbo level to achieve anything by itself. It startles the subconscious (manifested by buildings crumbling) but isn't enough for the subconscious to be reset and locate the constructed (familiar) dream space (level 3). So the only way to escape limbo while sedated is to intensely jolt the subconscious with death while the signaling event of a pull-kick is occurring. The pull-kick is the light at the end of the tunnel which the subconscious gravitates to after the death event.
bmneu wrote:Assisted suicide is the common term for controversial actions by which an individual helps another person die upon their wanting to do so. You can't assist in a suicide unless the recipient chooses to die. Your version of assisted suicide is murder (relatively) and does not hold true. Death in general, maybe, but suicide, no. Again, the suicide in Cobb and Mal's dream has no relevance to a law about suicide and limbo.
I was making a joke with the "assisted suicide" comment. I'm sorry if my making light of an otherwise serious topic offended you. Ariadne did "murder" Fischer in the limbo state but only to "save" him from it.

For the last part, I didn't mean to draw any parallels between Mal jumping from the ledge and how suicide might pertain to limbo. Sedated or otherwise..
bmneu wrote:And yet still, there is no logic to how a death-pull works in unison...shoot I almost had it kinda like the tip of my tongue revelation...but nope. How would a kick work when you can't feel it in death. Meaning they can supposedly feel a kick in limbo, but only after death will it be in effect...hmmm....B.S. logic, but since I love the movie so much I can just take a leap of faith and go where it decides to take me. And it doesn't matter where that is because we will be together in the end.
Think of the pull-kick operating on a purely subconscious level like I explained above. It doesn't have to do with the physical effects felt by the lucid dreamer.

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While I wish the film didn't have to be so ambiguous when it clearly tries to show that dream states is logical and structured, according to the structure it imply's, I find your narrative to be completely acceptable and will use it when viewing the film again this weekend.

With the assisted suicide remark, it was nothing but a counter to the idea that one must commit suicide (as opposed to death in general) to escape limbo due to the Cobb and Mal limbo story arch. It's clearly an argument against that. Death pertains, but suicide (even assisted) does not. I thought that is what you believed, but it could have been someone else. My bad.

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bmneu wrote:Limbo is most definitely level 4, meaning there is no level 5 and 6, etc.

Mal and Cobb were experimenting with dream states and they kept going lower and lower until they reached limbo (on the shores of their subconscious) without understanding how time extends in every level...suggesting that even limbo, the time gets longer. In his explanation, he doesn't say how many levels they went. Up till this point, it would seem that it could be 10 or 30 (though unlikely as the dreams keep getting more unstable).

We know from the heist that every time they go deeper in a dream state, the deeper into their own subconscious they all go. Therefore, eventually, as long as the dream states are stable enough as they go deeper, they can reach their own full subconscious.... limbo. This happened with Cobb and Ariadne. Because they hooked themselves up to a machine (which came from where, exactly? lol) in Level 3 in the snow tower they reached their furthest DREAM state which is the subconscious.

Obviously limbo is threatening. They say that if you die, you can go there and be lost. Yusuf states that it could be 50 years or Infinite... but then he says "I don't know...ask Cobb" since he has been there before. Whats interesting is that the information about Cobb and Mal's time in limbo can not give us any reference whatsoever to how time works in limbo because we do not have any context around it. Sedative? How long the machine's timer was set to?" How many levels they went down? They were there for 50 years, but he doesn't know how much longer they would have been there until the machine ran out of time and stopped injecting them with the dream sharing drug.

The only indication we are given is when Cobb said that he didn't YET understand how time worked in dream states and the deeper they went including subconscious, that it compounded... and there is no indication to believe that limbo has it's own time rules. Quite the contrary (as previously argued in the post).

Mal and Cobb were in limbo, by choice, but also by accident. There was no way to leave limbo from a kick, cause they didn't plan any or have others in previous states to do so. The only way of doing so was to wait (only god...Nolan...know's how long they were in their room on the floor...days even? Probably not, but who knows is the point to be made). The other way was to die. Killing themselves (suicide) gives no indication that that is the only way to leave limbo. Cobb could just have easily killed Mal then himself. Remember that they might not have been under the same rules (meaning sedative). If they weren't under a sedative and only a stronger dream sharing drug, then death would have woken them up... not send to limbo. Therefore, any death would have woken them up. Therefore, with this information, we do not know if under sedative, killing yourself in limbo would wake you up into full reality. It seems to me highly unlikely, because it is a stretch for the audience to imply narration where there is none.

Now in the heist, we know that they are under sedative as well as a strong dream sharing drug. Just dying would do nothing but send you to limbo. The movie doesn't imply any special narration of what would happen when you die in limbo. The movie kind of insinuates that limbo is the epic of the subconcious... that there is no further DREAM state. (it leaves open of whether there is a further state outside of the dream realm...fully unaware unconsciousness) It doesn't set any information up to answer the question, "What happens if you die in limbo? They are still sedated.)

Fact: The only way to wake up from a dream under the sedation (which impaires all but the inner ear function) is to have the feeling of falling in the previous dream state... by being pulled... as read from the guy who plays Yusuf and how the movie suggests it.

Fact: what we know from the movie is that limbo is threatening. But the only way it is suggested as threatening is the amount of time you may spend in it before the sedative wears off. Remember that when this is said, they are saying that the only way they would enter limbo is by dying in a previous state, not by choice (that isn't comprehended yet). There would be no kick to pull you out because there were none set up for it. You would be in limbo by yourself and on your own to figure out what to do or be lost until you turn to scrambled eggs.

Fact: Cobb and Ariadne went to limbo by choice by going under in level 3
Fact: Both Fischer and Saito went to limbo by death, not by choice
Fact: Once in Limbo, we know that Cobb and Ariadne know they are in limbo but we are unsure of the state of both Robert Fischer and Saito... suggesting that they would be lost.
Fact: Cobb and Ariadne could leave by choice (through a kick) and Ariadne did so or they would not have gone there in the first place. Ariadne would never have suggested they go get Fischer.
Fact: Fischer rode out of Limbo through one of two possible push or pull kicks (he did not commit suicide (Ariadne pushed him.. aka. murder if anything).
Fact: We never see Ariadne fall to her death. She could have, but she could also not have. Still, the movie suggests (not meaning fact) that she woke up in the fortress prior to hitting the ground. Even still, she left limbo aware that she was leaving, meaning a kick didn't pull her out unexpectedly.

Now, from all this, I can only reach one conclusion, even though it means that I must add narration to Nolan's missing pieces.

Implication 1: Saito is lost in limbo. He creates his own world and Cobb has to find him.
Implication 2: Fischer is lost in limbo. He doesn't know what the f*** is going on and needs Ariadne's help.
Implication 3: The kick of the falling building can not pull one out of limbo or Cobb would have been pulled out.
Implication 4: This movie has errors.

Arthur is an error for the Pull theory, which I believe exists now which leads to a B.S. narration that because he is a pro, he can chose not to feel a kick or B the first kick was never meant to be a kick (which I will find out on viewing 4)

Dying (suicide or otherwise) from within limbo would send you into either a deeper dream state, limbo 2 (which is all together B.S.) or just a deeper state altogether... the fully unconscious. The later seems to be the most logical (how ironic, lol), though the film suggests that death would bring up to the previous dream state as Ariadne was going to shoot Cobb after pushing Fischer from the building and prior to jumping herself. No one...not even Cobb knows for sure what happens if you die in limbo while under a sedative cause he has never been to limbo while under a sedative (as suggested, not factual).
That still means that all of them probably went to fully unconsciousness, though this creates its own inconsistencies so it probably isn't real. Somehow, when Ariadne jumped from the building, she woke up in the previous dream state which either pulled her or is falling for no reason whatsoever... a trial kick (though suggested otherwise in the film). If she diedand went to the unconscious or further state, he falling building would fail to pull her out of it because it would either be too far away to feel it or she is no longer consciously dreaming... feeling the kick. Im stopping here for now as none will read this long response anyway. lol
Well we do know that you can’t get out of Limbo via a kick otherwise again Cobb would not have needed to kill Mal or do Inception on her. He could have just as easily killed himself then kicked her awake when he was back in the real world. This is also supported again in the movie as Arthur and Ariadne could have kicked both Saito and Cobb awake on the plane once they woke up.

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Jarmel wrote:Well we do know that you can’t get out of Limbo via a kick otherwise again Cobb would not have needed to kill Mal or do Inception on her. He could have just as easily killed himself then kicked her awake when he was back in the real world. This is also supported again in the movie as Arthur and Ariadne could have kicked both Saito and Cobb awake on the plane once they woke up.
I think you're missing several points. Mal could have supposedly done so in her own dream (reality) but it was stated she couldn't do it without him because she loved him so much. They needed to do it together. This could be quite similar to Cobb in Limbo. He felt that she needed to know it wasn't reality. He didn't know the consequences of planting the idea that it was't reality but I think he understood the consequences of continuing to believe that limbo was reality. She needed to understand that before being woken. He should have just talked and talked and talked to her. The inception was flawed as we soon find out once she does get to reality. But supposedly, yes, he could have left limbo by himself, but he would have had no idea how much time she would be lost down there before he could kick her out of limbo. That would have been a real risky move for such a loved one.. with obvious potential consequences. She could be scrambled eggs by them.

EDIT: Thinking it through though, a kick won't work from that state because limbo is "too far away" to feel the effects. Meaning limbo is so far... too many levels down... that she wouldn't feel the kick anyway. A kick from level 1 doesn't pull you from level 3 until you are in level 2.

Arthur and Ariadne would not have kicked both Saito and Cobb awake on the plane. They all woke up at relatively the same time. They ALL had to wait for the sedative to wear off. The deeper you are, the slower you open your eyes (supposedly), so both Cobb and Saito are the last to open their eyes. While the later about depth to open eyes bit is a stretch, it could also just be a tool of Nolan that he just wanted them to open their eyes last to show the others smiling at him just for audience emotional reaction. But, for sure, they all woke up at the "same time" on the plane once the timer hit 0

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bmneu wrote:
I think you're missing several points. Mal could have supposedly done so in her own dream (reality) but it was stated she couldn't do it without him because she loved him so much. They needed to do it together. This could be quite similar to Cobb in Limbo. He felt that she needed to know it wasn't reality. He didn't know the consequences of planting the idea that it was't reality but I think he understood the consequences of continuing to believe that limbo was reality. She needed to understand that before being woken. He should have just talked and talked and talked to her. The inception was flawed as we soon find out once she does get to reality. But supposedly, yes, he could have left limbo by himself, but he would have had no idea how much time she would be lost down there before he could kick her out of limbo. That would have been a real risky move for such a loved one.. with obvious potential consequences. She could be scrambled eggs by them.

EDIT: Thinking it through though, a kick won't work from that state because limbo is "too far away" to feel the effects. Meaning limbo is so far... too many levels down... that she wouldn't feel the kick anyway. A kick from level 1 doesn't pull you from level 3 until you are in level 2.

Arthur and Ariadne would not have kicked both Saito and Cobb awake on the plane. They all woke up at relatively the same time. They ALL had to wait for the sedative to wear off. The deeper you are, the slower you open your eyes (supposedly), so both Cobb and Saito are the last to open their eyes. While the later about depth to open eyes bit is a stretch, it could also just be a tool of Nolan that he just wanted them to open their eyes last to show the others smiling at him just for audience emotional reaction. But, for sure, they all woke up at the "same time" on the plane once the timer hit 0
I wouldn’t use Mal near the end as an example as she is pretty unhinged and not listening to reason(points to the whole Cobb and Mal argument in the house). Also it was somewhat clear that Cobb really had no choice in Limbo. He pretty much had to hunt down where the totem was and then do inception on her. I somehow doubt a good talking to would work. Again from what we’ve seen, the time delay is not so drastic where he couldn’t kick her out of Limbo if kicks could work. A kick would also be less harsh than say being ran over by a train.

We certainly don’t know that about Limbo but it is a possible explanation about why kicks wouldn’t work.

In regards to the team, they had to put all the equipment away before Cobb and Saito woke up so I would think it’s safe to say the rest of the team woke up first. Now how long before, who knows but it seems feasible that if the two were still stuck in Limbo then the first priority when the rest of the team woke up would be to get your boss(Saito) out so he can pay everybody. Also shoving somebody wouldn’t take more than half a minute at best, especially if you’re on a limited time schedule(before Fischer pays attention).

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I don't understand the purpose of this banter between you and me. I think we are both on the same page that a pull kick can not take you out of limbo. Furthermore, I think you can only leave limbo by choice.

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bmneu wrote:I don't understand the purpose of this banter between you and me. I think we are both on the same page that a pull kick can not take you out of limbo. Furthermore, I think you can only leave limbo by choice.
But if you can only get out by choice...how did Fischer get out? Essentially Ariadne forced him to, I thought.

I'm not disagreeing with you, in fact I think I largely agree with you. I'm just not sure how he fits in there.

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kyuen1 wrote:
bmneu wrote:I don't understand the purpose of this banter between you and me. I think we are both on the same page that a pull kick can not take you out of limbo. Furthermore, I think you can only leave limbo by choice.
But if you can only get out by choice...how did Fischer get out? Essentially Ariadne forced him to, I thought.

I'm not disagreeing with you, in fact I think I largely agree with you. I'm just not sure how he fits in there.
I think thats a completely valid point which jm has recently brought to my attention. Meaning it isn't quite a choice (I was going back to a previous view by accident), but just the point that you need to leave limbo while also having something that you're consciousness can grab onto.

I'm going to try to just reargue what jm says in my own way. There are two sets of rules that applies to limbo:

1)No sedation is used.
Only death is necessary to leave limbo...not suicide, but death of any kind. At the moment of death in limbo, or instead, any level of the subconscious you go to an instantaneous state of nothingness where your conscious mind searches for the out. You can think of it in a way that means you are in a brain-dead state that if your conscious mind can't find a way out... your conscious mind ceases to exist... which might mean you just die... brain dead, in the least. Lets just say for the sake of the argument, that if Limbo is, in fact, just Level 4 of your subconscious (at the lowest level of the subconscious in the least, whatever level that might be for any given individual), then your conscious mind... your reality... would search for an out in the next level up. If there is something to grab onto in that level, it will. If not, it will continue until it has something to grab onto. In the case of Mal and Cobb, there was no previous state to grab onto. No kick was put in place to have them wake in a previous state. Death, according to their example, supersedes all layers and grabs onto life in reality. They woke up

2)Sedation is used.
Death is not the only thing necessary to leave limbo. After your conscious mind would search for an out and supersede all the layers, it would not be able to find reality and wake you up from Level 0, if you will, because you are under heavy sedation. Now, if the conscious mind was able to find a way out prior to reaching Level 0, then it would grab onto it. It would grab onto the kick... the kick of the falling building.

Now there are some flaws in this logic, but the flaws can be bypassed with further narration. For instance, with this logic, there would be no need for the building to blow up as the mind would search for a kick in another level which would be the falling elevator and wake there. Another flaw would be that it would just wake you in the next level regardless of a kick. Maybe someone else like jm can help me explain what I can't

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Because of the potency of the sedative, two kicks needed to be synchronized on different levels. IE, a "push" and a "pull".

In limbo, Ariadne noticed the lightning that had begun, and knew Eames was attempting to resuscitate Fisher. Fisher is brought to level 3 through a push (thrown off the building), along with a pull (the defibrillator).

Once Ariadne notices the buildings in limbo are collapsing, she throws herself off the building, knowing Eames must have detonated the charges. Her push is her throwing herself off the building, synchronized with the pull occurring in level 3 with her body falling on debris from the explosion.

*The fact that the two kicks need to be synchronized explain -
--Why Cobb isn't pulled out of limbo.
--Why Arthur doesn't get pulled to level 1 when the van first goes off the bridge.
--Why none of them get kicked back into reality after waking in level 1 in the van.

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