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What are "kicks"?

In general, a kick is anything that would jolt you from a sleeping state to a waking state. We are shown several types of kicks. Cobb is dunked in water from his Level 2 dream in the first dream shown in the movie. The sensation of falling is induced in several of the dream states during the heist.

As demonstrated in the warehouse during training, a kick is used to wake the dreamer from the next level of dreaming, it basically takes you "up" a step. The sedative used to allow for dreams within dreams leaves the inner ear unsedated (the part that detects motion), and so a "kick" - a falling sensation - will be felt by the dreamer in the dream. As the final mission involves dreams at many levels, a kick must be administered at each level to rouse the dreamers from the next level in the sequence. 

Devon asked the question 2010-07-29 03:40:09 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the question 2010-07-29 03:40:17 UTC view / hide
Devon provided an answer 2010-07-29 03:40:51 UTC view / hide
Anon_97 improved the question 2010-07-29 04:58:05 UTC view / hide
Anon_113 improved the answer 2010-08-04 16:14:14 UTC view / hide
Anon_280 commented 2010-08-05 15:51:58 UTC
Disagree. The explosion should wake up Ariadne and Cobb, who are sleeping in Level 3. The defibrillator (I guess, but am still not satisfied by this explanation) jolts Fisher out of limbo. The elevator jolt wakes up everyone who is in Eames' dream. The van wakes them up from Arthur's dream. To get from Yusuf's dream to the real world, the sedative has to wear off or the have to get a "kick" in the real world.
Anon_170 improved the question 2010-08-08 02:06:07 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the answer 2010-08-08 02:26:47 UTC view / hide
Mark Roder improved the answer 2011-01-11 06:05:48 UTC view / hide
pleasestopthisnow improved the answer 2011-03-04 22:34:12 UTC view / hide
Anon_241 improved the question 2011-03-04 22:34:24 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the question 2011-04-05 08:36:39 UTC view / hide
Devon improved the answer 2011-04-05 08:36:46 UTC view / hide

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