Edelstein is correct in his comparisons with the other films. "Inception" does lack those qualities. I love his phrase "ticktock logistics," and plan to steal it. In my case, I didn't crack a smile while watching the film because Nolan didn't call for one, nor was I looking for the qualities David found in the other films. I found it refreshing that Nolan's villains didn't wear matching uniforms (do the bad guys in "The Matrix" and the Bond movies all share locker rooms?). It's true that Nolan is literal-minded and logistical, but I believe the film depends on the conceit that you can think your way into someone else's dream with your own intelligence. The last thing he wanted was an untethered dream movie. Nolan successfully made the film he had in mind, and shouldn't be faulted for failing to make someone else's film.
It's unlikely Nolan anticipated the "delusional hype" and made "Inception" as a preemptive metaphor, but you never know. Still, I understand where Edelstein is coming from. I can understand how a critic could react to the film in his way. His review is justified and valuable, more stimulating to a lover of the film than still more praise. It helps you to see it. If you don't agree with his litany of faults, you have to ask yourself, why not? Compare Edelstein with Armond White, whose review joins David's in the dock at the current online heresy trial. White calls "Inception" a "con game," and explains: "Its essential con is that, as in 'Memento,' Nolan ignores the morality of his characters' actions; he accepts that they will do anything--which is the cynicism critics admired in 'Memento,' the con-man's motivating nihilism."
Edelstein's review describes the film I saw, and deals with it. White dismisses the film with preemptive contempt for anyone caught enjoying it. Edelstein's review is about the film. White's review is about charlatans defrauding the ignorant with snake oil. There are, of course, other dissenting reviews of "Inception."