What would you do if you were in the place of hacker Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) - popularly known by his in-movie online alias of "Neo" - in that you woke up one morning to cryptic messages on your computer monitor referencing this thing that you are indifferent to known only as the matrix? If you were Anderson, you would keep following the white rabbit, and you would then meet a fellow female hacker named Trinity (Carry Anne-Moss) who tells you of an acquaintance of hers named Morpheus. You don't know who Morpheus is, you don't know why you need him, and all you know is that you do. He calls you the next day while you are at work and tries to prevent you from getting arrested by a trio of Agents, although ultimately fails.
You wake up the next morning after having been arrested by the agents, one of which is the particularly demeaning Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving, absolutely INCREDIBLE), and also after having being literally bugged (with a device that transforms into something that resembles a literal bug). You decide that it might be in your best interest to contact this Orpheus again and meet with him. When you do, at his place, he offers you a choice of two pills; one red, one blue. You choose the red, since the blue will only make you forget that the meeting ever happened. You follow him. You are knocked out, presumably by the effects of the pill. You awaken in an oval-like vessel filled with liquid, in a world that you'd never hope to know.
Orpheus (Laurence Fishburne) explains that you are now in the future. He can't tell you what year because he's lost track himself (closer to 2199, he says). In the future, mankind is at war with very powerful machines that harvest the bioelectrical energy that human beings give off. The humans are kept controlled within an alternate universe - the matrix - which is where you has lived all your life, therefore rendering it a mere lie. Humans are basically converted to batteries. A fascinating concept. You are told that you are The One, meaning that you are the only One who can crack the code of the matrix and restore balance to both worlds.
Alright, done talking in first person. "The Matrix" is an absolutely stunning vision of the future presented in two separate planes of existence from writing and directing duo Andy and Larry (now Lana) Wachowski. It's a damn good mind-fuck of a movie, constantly switching out between the two realities; and I loved it for that. The future is a visual work of art; a compelling world tinted seedy green - dark and visionary. It's also home to some of the most badass, straight-up fantastic action sequences ever choreographed (the cinematographer is Bill Pope). It is pure cinema; memorable, influential, but also intelligent and ambitious.
I do not normally like Keanu Reeves. He doesn't appeal to me as an actor who can play characters of significant depth; although he pretty much proved me wrong here. His character inspires sympathy and understanding; and his relationship with Trinity gives the film a significant portion of its more emotional edge, since I think a good sci-fi/futuristic feature truly needs that to exist on its own. The world is one thing and its inhabitants are another. At the core, I think the film is very human; asking many existential and philosophical questions which imply that its creators are more intelligent than a lot of action filmmakers. But then again, this is more than an action film. Yes, it has the unforgettable lobby action set pieces, some truly epic slow-motion, and a whole lot of bullets; but the film is kinetic and frenetic without being stupid. It devotes a lot of its third act to the action, but by then we're one hundred percent invested. The breakneck pacing is not a flaw; it's an attribute, and a very positive one.
Perhaps what blew me away the most about "The Matrix" was where it drew its influence from. It's hard to categorize the film as the Wachowski brothers were clearly inspired by many things: including anime, science fiction literature (and just literature in general; there are many references to Lewis Carroll and his "Alice in Wonderland" works), action cinema, and even (spaghetti) westerns. If you put all of those things together with more philosophical idealism, you get this film. I'm afraid I can't do it much justice. The most I can do for it is advertise the damn thing to all those who appreciate good, mind-bending cinema. You won't see this one and its impact coming from a mile away like you will most films of its kind. It influenced a new generation of action filmmaking and still holds up today. There is no spoon, there are no rip-offs; only "The Matrix".
You may be wondering what exactly I mean by that title. What I mean is that it's widely-believed that the Matrix is one of the best sci-fi action films ever made. Oh what a grand lie that is. By the time you're done reading this review, you'll know that the Matrix is NOT original, intelligent, thought-provoking, or even that entertaining. PLOT The plot is that in a not-too-distant future, a software technician by day and computer hacker … more
WARNING: This review contains spoilers! DO NOT READ THIS UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM! Every once in a great while a film comes along that changes everything and revolutionizes the way films are made. It happened with Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Steven Spielberg's Jaws, and George Lucas' Star Wars... now we are given Andy and Larry Wachowski's The Matrix. The Matrix not only has a cool, cyberpunk, hyper stylized look and … more
If only for the innovative filming techniques, this movie is a must see. It is unfortunate that the story could not carry the momentum through parts II and III. The philosophy in the movie is interesting and its treatment of the future we may make for ourselves is worth a pause.
(I suppose this belongs here too.) There are two concepts mentioned in The Matrix which are important to its analysis. But curiously the specific names for those concepts are never actually used in the movies. The missing words are: Reincarnation & Avatar To comprehend The Matrix you must pay close attention to certain dialogs. There are numerous such dialogs throughout the movies. … more
When Thomas A Anderson, aka Neo (Keanue Reeves), ends up on the run from the police, and in the same room as legendary fugitive Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), he must choose if he wants to discover the truth of the Matrix. He is given two options: 1) take the blue pill and "believe whatever you want to believe," or 2) take the red pill where "you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hold goes." The Matrix is a futuristic action movie … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss Directed by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski Writer: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski 1999
Product Description Set in the 22nd century, The Matrix tells of a computer hacker (Reeves) who joins a group of underground insurgents fighting the vast and powerful computers who now rule the earth. The computers are powered by human beings...
By following up their debut thrillerBoundwith the 1999 box-office smashThe Matrix, the codirecting Wachowski brothers--Andy and Larry--annihilated any suggestion of a sophomore jinx, crafting one of the most exhilarating sci-fi/action movies of the 1990s. Set in the not too distant future in an insipid, characterless city, we find a young man named Neo (Keanu Reeves). A software techie by day and a computer hacker by night, he sits alone at home by his monitor, waiting for a sign, a signal--from what or whom he doesn't know--until one night, a mysterious woman named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) seeks him out and introduces him to that faceless character he has been waiting for: Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). A messiah of sorts, Morpheus presents Neo with the truth about his world by shedding light on the dark secrets that have troubled him for so long: "You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad." Ultimately, Morpheus...