Director: Andy and Larry Wachowski
The Matrix is another one of those movies that I’m a little intimidated to write a review for, particularly after all this time. What can I say really, that hasn’t been said thousands of times before? Then again, when has that ever stopped me?
The Matrix, for the six people that might read this that don’t already know, is set hundreds of years in the future, and right this very day. The idea is that at some point, computers reached a level of sentient intelligence and, like all good logical machines before them, decided that mankind was a plague to be wiped from the face of the earth. In true human fashion, fought back, engaging at the level of brutal determination where :if I can’t have it, no one can” pretty much sums it up. Eventually, the machines won the day, and to add insult to injury, discovered that human beings provide an excellent source of renewable energy.
Enter the Matrix, the computer generated, simulated world of today which vat-grown humans believe is their reality, when in fact they are farmed and stored like batteries, powering the grids that keep the machines working. A small group of humans has managed to stay outside of of the robots clutches, for now, and these rebels have the ability to jack in to the Matrix, hooking their brains directly into the feed, controlling the world in ways others would find to be magical, and recruiting those who they think can make a contribution in the unhooked, post-apocalyptic reality.
The Matrix was a mindfuck, and one of the few truly well made ones of its day. Based in the general cyberpunk tradition of William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic, the Matrix offered a view of an advanced cyberspace that was exciting and chilling at once. The juxtaposition of the desolate, nuclear-stripped, machine dominated world, with the wonderland that was the Matrix was gripping. The philosophical questions raised about reality weren’t burdened or compromised with glib answers, but were rather left open to interpretation.
What made the Matrix so amazing was that you could watch this incredible action movie, with amazingly well crafted CG, and come away thinking (relatively) deep thoughts about reality, existence and consciousness. And on top of all that, have a hell of a fun time watching the unreal actions of a group of cyber-goths. The Matrix was fun, cool, and thought-provoking, with a fantastic soundtrack, amazing visuals, and a well-crafted story.
The Matrix is an absolute must watch dystopian film. It is creative and original, mixing ideas and concepts from films, books, comics and anime into one very compelling narrative. Even Keanu Reeves, battling for so many years to overcome the surfer dude reputation is not only watchable, but downright enjoyable in this super-stylized film that manages to be both gritty and slick at the same time.
Review Date: 2010-12-19
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/