THE MATRIX, 1999
Starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Ann Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantoliano
Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a malevolent hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines which live off of their body heat and imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents, super powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.
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The original mind blowing film. Not since Star Wars had a film taken audiences and shown them something so new and original. It was this film that took the best aspects of contemporary storytelling, the originality of science-fiction plots, the Shakespearian characters and the most inventive of Japanimation / kung fu action. Cyber punk has never been so perfectly…. commercial.
What’s great about this world that’s been created is that it doesn’t just introduce you to a whole other place, but it lets you explore the possibilities and the thought process of the characters within it. How many ways can you view this new world? As a playground? As a prison? As an adventure? As an opportunity? So many questions are raised and you can answer them in your own perspective. Past that, there is a wonderful tale, rooted from mythology. The prophecy of the savior. Within all of this, is a tale of realistic situations and characters with their own beliefs that consume their every being. It’s this complex combination of elements that creates an entire experience for the audience with limitless possibilities and potential. Nothing is more exciting than that.
Keanu “Excellent” Reeves. There’s no escaping Bill & Ted fame for this man, but even still, he gives a spot on performance for what this role is calling for. He is believable as a doe-eyed newbie to this world and also delivers somewhat of a strong dramatic presence at times. Laurence Fishburne is great as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss provides a believable, and more importantly, solid performance as a love interest. I had no problem with these actors in the archetype roles. But the show really belongs to one man, and that is Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. Even more so when you hear Weavings normal speaking voice. His movements and delivery – everything works so well for the character while creating something wholly original and evil.
The Wachowski brothers where really on to something when they created this world, this film, these characters and this story. As I said earlier, not since Star Wars had we seen a film that was so imaginative in every element of it’s design. What this film is, took every bit of planning and passion. They deserve all the gratitude and praise that came with the success of this film.
Groundbreaking and interesting. The color design of this film was new and creative – and wasn’t bothering to the eye. There is an abundance of bleak greens, black and grays that would typically cause one’s eye to become frustrated and annoyed, but it’s not over saturated to the point that it distracts from the imaginative world, story and characters that are taking us for a ride. Because of this, it works.