Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Matrix

The Wachowski's formally known as the Wachowski brothers, wrote and directed "The Matrix" back in 1999. Ten years ago now.

To say that "The Matrix" is a great movie is a significant understatement. Science fiction is one of the most difficult genres in which to establish innovation or advancement. Not only did the Wachowski's blow people's minds with creating bullet time , but they provided a sense of storytelling that was unseen and unmatched. Our movie opens with green code and eavesdropping on a conversation between Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) where a "click" in the phone leads Trinity to believe their conversation may be being tapped. Off sets into motion an attempted capture of Trinity by a group of police officers in The Matrix as it is known.

We realize that she is a master of the martial arts, running and jumping. Though when being chased by an Agent, this proves to do little help without sheer luck of having a phone nearby in order to escape via the system.

Aside from that, we enter upon Mr. Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves). Occupation: computer programmer for a decent computer company. At night however he is an avid computer hacker going by the hacker name: Neo. It is here that it starts under adamant advisory from the father like figure Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) leads a group of freedom fighters that he believes that Neo is the one (prophet-like unbeknownst hero, think Harry Potter) to save the entire human race from being taken over by the machines and farmed for their energy to fuel the race of machines. - Pretty intense stuff.

Through the movie, anytime they are plugged into the Matrix, there is a green tint symbolizing the cloud over their eyes. That they are are slaves in the their own life and not even knowing it. Machines/computers have designed the Matrix to keeps people at bay while they harvest them for survival. Of course Morpheus and the people he saved aren't having any of this! They have their own way of exiting the Matrix and living in the "real world" where they can jack into the Matix ironically with with machines and use computer programming to program themselves to look certain ways i.e. slick hair, leather clothes and sunglasses and be professionally trained in martial arts, use of artillery (lots and lots of iron!!!) even how to operate a helicopter or other vehicles of choice. The possibilities are absolutely endless. But learning to use them is not all candy and popcorn. There are brutal and exquisite training sessions that make you understand that they are preparing themselves inch by inch for war and cannot leave anything to chance.

There are Agents who are basically men in black who are very strong and sadistically dangerous. The leader of Agents featured here are led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving's big break) who absolutely terrorize our heroes in action. In fact, it is strong advised that if they ever run into an Agent, they are to "Run. Run your ass off." They will take you apart no matter what fighting skills you have, and they delve into this fantastically which is where the introduction of bullet time came into existence. Even by today's standards, "The Matrix" is still one of the best movies ever made. In any genre. But the fact that they actually touched upon something new and brilliant is a prize on its own.

Stellar storyline and storytelling. Excellent characterization. Top of the line action sequences. - Too bad the sequels did not measure up even nearly....

Regardless, a landmark film that evolutionized the science fiction/action genre and will even with repeat viewings, never loses its magic. Bravo Wachowski's.

Directed by the Wachowski's. Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving and Joe Pantoliano.

Cine-a-meter rating: 5/5

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