The Matrix

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matrix.gif

The future will not be user friendly.

1999

Genres:
Action, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Cyberpunk

Starring:
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishbourne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving

Summary:
Reeves plays Neo, a hacker in a seemingly present-day world who senses that all is not right with his surroundings. His vague suspicions are confirmed when he encounters the elusive Morpheus (Fishbourne) and a mysterious threatening agent (Weaving). When Neo decides to join Morpheus and his freedom fighters, he uncovers the shocking truth about the matrix and reality as he knew it.

Morpheus and Trinity (Moss) believe that Neo is The One, a prophecied savior that can free all of humanity from their unknown mental bondage. However, Neo himself is not so sure and finds himself in the middle of a classic sci-fi war between man and machine.

Response:
This movie ranks as one of my favorites.

The Matrix is a perfect vehicle for Reeves' acting (un)ability. It is cool, hip, and action-based. The special effects are amazing and unique. And the reality-questioning theme is carried off remarakably well.

When I first saw this in the theater, there was a big publicity effort to keep the plot under wraps so I didn't know what the matrix was. Therefore, the 15 seconds in the movie after Neo takes the pill and wakes up were truly memorable and shocking. You could almost hear the gasp in the theater as people suddenly understood the movie's premise. I'll always love this movie just for that brief moment of cinematic genius.

The only really bad part in the whole flick was the Hollywood Sleeping Beauty crap at the end between Moss and Reeves. Just close your eyes and hold your breath during that part and it will be done before you know it. It is unfortunately a prelude of sappy slop to come in the sequels.

In addition to the impressive eye candy, The Matrix also brings up some interesting and disturbing issues about reality and technology. I actually got the idea for my undergrad thesis from this movie and found a whole slew of articles-- old and new-- written about this postmodern view of reality. Check out Jean Baudrillard's book, Simalcura and Simulation if you want an intellectual brainbake of The Matrix minus Reeves and his black leather clad buddies.

Point Blank:
This is the epitome of cool sci-fi. If you haven't seen it, um, that's really odd.