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The Matrix (1999)

September 7, 2009

10/10 Morbid Wardrobes

Thought about giving this a 9, then I thought about the two times I saw it in theaters and the thirty-odd times I watched this when it finally came out on VHS. I had a lot of free time in middle school.

The Matrix takes place in a pretty bleak future where, unbeknownst to us, the everyday world we live in is actually a mass computer program that we have all been plugged into by machines because, of course, we ended up making machines so damn smart that by the time the year 2199 rolled around, it got to the point where they could think for themselves and start harvesting humans for energy. Anyway, the story revolves around a lonely hacker that discovers the alternate reality we live in, he gets recruited by freedom fighters in the future to save humanity from the machines as “The Chosen One”, and learns mass amounts of kung-fu because it’s sweet.

I’m tellin’ you, one day someone is going make this creepy mofo too damn smart and we are going to be totally fucked. Someone oughta send those scientists a copy of this movie before T-1000s start showing up at our door.

But, man. The Matrix. Where to begin.

Why don’t we start with how movies haven’t been the same since this came out. Yeah, that’s a good place to start.

Think back movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or any action movie that used people on wires/shootouts in slo-mo since 1999 for that matter, then consider that none of them would have existed if it weren’t for this movie. It’s like how after Die Hard came out and blew the whole “one-man-army” genre of action movies out of the water, everyone looking to pitch an action movie from that point on pretty much started their shpiel with, “It’s like Die Hard, only it’s in a plane/submarine/prosthetics factory/etc.” The Matrix set a new standard for what could be done in movies and it’s no surprise the sequels couldn’t top the original because, really, how do you top The Matrix? That also explains why the Wachowski Brothers more or less resorted to repeating the same fight scenes and karate moves (i.e.: Trinity’s mid-air flying crane kick that gets rehashed a good twenty times) instead of trying to come up with new shit that wasn’t ripped right out of a highlights reel from Dragon Ball Z.

But aside from the way it revolutionized action movies, the movie’s script is also really freakin’ good. The whole false-reality-created-by-evil-machines concept was totally fresh, the characters are all fantastic in their own cool, taciturn variations, and while the Wachowski’s heady, robotic dialogue hasn’t really worked outside of the Matrix universe since, it was perfect for this kind of setting.

And who better to deliver these heady, robotic lines as humanity’s savior than Keanu Reeves, a man with the emotional range of a toaster. Considering that it plays to his strengths, I think it’s safe to say that his role here as Neo might be right up there with Ted Theodore Logan, another role that clearly played to his strengths at the time. Laurence Fishburne is cool as Neo’s mentor of sorts, Morpheus; Hugo Weaving is damn cool as Neo’s enemy, Agent Smith (kinda surprised his career didn’t really take off after this); and I guess Carrie-Anne Moss is cool as Neo’s main squeeze, Trinity. She’s no Sarah Connor, but Trinity’s a pretty badass chick all the same.

Look, if you’re one of the few people left on Earth who still hasn’t seen this movie, honestly, what the hell? This really is a phenomenal movie, and before you disagree, I’d suggest you go see it again. I feel like this movie became victim to its own hype after a while, but there’s good reason behind practically everyone having this movie in their DVD collection nowadays. It’s too bad the Wachowski Brothers totally screwed the pooch on every movie they’ve made since, but then again, they made The Matrix. It’s kind of a downhill slope from that point on no matter how you cut it.

A well deserved 15 minutes if you ask me.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2009 7:42 am

    Definitely one of the greatest films of our time! One of the few movies I know word for word and can still watch in awe – every time.

    Check out a film called “Bound” that they did before the Matrix, one of their finer moments. Pretty good film, made a gazillion times better by Gina Garshon / Jennifer Tilly lezzing out (behind cypher’s back).

    • September 7, 2009 4:03 pm

      I always heard Bound was good, I’m gonna check that one out. And I completely agree, unhealthy the amount of times I’ve watched this movie.

  2. October 18, 2012 3:53 pm

    Great movie, great review! Congrats!


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