THE MATRIX - 1999
Rated: Australia: M / France: Rated U / Germany & Netherlands:
16 / Hong Kong: IIB / Italy: T / Norway & Sweden: 15 / Spain:
18 / UK: 15 / USA: R
WOW! WOW! WOW!
SF / Suspense / Thriller at its finest!
Need I say more? Well, okay!
This is the ONLY good adventure movie that Keenue Reeves (RIVER'S EDGE, DRACULA , THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE) has ever starred in.
Once you see this you will kiss SPEED good-bye! You don't need SPEED, you've got THE MATRIX.
The Science is good if implausible and the Special Effects are stunning
and weave well into the movie. The scare is in the ideas presented as
well as the movie's chilling creepy secret. So many ideas are thrown at
you in such a rush that, if you only see it once, you may wonder why the
characters did this that or the other thing. So see it twice, at least!
The movie starts with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss: MEMENTO, THE MATRIX RELOADED) running from the law, shooting up the city and making some amazing acrobatics in her attempt to escape pursuit. This
is an excellent opening scene and whets the imagination for all that is
Keenue Reeves portrays Neo, a lost soul who is wasting his life at work and at home
in front of a computer monitor. He is searching the internet, searching
all the electronic media, for an answer to a question he doesn't have.
He knows that something is not quite right in life, but he has no idea
whether it is all life or just his own.
Enter Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne: EVENT HORIZON, THE MATRIX RELOADED). Just a voice at first, Morpheus tells Neo
that he has the answers Neo seeks. He tells him through other people or through cell phones. Morpheus is connected and known among the hacker tech underground - but he is never seen.
Good guys / bad guys, they all wear black. For awhile, the movie leaves you wondering
just who is who.
The government Men In Black are led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving: LORD OF THE RINGS, THE MATRIX RELOADED). To Smith, Morpheus is a dangerous psycho terrorist.
A man who takes in susceptible people and uses them as suicidal fodder
for his own purposes. Many die in service to Morpheus, but Morpheus is
But our resident science geek, Kelly Parks, does have a
This is a great movie in so many ways. But when I watch it I always fast forward through the scene where Morpheus explains to Neo about how the AIs use humans as batteries because the idea is SO FREAKING STUPID! Its the simplest of most obvious physics to demonstrate that youd get more energy by taking the food youre feeding these people and burning it. That way you wouldnt lose the calories wasted by the incredibly inefficient heat engine known as the human body.
For the rest of this, go to THE SCIENCE
A review should never be a spoiler and for me to say more gives away key plot points
that come as surprises throughout the movie. This movie is armed to the
gills with plot points, twists, turns and surprises. Instead let me introduce
the people behind THE MATRIX.
THE MATRIX was both written and directed by Larry & Andy Wachowski
(BOUND, both wrote ASSASSINS). While they may be newcomers to the audience, the same cannot be said for
Producer Joel Silver.
Joel has produced such classic movies as THE WARRIORS and PREDATOR as well as TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT and BORDELLO OF BLOOD.
If this film seems to borrow from other dark movies of the nineties, it is not too surprising since Executive Producer Andrew Mason also produced DARK CITY and was Visual Effects Supervisor on THE CROW.
Additional credit, for the amazing fight scenes that you will see, go to Hong Kong's
Yuen Wo Ping. Using low tech gadgetry, Wo Ping has produced far better
fights than could be created using Blue Screen and CGI.
Steve Courtley (MAD MAX, MAD MAX: THE ROAD WARRIOR)
is the Special Effects Supervisor for THE MATRIX, handling everything from models to pyrotechnics: The
"live-action" effects, so to speak.
John Gaeta is the Visual Effects Supervisor (CGI). His
company Manex also did the SFX work on EVENT
HORIZON and STARSHIP TROOPERS.
The other major players in the SFX quarters are D-Film (DARK
CITY) and Animal
Logic (FACE / OFF). These smaller EFX houses are turning out the more believable effects these days, probably
owing to the fact that movie goers are learning to recognize the ILM and
Dreamworks "look". Animal Logic, for example, takes a very unique,
organic approach to SFX, using a wide variety of ideas in the unlikeliest
of places, such as live action shots of water flowing to simulate the
movement of digital numbers across a screen.
It is not killing anything to reveal that there is a computer program working behind
the scenes in the plot of this movie, and though never credited, the machines
of this world are very Giger inspired in their bio-mechanics.
From Special effects to Visual effects, to Fight choreography to Photography direction
to Editing, this movie was meant to wow you and knock you for a loop.
The days of fun SF/Horror/Thriller movies like ALIEN, ALIENS, THE FLY (1986), TERMINATOR, TERMINATOR
2, and TOTAL RECALL are not dead.
In only their second movie (2nd movie!) the Wachowski Brothers have created a Science Fiction/Horror/Thriller/Action/Adventure
masterpiece of filmaking. Welcome THE MATRIX.
copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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