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The Matrix (1999) – Movie Review

The Matrix movie poster

Written & Directed by: The Brothers Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Hugo Weaving

My Advice: Matinee.

Meet Thomas Anderson (Reeves), by day mild-mannered software programmer, by night “Neo,” a hacker extraordinaire. His life seems to be going fairly well, until he meets someone he was never expecting to: the uberhacker to end all uberhackers, the legendary Morpheus (Fishburne), and the man has a secret which will change Neo’s world forever. But the change is a hard choice that once made is nothing you can walk away from and potentially quite lethal.

Okay, here’s the few items of bad news I can impart. First of all, Reeves’ acting prowess hasn’t increased any. Second, the setup of Reeves’ character before the fit starts hitting the shan is measured in nanoseconds. Third, parts of the ending struck me as hurried and cheese-ridden.

[ad#longpost]Now, here’s the good news: who gives a rat’s ass? Reeves is overshadowed by the special effects and story to the point where anyone could have filled his shoes. Now if someone else had played Neo they might have brought some, I don’t know, depth or interest to the character, but like I said, you’re having too much fun to care. (At one point in development, Will Smith was to play Neo and Val Kilmer was to play Morpheus–wrap your head around that.)

Still, speaking of fun, watch how even the supposedly stoic bad guy Agent Smith (a great Hugo Weaving) outacts Reeves. His speech about why he hates humanity is wonderful. But I digress. The same who cares goes for Reeves’ lack of development, same goes for the ending. Who cares? The film’s a ride. Granted, it’s a ride with a decent and well-thought out story behind it, but a ride nonetheless. Thanks are due to the Wachowski Brothers for taking the time to think out story points before letting the guns fire–that’s rare, and quite commendable.

Couple all of that with sequences to make John Woo sit up and go “Damn,” some nice story twists, and Laurence Fishburne being his usual badass self, and you’ve got a decent flick. Make sure to see it on the big screen for all the effects.