The Matrix is a 1999 action sci-fi film written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and more. It is regarded as one of the best science fiction films ever made, with the film winning a total of four Oscar awards with dozens of other nominations and wins. Set in the late-90s, the movie follows the story of Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a lowly software programmer living a normal but secluded life.
When his normal life is turned upside down by a major revelation, Thomas embraces his hacker alter ego of Neo and begins a journey of self-discovery. Packed with mystery, intrigue, and some wickedly stylish action, The Matrix is a thought-provoking thrill ride that rarely slows down. Apart from a few minor issues, The Matrix earns its spot in movie history, giving audiences a unique and invigorating viewing experience.
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The Movie Review
The narrative in the Matrix is complex and packed with deep philosophical themes and ideas, but it’s presented in an incredibly digestible and easy-to-follow plot. The film mostly follows Thomas Anderson’s life, where he idly exists in present-day America. Despite his seemingly boring job at a respectable software company, Thomas lives a double life, spending his off-hours working as a hacker under the alias of Neo.
Bored with the monotony of everyday life and searching for something greater, Neo begins to hunt on the web for a mysterious technology known as the Matrix. His efforts are quickly noticed by a team of mysterious government agents led by the stoic Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who begins to hunt him down. Luckily, Neo is saved by a rogue group of stylishly-dressed hackers, including the agile Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and their leader, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne).
What unravels afterward is one of the most enthralling and engaging sci-fi stories of modern cinema history, with enough twists and turns to get anyone’s brain kicked into overdrive. Through a series of revelations, Neo learns of his true power and potential, which allows him to bend the laws of perceived reality. This results in some truly stellar action scenes, with iconic moments that have since been parodied and copied dozens of times over.
The Matrix laid the groundwork for much of the stylized action we see in modern movies, including the high use of slow-motion, fantastical fight scenes, and the introduction of “bullet time”. There are countless action scenes in the Matrix that are both riveting and full of inventive camera techniques and fight choreography, resulting in a consistently thrilling experience. When you’re not deeply invested in the evolving mystery, you’ll be glued to the screen by amazing and well-shot sequences of action.
The Bottom Line
The Matrix, as thrilling and timeless as it is, is not without flaws. By today’s standards, some of the CGI and special effects are middling, but the majority of the action scenes smartly utilize practical effects. Some characters come off as over-the-top and a few actor performances feel wooden, but you’ll rarely notice it. Luckily, most of The Matrix is a mind-bending, satisfying, and inventive movie that keeps you guessing.
From the masterful fight choreography to the industrial-punk costuming, The Matrix has loads of personality and it simply oozes off the screen. If you’ve never seen The Matrix or simply need to remind yourself just how riveting great science-fiction can be, give this one a watch. You won’t regret it.
- Stylish costuming and presentation
- Engrossing sci-fi story
- Memorable cast of characters
- Iconic action sequences
- Aging special effects
- Some underwhelming performances
- Slightly excessive explanatory dialogue