o why am I writing a full review of a movie everyone has
already seen and likes enough that the producers are already at work on Parts 2 and 3? For one, I am
personally at odds over the movie. Like millions of fans out there, I adore the
movie for its mixture of Eastern martial arts and Western technology (some I had
never seen before in my life, like the bullet-time effects). I also
enjoy many aspects of the movie, particularly the effects-laden fights and
action scenes. And yet, I still cannot get over the sheer stupidity of the
storyline. Once you strip away the special effects, The Matrix is a movie
with a barebones plot that has been done millions of times, and many times
There is the "he is the one" cliché. How many
times have I seen that? Millions. There is the "oracle" character who
determines who is "the one" and is wiser than Mahatma Ghandi or Buddha
combined (she/he, of course, will always be played by a minority; in this case,
an old black woman).
sitting through a million movies with similar themes and characters, I grew
bored with The Matrix when it started opening its mouth. The movie keeps
my attention when it concentrates on doing what it does best -- elaborate fight
sequences and special effects stunts. How could you not like the helicopter
rescue? Or your first glimpse of the "harvest fields" under command of
giant insect-like machines?
The movie's writer/director team, the Wachowskis, have a good sense of awe and wonder in the visuals, but they lack originality
when it comes to everything else. The movie's fight choreography is obviously
the brainchild of action choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen, the famed Hong Kong fight
choreographer for some of the best martial arts movies to ever come out of Hong
Kong. So does that mean many of the "exciting" scenes are produced by
others besides the Wachowski brothers? Not at all. It is obviously the brothers'
vision that the movie is based on, so the final credit must be given to
Is The Matrix an original movie? Not in the least.
It's riddled with clichéd storylines and the acting is sub par. Keanu Reeves
once again turns in a wooden performance and shows as much emotion as that box
of popcorn I was eating while watching the movie in theaters. Carrie-Anne Moss
has a one-note performance, and Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith is supposed to be
intimidating and dangerous, but comes across as stoic and uninteresting.
only character of merit is Laurence Fishburne's Morpheus, a man who exudes
confidence and mystery within the Matrix construct, but vulnerability and
uncertainty once in the real world. Fishburne brings a layered performance that
is only possible with talent, something his co-actors have little of.
Carrie-Anne Moss has since honed her acting chops on other, smaller fares such
Keanu Reeves, meanwhile, continues to show less emotion than Freddie Prinze Jr.,
who seems certain to take over the still-young Keanu's role as "that pretty
boy who can't really act, but who the girls really dig."
All that being said, The Matrix is a terrific piece of fluff entertainment if you
are willing to ignore all the philosophy gibberish that means very little when
taken apart. Forget that the plot is an amalgamation of thousands of past sci-fi
movies, or that Keanu Reeves has less range than a tortoise trying out for a
Forget all that, and you'll
have a good time, because The Matrix is a revolutionary film in many
respects, and people will look back at its technological achievements the way
people look back at Citizen Kane's. And that's pretty good company for