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The Matrix (1999)
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Review Date: March 31, 1999
Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Writer: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Producers: Joel Silver
Actors:
Keanu Reeves as Thomas "Neo" Anderson
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith
Plot:
It is the year 2199, and the world is now being run by an artificial intelligence. It has constructed a computer-generated dreamworld, called the Matrix, in which human beings live their daily lives, without any knowledge of their false existence. Some rebel humans discover this horror, and recruit the help of computer hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves), hoping that he will be "the one" to rescue the world from this cyber-slavery.
Critique:
The last thirty minutes of this movie just kicks ass all over the place! It combines special effects, with crazy fights featuring freaky Hong Kong action and unbelievable strengths, and a non-stop pace to a chase that seemed inevitable from the start. Unfortunately for my taste, this film's second act ran into a major slow-down when it delved too minutely into the intricate details of the explanation behind this "matrix". This muddled back-and-forth wasn't improved upon by the set of questions that seemed to answer the previously presented set of questions. Anyway, that aside, the film starts off with a bang-a-gong that will set anyone's taillights ablaze. The Wachowski brothers obviously have an eye for style, and fully take advantage of their respected talent during much of this film's progression. The slick action shots, decent suspense, and awesome cinematography accentuate this flash, and feed us with plenty of excitement to let slide the less interesting, and more standard scenes within the "real world" outside of the matrix.

The acting is solid all around, with Fishburne making a fine showing, despite the excessive unflattering close-ups of his once pretty face, and Reeves pulling off a decent performance as the hacker caught in and over his head. Whoa! One guy that did standout in my mind, was the head of the "bad guys", Australian actor Hugo Weaving, who fed us with a fine dish of confidence, terror and an awfully annoying chatter style. All in all, this movie could have been trimmed a spot during its over-elaborate second act, but comes through on all cylinders in respect to style, vision, mood, and premise. But the biggest selling point of this film, a detail not gone unnoticed by its own overzealous marketing team, is the visually stunning special effect action sequences which trounce your pre-existing notion of "a great fight sequence", and present all future filmmakers with a new benchmark for fun and excitement. Kung-fu, crazy special effects, a girl in a black rubber suit, John Woo-esque slo-mo action shots, and Keanu Reeves in a shaved head. What is The Matrix? Cyber-kinetic futuristic fun for the whole family!! :)
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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