Sorry this review is late. My home Internet service is down, so I had to post this from work.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson / Neo
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith
Gloria Foster as Oracle
Joe Pantoliano as Cypher

Written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski.

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

A hacker comes to learn that the reality he grew up in isn’t reality.

High Point

Beckoning Agent Smith in the subway.

Low Point

“He’s a machine.” This is a compliment in this world?

The Scores

I don’t understand why people say this movie is so original. Take any Hong Kong action film from the last few decades and mix it with Tron, and you get this. Heck, even The Lawnmower Man used the basic ideas for the world. I give it 2 out of 6.

The effects felt like the entire point of the movie. Why, exactly, does the helicopter cause ripples in the building? Why did the mirror try to eat Neo? Because it looks so cool! Right. They had the technology, but they didn’t have the purpose. Effects should embellish the story, and not overrun it. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story gets off to a good start with the entire “what is the Matrix” mystery. Then, we get a lame story about human batteries being used in a non-renewable system (which means the machines will
eventually die off), and a whole bunch of fight scenes with no further development. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is led by Keanu “Ted Logan” Reeves. I used to have a Speak and Spell that was more expressive than this guy, and he’s the star! It doesn’t bode well for the cast as a whole. Some of the others did decent work, but they just couldn’t overcome the anchor running front and centre. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response was dampened by the feeling that the writers were more concerned about what would be “cool” than what would be “good.” There’s lots of fighting, including the heroes slaughtering several innocent people. If they hadn’t established that death in the matrix meant death everywhere, it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, Cypher was convinced he could plug back in. Death could just mean a mindwipe and relocation to another role inside the Matrix. Throw in an automatic trace that happened when they hacked
into the system, and you get a very real threat. Any incursion would have a strict time limit, as the “real world” body would be hunted, while the heroes could fight their way through without actually killing anyone. Instead, they become wanton killers who would be regarded as the terrorists they were described as.
The Wachowskis were just too worked up in proving they’d read the Bible to really sit down and think about the mechanics of the world they created. I give it 2 out of 6.

The production had camera angles we don’t usually see, and with good reason. I do have to give the Wachowskis credit for recognizing that empty shells falling on the floor were more interesting than the scenes they’d written. They mimicked the Asian cinema styles and passed it off to an unsuspecting audience as something actually new. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s not a bad movie, but it’s dramatically overhyped. Watch it if you like special effects and don’t feel like thinking all that much. 3 out of 6.

In total, The Matrix receives 19 out of 42.