This is what our review of The Matrix looks like when it’s not April 1. Time to fess up: who’d we get?

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Keanu Reeves as 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 Smith in the subway.

Low Point

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

The Scores

This felt remarkably original. Fans of Asian cinema have seen this type of thing before, but simply getting it made in Hollywood is an incredible achievement. (Too bad they couldn’t do it again.) Yes, much of this has been done for other audiences, but given the context of the production world this movie lived in, I give it a 6 out of 6.

The effects are remarkable, holding up to closer viewing. There was some very convincing CGI, as well as wire work that looks far more realistic than the CGI stunt doubles that are usually used on this side of the pond. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s considerably above average for the action genre. There are many literary eferences to Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and the Bible mixed in with the action, and enough plot to make a movie had the action taken place off screen. Well above par for films with this special effects budget and explosion count. I give it 5 out of 6.

Keanu Reeves is not known for remarkable acting talent. He tends to come across as an airhead, with no ambition or direction in life. That attitude suits this role very well. The supporting cast, however, was made up of people who are known for their acting abilities, and with good reason. The casting choices included many less known individuals who fit these roles well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is great on the first unspoiled viewing, as the ad campaign left the viewers wondering what the Matrix is. There is enough genuine drama and fun action involved for the film to hold up under subsequent viewings quite well. (It’s also fun to watch heroes win out over incredible odds.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is what really set this film apart from other Hollywood movies, including its own sequels. This feels like a meticulously crafted labour of love that respects and rewards the audience, trusting that they can handle things outside of U.S. studio norms. Unusual camera angles, technical work, and careful attention to viewpoints pay off very nicely. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very good movie. In fact, it’s one of the few “action” films I own. It’s good enough to be viewed from outside a particular genre constraint. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Matrix receives 38 out of 42.