The Matrix

* * * 1/2*

Mention a science fiction film starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne and you might conjure up frightening images of Johnny Mnemonic or Event Horizon. However, their new film, The Matrix, is a dazzling and unique work that will certainly put those horrible nightmares to rest.

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a normal guy living a boring life in 1999. All his life he has felt something is not quite right. One question inexplicably burns in his mind: What Is The Matrix?

To escape the dull routines of daily life, Thomas lives a double life. By day, he's a software programmer at a monolithic corporation. At night, he becomes a computer hacker, using the alias Neo, desperately searching for the answer to the question that plagues him.

He comes close to getting his answer when he is contacted by an elite group of hackers, including Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Cypher (Joe Pantoliano), and led by the enigmatic Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Neo doesn't have long to decide whether to trust this ragtag bunch. When a mysterious government agent (Hugo Weaving) beings pursuing him, he finds himself forced to make a decision upon which rides the fate of his entire existence.

Writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski have crafted a stunning fusion of a Hong Kong action film and a cyberpunk graphic novel. The special effects are impressive, particularly when they are seamlessly integrated into the film's action sequences. The film transitions from regular speed to slow motion and back again in the middle of several stunts, offering plenty of eye candy.

The Matrix is rife with symbolic imagery, so much so that it makes you wonder if the entire film is a religous allegory of some sort. From names (Trinity, Zion, The Oracle, Nebuchadnezzar, etc.) to religious themes (faith, enlightenment, the chosen one, miracles, resurrection, and so forth), there's a little bit of everything in The Matrix. It is not cohesive enough to make sense alone, but it does add an interesting flavor to the scenes.

As with any science fiction film, you have to be willing to suspend disbelief long enough to accept the premise. At least, with The Matrix, the premise is worth disbelieving for. The film starts up in the middle of the action, and it isn't until about halfway through that everything starts falling into place. Once you see the pattern emerge, it becomes apparent that there was much thought put into the screenplay.

If the film has a weak link, it is with the characterizations. It's surprising, since the writers were responsible for the multilayered characters in Bound. But, the characters in The Matrix are, for the most part, flat and unchanging.

The idea behind The Matrix is not a brand new concept in science fiction, however, it is one never before put so vividly upon the movie screen. Action lovers, science fiction fans, and even those who just crave a decent story will all find what they're looking for in The Matrix.

[R - sci-fi violence] (WB)


Reader Comments:
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Michael Gencarelli (anonymous)release date changed
07/28/99 03:31 AMthe release date has moved up again to sept.21, 1999 for further info about its release date check www.videoeta.com

Other Reader Comments (click on subject to read):
ASB83
04/05/99
KICK ASS!!!
payaso (anonymous)
04/05/99
mindblow!
pvasilj
04/05/99
Matrix
BWebb
04/06/99
Worth Seeing Twice
The Gray Man (anonymous)
04/07/99
There is no spoon.
KingoftheWinos (anonymous)
04/07/99
Mindblowin
Allanon (anonymous)
04/07/99
awesome
FilmBuff
04/08/99
I disagree...
duck (anonymous)
04/08/99
dream
Hadley (anonymous)
04/09/99
Remember Dark City?
massiveattack (anonymous)
04/10/99
Cool
(anonymous)
04/11/99
Unbelievable!
Craig (anonymous)
04/11/99
Very Original
Rand (anonymous)
04/12/99
The Matrix
MovieMan (anonymous)
04/13/99
One of the BEST.
Ecogirl (anonymous)
04/14/99
Keanu - Welcome Back!
Craig (anonymous)
04/15/99
Astounding combination of concept and Action
ksparks@iusb.edu (anonymous)
04/15/99
I know why you're here, Neo!
(anonymous)
04/16/99
The Matrix
ILUVSCIFIC
04/16/99
Dark City Does Not Hold A Candle to the Matrix
alee1013 (anonymous)
04/17/99
dodge this!!!!
Yo (anonymous)
04/20/99
A Classic from Start to Finish.
spermansen
04/20/99
Matrix
Ceejay (anonymous)
04/21/99
Smooth
me (anonymous)
04/21/99
'sup coppertops?????
Cycline3 (anonymous)
04/22/99
Matrix
the_goat (anonymous)
04/23/99
The mind shaking kick ass video... The matrix
Zarathustra (anonymous)
04/23/99
Dodge this!
NeoAnderson (anonymous)
04/25/99
The Matrix
NeoAnderson
04/25/99
The Matrix
Wintermute (anonymous)
04/28/99
The Matrix
AC
05/12/99
In the words of Keanu Reeves: "Whoa!"
kerrix (anonymous)
05/15/99
matrix
mposey (anonymous)
05/19/99
should have bet titanic
      ˆ`·Elektrizität` (anonymous)
05/26/99
I feel... Saturated... by it....
Clay Shank (anonymous)
05/29/99
The Matrix
Ramon (anonymous)
06/04/99
about the matrix
(anonymous)
06/04/99
Matrix
mujen
06/08/99
Matrix is Biblical
Michael Gencarelli (anonymous)
06/14/99
video release date
Tank78 (anonymous)
06/15/99
More gruel please!?
Lauren (anonymous)
06/24/99
Look into those big, pretty eyes...
Vicky (anonymous)
06/24/99
MATRIX RULES!
TrudyW (anonymous)
06/27/99
Good on ya, Keanu!!!!
Technet (anonymous)
07/02/99
The Matrix
roy (anonymous)
07/07/99
the coolest thing
(anonymous)
07/12/99
The Matrix
big X (anonymous)
07/12/99
matrix
sam.phoenix (anonymous)
07/20/99
Zen - NEO (anagram ONE)
dave.web2000 (anonymous)
07/20/99
the best film ever
Skygirl (anonymous)
07/22/99
Keanu is so hot!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jonh "Cannibal" Silver (anonymous)
07/23/99
MTX
Rebecca (anonymous)
07/25/99
Kool!
Rebecca (loves Keanu) (anonymous)
07/25/99
KEANU REEVES IS SOOO CUTE!!
Neo (anonymous)
07/26/99
???????????????????????????????????????
Rick Dixon (anonymous)
08/04/99
Matrix tops Blade Runner
Pyschick (anonymous)
10/27/99
MATRIX
DeJaVu (anonymous)
10/27/99
MATRIX
Fiona (anonymous)
12/23/99
Love
Trinity (anonymous)
12/25/99
Think, people
(anonymous)
03/15/00
The Matrix
Shenanigousmos (anonymous)
04/20/00
The Matrix
Annette from Darwin Australia (anonymous)
05/17/00
The Matrix
Annette Hodgson-Taylor
05/17/00
Greetings and Salutations from Darwin Australia.

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