The Matrix (1999)

Rating: N/A

Dir: The Wachowski Brothers
Star: Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

What is the Matrix? It’s very difficult to accept a concept that is so far from normal thought as to be nearly incomprehensible. Even more difficult, I imagine, to incorporate such an unimaginable concept into your everyday realm, and be told to forget everything you know and understand as reality. Add to that, the responsibility of being told that you are the new Messiah, the next Saviour, the only hope…The One.

Well, I’d say “fuck it” and probably cave. Or, I’d face this new adventure with open eyes, an open mind and hope it’s not too terrible. For this adventure is an amazing one. The story is tried and true – Good vs Bad, it always is. But it’s a gripping story with incredible…no, better than incredible… more like Un-Fucking-Believable special effects and fight scenes. I was entranced. Not once as I watched did I utter the phrase “Oh, I am so sure”. Not even once! I perceived the fights as real, accurate, believable. I’m very critical from watching Hong Kong action and their hyper-dramatic martial arts fight scenes, but here, we are led down a path gently focusing our eyes to what the filmmakers wish us to believe and the concept placed in my mind made all the amazing fight scenes (by Yuen Woo-Ping) jaw-dropping.

It’s all like that. The unbelievable is now not only believable, but a working part of the universe as we know it. Or maybe not. Confused? Oh you will be. You will be. And then, like an epiphany…or maybe a two by four board slamming you in the face, it hits you all at once and is, for some, too much to bear, but it makes perfect sense.

The Matrix is visually, audially and intellectually stunning. One tends to try and focus on one or the other of the qualities enmeshed within the film. I was awed by the special effects, the graphics, the fight sequences and will need to see it again to fully appreciate the storyline. The characters are all beautiful in their journey to face the truth and the sacrifices they have to make. The bad guys are deliciously evil and I almost sympathised with their truths and reasonings, although I was still rooting for the good guys, and not only cause they were seriously cool dressers.

What is the Matrix? It’s worth a trip to a big screen cinema to find out. It may awe you, it may disturb you, it may floor you, but also, you may not look at anything in the same way again.