THE MATRIX (1999)
Directed and Written by: Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
The Matrix changed filmmaking and, unintentionally, video games the same way Avatar did ten years later. It became a cultural phenomenon with a variety of quotes, scenes, and all around kick ass fight sequences. Who doesn’t remember the infamous lobby shootout or Neo learning Kung-Fu? But there’s more to this movie then the fight scenes and the (still) epic production/digital design.
The Wachowski’s might be blowing smoke up our asses now a days but at the time, the first Matrix movie did a great job blending philosophy and action. There’s Plato, Rene Descartes, a variety of religious ideals, and many thought-provoking ideas on what is life. You lose yourself in the moment when you see bullets in slow motion but it is impressive how the Wachowski’s could balance everything in the script. The film never got any real recognition with its screenplay and I think that’s a big disservice because I find myself loving the themes just as much as the action. It rightly deserves all the accolades on a technical level and the actors themselves should get some love for actually learning how to fight.
Thanks to The Matrix we got a deluge of action films, homages & parodies of its epic slow mo technology, and the concept of trilogies came back with a reckoning. (Or in today’s terms we now have four films aka a Tetraology). Personally I’ll remember this as my introduction to Hugo Weaving as he became one of the best villains in a new generation of films. His slow cadence and cold stare has worked wonderfully in new ventures including another film trilogy in The Lord of the Rings. We all know now a days how great The Matrix is and I’m sure we all feel the same way in our love of it. Then the sequels came and….well we’ll get to those soon enough.