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The Matrix

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne
Director: Andy & Larry Wachowski
Genre: Science Fiction
Year: 1999
Rating: 4 / 5

Reviewed by Guest Scribe Godking

What is the Matrix? A mass hallucinogenic drug administered to an unknowing humanity? Is it an elaborate computer program that pulls the proverbial wool over our eyes, or is it something else? No one can tell you what the Matrix is, you must see if for yourself. The Matrix seeks to ask a question and provide an answer, a Marvel-esque ‘what if’ episode. What if the world as we know it is a sham, and those of us who people it are not really there. What if instead we exist in another realm/time entirely?

The question and the answer are going to excite people, and engage discussion, but the process of getting from a to b is what is really exciting. If you want to read the philosophic basis for The Matrix, I recommend The Bible, Snow Crash, Neuromancer and any thing else with the phrase cyber punk in the publisher blurb. If you want to experience The Matrix, I suggest you go to the nearest multiplex and jack in for two hours of enjoyment.

Doubting Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is about to be pulled into a Messianic apocalyptic world, where hot chicks (namely Trinity) wear black leather/lycra/rubber exclusively, and move like ninjas from your favorite anime. Did I mention they carry guns? Did I mention Laurence Fishburne, the man who plays the man who knows enough? Fishburne looks like a relic from the Hellraiser series, only with more attitude. Morpheus leads our rag tag band of resistance fighters in the battle against/within the Matrix, a battle that can only be fought with the help of the ONE, the Christ figure they believe is NEO, otherwise known as Keanu Reeves, and his boring alter ego, Thomas Anderson.

As good and gripping as the plot is, it is the special effects of this movie that blow away any other concerns. One can only watch and look slack-jawed as helicopters ripple the sides of buildings, as bullets fall and walls are redecorated, as our protagonists move through the Matrix like lightsabers (did I mention the Star Wars trailer?) through butter, and the opposition humans just a well. Wall-walking and blinding speed, however, are unfortunately only useful against humans.

The Matrix has it own special force. Sentient Agents. They have been inserted into the Matrix to eliminate our dear resistance fighters, and so far are successful in any stand-and-fight scenario. The choice for Morpheus and his band of warriors has always been run or die, and so victory is impossible. The Agents provide the personification of evil that the mythic hero must defeat in order to ascend, the allusion of ‘They’; everywhere and everyone, and noone. It has been said before… In order to be the MAN, you must beat the MAN. And Morpheus and Trinity and Apoc and Switch and Cypher and Tank and Dozer and all of Zion can only hope that Neo is the MAN.

Some parting notes from a highly enjoyable movie: Pay close attention to all details of the fight scenes, you will be amazed at both the cinematography and the coordination. Dialogue in this movie is optional, except for a couple of well-delivered lines. My favorite? "DODGE THIS." Dodge The Matrix at your own loss.


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

Certification: Rated R for violence.
Running Time: 120 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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