Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Of The Matrix

I do believe that it is time for me to review the greatest sci-fi movie of all time. Whilst I do prefer The Fountain, The Matrix is just a better sci-fi movie. It’s also an awesome action with some great and memorable characters as well as an awesome. If you haven’t seen the Matrix, then I’m just going to tell you that you have to watch it. This is just going to be a piece where I say why I enjoy it so much.

For starters if you don’t know what ‘the matrix’ is then you must have been living under a rock for quite some time. The Matrix is a computer system, in which live millions of humans (well sort of, they were grown by machines so that they could act as batteries). These humans live normal lives, going about a normal day. However every so often one of these people will gain sentience and realise they are trapped inside a computer and try to escape. This is with the help of previous escapees. That’s where we join our story, a computer hacker named Neo (real name Thomas Anderson), tries to escape the Matrix. He does this with the help of Morpheus and Trinity, both of whom have previously escaped the Matrix. Then there are the Agents, the ones who don’t want people getting out of the Matrix. After he escapes we are gifted with so many awesome action sequences, explosions, gun fights, kung fu and of course bullet time.

Bullet time is the effect pioneered by this movie and has been parodied so many times. Ever see movie where someone dodges a bullet or the camera freezes whilst they’re in mid-air about to kick someone? That’s the Matrix. This is just one of those pop-culture movies that are referenced all over the place. It’s also the movie that changed the face of sci-fi. The Matrix proved what special effects could do. The Matrix was the first movie to ever get the Oscar for visual effects over a Star Wars film. Considering that Industrial Light and Magic is one of the tent poles for special effects in the industry that’s quite the industry (random point: did you know Masi Oka from Heroes used to work for ILM and did the special effects for the new Star Wars films?) Yup The Matrix was that impressive. It even inspired so many people, including Darren Aronofsky to make the Fountain, that definitely bumps this film up in my books (and believe me it was pretty damn high).

There is another reason why I love the Matrix so much, and that is the fact that it was also my first ever 15. Seriously, before the Matrix I had never seen a 15. So it will always have that special place in my heart. Just for being that film that introduced me to adult cinema. Before this I’d only really seen like animated cartoon films and a couple of films aimed for a younger demographic. One day a friend told me to watch The Matrix when we recommended films to each other (I can’t even remember the film I told him about, must have been sci-fi/action or he wouldn’t have responded like he did). Luckily that week they were showing the Matrix on TV. So I managed to convince my Dad to let me stay up and watch it. And so my mind was blown. I did get tired a bit during the film but I was 11 which are to be expected at midnight. I came out of it in awe. The effects, the action, Power Rangers had never given me anything as awesome as that as a child (yup that’s right I was Power Rangers kid). Soon after this Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions came out (in fact I saw Reloaded early due to bootlegging (I would like to take the time to say that it is wrong)). Whilst neither were as good they both had some amazing action sequences (freeway chase anyone?)

Now for a bit more of a review portion. The Matrix is one of the most progressive films ever. It had some of the best characters ever put to film (who doesn’t love Morpheus?) and also a truly engrossing plot. By the end you truly care about the characters. Then there’s the kickass soundtrack. Whilst you don’t always hear the music over all the actions, it just shows that song is perfectly chosen because you don’t notice it as it just meshes (another sign of a great use of music in a film). The Matrix is just plain awesome, the story is original (although it is similar to that of Loop, a book in my favourite series of all time.) which can be given to the directors of this cinematic masterpiece; the Wachowski Brothers. These guys wrote and directed this movie and should always be remembered for it (even if the movies they’ve done after haven’t been nearly as good).

Finally I’m going to give props to two actors Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. Both these guys steal the show. They are just awesome as the two heads of their opposing factions. Neo might be the main character, but Morpheus is infinitely cooler and Smith is one of the greatest on screen villains ever. He also has one of the greatest voices ever (up there with Will Arnett and Stephen Fry).

Score time. The Matrix can only possibly get one score. It is a landmark in cinematic achievement, my first 15 and also just an all round awesome movie. 10 out of 10

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