THE MATRIXMOVIE REVIEW
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A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
WOW! WOW! WOW!
This is the ONLY good adventure movie that Keenue Reeves (RIVER'S EDGE, DRACULA , THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE) has ever starred in. Once you see this you will kiss SPEED good-bye! You don't need SPEED, you've got THE MATRIX.
The Science is good if implausible and the Special Effects are stunning and weave well into the movie. The scare is in the ideas presented as well as the movie's chilling creepy secret. So many ideas are thrown at you in such a rush that, if you only see it once, you may wonder why the characters did this that or the other thing. So see it twice, at least!
The movie starts with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss: MEMENTO, THE MATRIX RELOADED) running from the law, shooting up the city and making some amazing acrobatics in her attempt to escape pursuit. This is an excellent opening scene and whets the imagination for all that is to come.
Keenue Reeves portrays Neo, a lost soul who is wasting his life at work and at home in front of a computer monitor. He is searching the internet, searching all the electronic media, for an answer to a question he doesn't have. He knows that something is not quite right in life, but he has no idea whether it is all life or just his own.
Enter Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne: EVENT HORIZON, THE MATRIX RELOADED). Just a voice at first, Morpheus tells Neo that he has the answers Neo seeks. He tells him through other people or through cell phones. Morpheus is connected and known among the hacker tech underground - but he is never seen.
Good guys / bad guys, they all wear black. For awhile, the movie leaves you wondering just who is who.
The government Men In Black are led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving: LORD OF THE RINGS, THE MATRIX RELOADED). To Smith, Morpheus is a dangerous psycho terrorist. A man who takes in susceptible people and uses them as suicidal fodder for his own purposes. Many die in service to Morpheus, but Morpheus is never harmed.
But our resident science geek, Kelly Parks, does have a
For the rest of this, go to THE SCIENCE MOMENT/The Matrix.
A review should never be a spoiler and for me to say more gives away key plot points that come as surprises throughout the movie. This movie is armed to the gills with plot points, twists, turns and surprises. Instead let me introduce the people behind THE MATRIX.
THE MATRIX was both written and directed by Larry & Andy Wachowski (BOUND, both wrote ASSASSINS). While they may be newcomers to the audience, the same cannot be said for Producer Joel Silver.
If this film seems to borrow from other dark movies of the nineties, it is not too surprising since Executive Producer Andrew Mason also produced DARK CITY and was Visual Effects Supervisor on THE CROW.
Additional credit, for the amazing fight scenes that you will see, go to Hong Kong's Yuen Wo Ping. Using low tech gadgetry, Wo Ping has produced far better fights than could be created using Blue Screen and CGI.
John Gaeta is the Visual Effects Supervisor (CGI). His company Manex also did the SFX work on EVENT HORIZON and STARSHIP TROOPERS. The other major players in the SFX quarters are D-Film (DARK CITY) and Animal Logic (FACE / OFF). These smaller EFX houses are turning out the more believable effects these days, probably owing to the fact that movie goers are learning to recognize the ILM and Dreamworks "look". Animal Logic, for example, takes a very unique, organic approach to SFX, using a wide variety of ideas in the unlikeliest of places, such as live action shots of water flowing to simulate the movement of digital numbers across a screen.
It is not killing anything to reveal that there is a computer program working behind the scenes in the plot of this movie, and though never credited, the machines of this world are clearly Giger inspired in their bio-mechanics.
From Special effects to Visual effects, to Fight choreography to Photography direction to Editing, this movie was meant to wow you and knock you for a loop. The days of fun SF/Horror/Thriller movies like ALIEN, ALIENS, THE FLY (1986), TERMINATOR, TERMINATOR 2, and TOTAL RECALL are not dead. In only their second movie (2nd movie!) the Wachowski Brothers have created a Science Fiction/Horror/Thriller/Action/Adventure masterpiece of filmaking. Welcome THE MATRIX.