The Matrix

A Review by Chris McCaleb


Firstly, if you've come here for some Keanu-bashing, begone. I have nothing against the man. Let me also say that I am a BIG Laurence Fishburne fan from back when he was just Larry. But Laurence had lost some degree of my favor when he allowed himself to star in a very terrible film, Event Horizon. So I went to see The Matrix ready for him to redeem himself


Let me also establish my simple scale for rating films. To be as pragmatic as possible, it is based on economics, or in other words, how much of your time and money seeing a film is worth. And you'll notice that this scale reflects that really, it is not so much the money but the time and hassle of going to the movies that keeps most people away. It is:


Go see this film at the theatre at the best movie theatre in town.

Go see this film at the theatre

Go see this film at a matinee.

Go see this film at a matinee if your first choice is sold out.

See this film on video.

See this film on video if your first choice has already been rented.

See this film when it shows on cable.

See this film if it ever shows on regular TV.

Do not see this film.

Encourage others to not see this film.


That established, let me say that The Matrix is a Go see this film at a matinee if your first choice is sold out. Don't be shocked - remember that I'm saying you SHOULD leave your home to see it, with all that entails, i.e., baby-sitters, parking, someone whining for popcorn, etc.


Although the ads say that no one can tell you what The Matrix is, let me assure you that you can. The “Matrix” is reality as we know it, which turns out to be nothing more than a computer simulation fed into our brains by robots so that they can use us as living batteries in the REAL reality, which is much scarier and dark with goo and lasers.


I'm a fan of high-concept well-designed sci-fi, and the visuals in this movie are pretty cool. The scenes of actual reality, when Morpheus (Fishburne) awakens Keanu (Reeves) from his pod, were STUNNING. For some, probably worth the price of admission. My objections came when the movie left all this behind and found it more interesting to spend time in the Matrix (the world as we know it) being a Kung-Fu action movie.


Early on Morpheus tells Keanu that he can learn to "bend or break" the rules in the Matrix - like gravity. I believe that if I could bend or break reality I can think of better things to do with my time than Kung-Fu.


The movie seemed SLIGHTLY more interested in wardrobe than dialogue. Hey - I’ll be the first to say everyone looked cool in their black leather coats and sunglasses, especially the woman. But the coats and the guns and the sunglasses and some of the names (Morpheus?) all begin to be a bit - dare I say it? - silly at some point if you sense that the filmmakers are trying REALLY hard to be hip. I liked the woman, but too bad they felt they had to tack on a romantic angle at the LAST POSSIBLE SECOND.


Also, let's all agree than in any future movies having to do with the world of computers or virtual reality, we'll no longer say "jacking into the Net."






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