The Matrix: Down The Rabbit Hole
The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, is one of the most influential movies of the modern era.
Changing An Industry
When Lana and Lilly Wachowski were making a sci-fi movie in 1999, no one would have imagined it would be such a great movie, let alone change the course of the film industry. Arguably the most influential picture of the modern era, The Matrix not only rewrote the use of CGI and action sequences but also managed to bring a philosophical doctrine to mainstream use.
What Is Reality?
The story of The Matrix revolves around Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, who realizes his reality is constructed by a system called The Matrix. Many sci-fi works influenced the story of The Matrix, but the film's story and philosophy are mainly based on Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. Most movies nowadays try to give temporary pleasure to the viewer by showing mindless action and explosion scenes with a bunch of comedy sequences in between. But The Matrix puts the viewer's mind in a ring of boxing where the philosophies and ideologies of the film will try to knock the audience in the first round.
It's not the fact that The Matrix is deep that makes it different and better than most films. It's the way the directors miraculously manage to keep the balance between philosophy and action that takes the movie to another level. One of the other main traps Wachowskis avoid beautifully is not turning their film into propaganda. It is not the job of a movie or any piece of art to give answers but only to propose questions.
Revolutionary Cinematography And VFX
The Matrix was popular among casual watchers and hardcore cinephiles alike but also with filmmakers because of all the revolutionary changes it brought to the industry. The film managed to shoot scenes that were considered much more difficult or near impossible at that time. This is especially true in the case of the famous bullet-dodging sequences that inspired not only many filmmakers but also video game designers. Sam Lake, a renowned video game writer/designer, made one of the primary mechanisms of the popular game Max Payne, based on the dodging bullet scenes of The Matrix.
One of the only possible knocks on the film is perhaps the acting. While the acting is not bad, it was relatively average and could have been improved significantly. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Ann-Moss, who portray Neo and Trinity, do a decent job but could have given better performances. On the other hand, Laurence Fishburn's acting is on point and by far the best in the movie. That said, the acting isn't something that will ruin the viewer's experience even a little bit. Everything else about the movie is so great that you won't even notice the mediocre acting. But after rewatching the film numerous times, the minor shortcomings become more apparent, as in any movie.
The mixture of philosophy and action is a rare formula seen in films, and executing it flawlessly is almost impossible. When it first came out, it captured the hearts of all sci-fi fans and moviegoers and single-handedly changed the entire film industry forever. Despite its minor shortcomings, there is no doubt that The Matrix is one of the greatest and most influential movies ever made.
Raving Rating: 8.9