The Matrix Reviews
Then came 'The Matrix'. Apparently robots (or space zombies, or some variety of scary CGI monsters) have enslaved humanity, and are harvesting them for energy. To keep their living batteries entertained the robo-zombies (or space alligators, it doesn't really matter) have created a giant computer game called 'the Matrix'. With a devil-may-care disregard for the first law of thermodynamics, this game runs on the energy of the people it simulates.
But some of these people break out of the computer game and live in a rusty metal bucket and eat gruel. Being heroes, they plan to overthrow their demon-squid robot overlords and free humanity, so they can all live in rusty metal buckets and eat gruel. There are some philosophical pretensions and religious references in there, but these are too simplistic and crass to be worth going any deeper into.
Keanu Reeves gives a very believable performance of bad acting, while the rest of the cast mince around in sunglasses and trench-coats, delivering dialogue which serves no other purpose than carrying the plot.
The first fifteen minutes of this film are quite watchable, which is why I am giving it a generous 1 1/2 stars 10-04-01 (Updated)
Telling an unoriginal story of a world where we are really controlled, and reality is a lie, 'The Matrix' brings together the 'wonderful' talents of Keanu Reeves playing a computer hacker who discovers that reality is all false.
Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, the film has been heralded for its visual effects, of which it should be. The incredible achievements of the film in the special effects cinematic arena will and should, stand for generations as a pinpoint of cinematic history.
Only in that field however. Whilst the effects may wow, and occasional moments of interesting cinematography may hold your interest, the film drags and drapes throughout the majority of its running time.
The action scenes, which the brother directors said were inspired by John Woo and other's Hong Kong heroic bloodshed films, do not live anywhere close up to their standard. Apart from a few famous and bold moves, the action is quite like any other standard from the time and from today. It is not special, nor impressive, let alone revolutionary.
Indeed, the very themes and hidden religious subject matter which the film sets out to explore in a more accessible blockbuster format, are tainted and disrespected by the cast and crew.
Keanu Reeves leads the charge with his most shocking performance to date. It is not underplayed, it is not delicately done, Reeves acting skills are simply not up to the task of this film, or any film like it.
But spare a thought to Laurence Fishburne, the only shining light from this, save the excellent visual effects. For those two things, 'The Matrix' must be praised. For the rest, it should not. Why this film is heralded as a modern day classic or masterpiece is beyond me. Instead all I can see is a disappointing and dull two and a quarter hours.