Classic Film Kid: The Matrix

Happy New Year, everyone! This is the Classic Film Kid again, and with the Christmas decorations rightfully being taken down and the tree being boxed up again, it’s time to get back with some serious reviewing, and we will kick off 2017 with a review of the 1999 science-fiction action thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix.

This film is about Thomas Anderson, an office worker who is also a hacker, going under the hacker name Neo, who thinks he’s leading a normal life. And yet when he meets seemingly identical agents wearing glasses, a woman called Trinity and a man called Morpheus, he discovers he is living in a psychological fantasy reality known as the Matrix. I remember trying to watch this movie about 18 months ago and thinking it was the weirdest film I have ever seen and decided to give it a second try. And the award for the weirdest movie I have ever seen now goes to…

You’ll find out next review.

Yes, this is a classic. It’s annoying to keep saying this, but it’s facing the truth and respecting this film, and respecting this film is exactly what it deserves.

What I absolutely adored about this film was the sheer complexity and richness of the plot, it gives you a lot of things to think about and keeps you guessing throughout the film, with the background of how the Matrix came into existence, what the strange shade-wearing agents are all about, and boasts big philosophical questions like choosing which reality is which. Yes, this is at its surface a science-fiction movie, but at its core, it is so much more than that, it’s one of the best, most cleverly written and executed plots ever in cinema (but I am only 12 and haven’t seen all that many). And that’s saying something.

Next, this review can’t go by without talking about the action sequences, special effects, choreography, and kung-fu. My word, this is some of the most impressive, fluent and unbelievably cool and exciting action ever made in a film. This would be a good time to talk about a visual trick this movie popularised known as ‘bullet-time’, which allows the action in a shot to continue progressing in slow-motion but allowing the camera’s viewpoint to film at normal speed. This technique creates an unpredictable and more dangerous, laser-edged feel to the action scenes, and in a way, this entire film with the effects brought the world of the Matrix to life and made it feel like a mundane and at the same time, scary and stalked place.

I have got to talk about the multiple Agent Smiths, all played by the excellent Hugo Weaving. There are identical sentient programs that are almost like the police of this world, and they are creepy as hell. Their almost blank emotionless expressions are really off-putting and them appearing in literally hundreds is extremely intimidating, and this definitely adds to the vulnerability of our main character, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves.

Neo is a man whose entire life had gone crazy, he finds out he’s being living in a mind reality, and all of a sudden he is plugged out by Laurence Fishburne’s character, Morpheus, told all of this information and expected to believe it and side with these characters, and this, therefore, makes him in a strange way relatable.

All of the other characters are likeable like Trinity and Morpheus, but unfortunately the other characters that you meet in this little gang aren’t really as developed as you would have liked, so when (mild spoilers) some of them are killed off, it doesn’t really have that emotional kick that should be present – but that’s just a personal nitpick.

This film was absolutely one of the best science-fiction films ever made, with a deep, rich storyline, some likeable leads and performances, dazzling choreography and unpredictable fight sequences, and some really good questions on philosophy and existence.

Despite my niggle with the side characters, I would happily watch the Matrix again and I am gonna give this movie a 9 out of 10.

Thank you very much, guys. The next review is a surprise, but like I said earlier, it is the weirdest film I have ever seen in my life and I blame Stanley Kubrick. You probably know what it is now, but never mind, enjoy the movies! This is the Classic Film Kid, signing off.

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