The Matrix was released in 1999. (same year Hunter Schafer was born) It received critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. In addition to positive reception, the film managed to make enough revenue at the box office. The Matrix immediately became an instant classic considered by many as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. Like “Star Wars” “The Lord Of The Rings” & “The Dark Knight,” The Matrix is also a game changer in the film industry forever inspiring new works. Many films and TV shows referenced or parodied it’s signature slow motion technique known as, “The Bullet Time Sequence.”
I can list a few movies that either payed homage or parody to Bullet Time prior to its sequels. “Scary Movie,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Shrek,” “Cats & Dogs,” “Kung Pow: Enter The Fist,” “Osmosis Jones” & Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man.” Even the “Max Payne” video games use a gameplay mechanic to slow down time for the player to combat enemies.
The Matrix spawned two sequels titled, “The Matrix Reloaded” & “The Matrix Revolutions” both came out in 2003. An anime anthology film titled, “The Animatrix” expands the lore with unique short films set in the set within the series. Video games including “Enter The Matrix” “The Path Of Neo” were developed and they were pretty good.
“The Matrix 4” is in development with Keanu Reeves reprising his role as Neo. As of March 2019, the upcoming sequel is postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus. All we can do is wait and cross our fingers for a potential cure.
The following review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS. I’m gonna give anybody who hasn’t seen The Matrix, it’s sequels and The Animatrix a head start.
Upgrades & Downgrades Aspects
Upgrades: Keanu Reeves did an excellent job for his performance as Thomas Anderson/Neo.
Fun Fact: Before Keanu ultimately signed up to play Neo, Will Smith was considered for the role, but he dropped out in favor of “Wild Wild West.” Boy did he regret making the latter film that haunt him for the rest of his life other than “After Earth.”
Other Cast Members such as Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving & Joe Pantoliano all did a decent job for their respective performances. Hugo deserves a ton of points for his role as Agent Smith. Every time he speaks with his monotone voice, he reminds me of Plankton from “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
The Wachowskis (formerly known as The Wachowski Brothers) both did an awesome job writing and directing the film. They made sure to put an emphasis on “The Three Act Structure” and “The Hero’s Journey” by planting specific plot elements to guide Neo’s journey to become The One who’ll fulfill a prophecy to defeat machines in order to restore humanity.
Joel Silver served as a producer of the film under his production company Silver Pictures.
Action Sequences are very impressive. Each of them are heavily inspired by martial arts films produced by the cinema of Hong Kong. Especially the works of John Woo. Hand-To-Hand Combat scenes are influenced by iconic Hong Kong action heroes including Jackie Chan, Jet Li & Bruce Lee.
Visual Effects are superb mixing Practical Effects and C.G.I. I have to give the effects team Bonus Points for developing the slow motion technique known as Bullet Time.
Cinematography never had any problems throughout.
Don Davis did a good job composing music.
The Wachowskis mentioned “2001: A Space Odyssey” & “Blade Runner” as primary influences for the visual design of “the real world.”
Anime is another influence to The Matrix. Notable masterpieces like “Ghost In The Shell,” “Fist Of The North Star” & “Akira” served as a guide for The Wachowskis to create their unique post-apocalyptic world.
A green filter is used on purpose to display the virtual world.
I’m gonna give this movie credit for inspiring “Code Lyoko.” One of my favorite shows since childhood. I used to have a crush on Aelita. (the main character of Code Lyoko)
Character Development involving Neo. As the film progresses, he begins to adapt to his surroundings in both virtual and reality. Like two different sides from the same coin.
The WB logo is green, indicating we’re about to go deep into The Matrix.
We get to understand the virtual world and the real world’s backstory involving the machines’ rise to power and where The Matrix was developed.
Although the film is filled with guns lots of guns, it also contains philosophical themes such as Destiny, Free Will, Adapting & the classic Good Vs. Evil trope.
Downgrades: To be honest with you fellas, I couldn’t spot nothing wrong with this film. I’m giving the cast and crew an Extra Point for making this movie as flawless as they can.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
The Matrix still holds up, arguably listed as one of the best sci-fi films of all time. All the positive things I’ve listed, indicates The Matrix is a timeless classic that’ll stand the test time for many filmmakers who want to tell their own unique stories. If you’re excited for the upcoming fourth movie, I strongly recommend the one that started it all alongside the sequels and anime anthology.