Warner Bros.' The Matrix-A Mind-Warping Sci-Fi Film that Still Holds Up

The fight for the future begins.

The Matrix is a 1999 sci-fi action film directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, written by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, produced by Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Groucho II Film Partnership, and Silver Pictures, and distributed by Warner Bros.. The film stars Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. The film was nominated for and won Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects. This is the first film in the Matrix franchise. It was followed by The Matrix Reloaded. It has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.


"Welcome to the real world." -Morpheus

Plot


When Thomas A. Anderson, codenamed Neo, begins to suspect that something is wrong with his reality, he meets a beautiful hacker named Trinity. With the guidance of Trinity, Neo begins to look for Morpheus, a mysterious man who keeps helping him out of situations. As Neo continues to look for Morpheus, he is chased by the cruel Agent Smith, who is looking to stop Neo and Morpheus for good. At the center of this battle is the simple question: What is the Matrix?


Positive Aspects


I think I really liked the first act of The Matrix more than the second and third acts.


I thought the film worked the best when it was a mystery and actually took place inside The Matrix. I thought that the part with the white rabbit was really cool. The looming presence of Morpheus was really cool. I liked the uncertainty that Neo felt throughout the first half hour. The world-building and uniqueness of the film is all present in the first act. The bizarreness of The Matrix was so cool in the beginning.


I still enjoyed myself a good bit when Neo enters the real world, but definitely not as much. The war was, in my opinion, much less entertaining than the mystery and thrills of The Matrix itself.


My favorite character was easily Agent Smith. Played to absolute perfection by Hugo Weaving, Agent Smith is a very imposing and incredibly memorable antagonist. Everything from the voice to the way that they dodge bullets, the agents are really some of my favorite villains in any movie. They have such an intimidating and creepy presence any time that they show up. I love it.


The action scenes were incredible. I think that the Wachowskis did a fantastic job with directing this film. The stunts and choreography were visually stunning. I was shocked at how fast the fights were. These are some of the best choreographed fights ever put to film. The training sequence with Neo and Morpheus shows you how much work was put into these fights. It is truly jaw-dropping.

With that, I'd say that The Matrix is still one of the most unique films I've ever seen. Twenty-two years, and I haven't seen much else like this film. It truly is a combination of comic books, anime, 80s/90s action and cheese, video games, and more. Even the dialogue feels very reminiscent of Star Wars or Harry Potter, with these epic, end-of-the-world type proclamations, which I actually liked inside of this film. There are also some very cleverly-written scenes, like the scene with the Oracle. It really is an experience to watch.


Negative Aspects


I guess my biggest problem with the film is the shift to the real world. As I previously stated, I really liked the mystery of The Matrix, but that's really just the first act. It just isn't as good in the second and third acts. There's a lot of cool moments and cool fight scenes, but I feel like the story gets lost in the background. The action and visual effects are given the spotlight over story, and that gets very frustrating at points.


Some parts of this film also definitely don't hold up. The CG will only get worse with age, and it already is not the greatest. Thankfully, there isn't as much as I thought there would be, but the stuff that is there does not look that good.


Even though this is an iconic movie that stands on its own just fine, this film does feel like it is trying to set up a franchise. The first half of the movie feels like it is about using Neo as The One and saving humanity from The Matrix, but then it completely shifts gears and is really about Neo unlocking something inside of him to become The One. That's a big problem, and I think that the movie suffers from a feeling of unevenness because of that.


Final Score


Before I give you my final score, check out some of my other reviews. I have tons of sci-fi and action reviews: The Star Wars prequels, The Terminator, Die Hard, Resident Alien, and more. If you liked this review, please consider checking those out. If you really like my content, please consider subscribing and following me over on TikTok and Instagram @sweetnsourreviews. Thanks!


The Matrix is a wildly unique ride that has some serious story problems, but is an experience that everyone should have.


I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 8+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


"The Matrix"


Fun Factor: 7.5/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Story: 6/10

Quality: 7.5/10


Directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski


Rated R for moderate violence and action, disturbing themes and images


Released on March 31, 1999


2 hours and 16 minutes


Keanu Reeves as Thomas A. Anderson/Neo

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus

Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith

Joe Pantoliano as Cypher

Gloria Foster as The Oracle

Marcus Chong as Tank

Belinda McClory as Switch

Matt Doran as Mouse