movie film review | chris tookey


© 1999 - Warner Brothers - all rights reserved
  Matrix Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.50 /10
Neo: Keanu Reeves , Morpheus: Laurence Fishburne, Trinity: Carrie-Anne Moss
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Directed by: Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski
Written by: Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

Released: 1999
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 135

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There are references to everything from the Alien movies to The Terminator to Soylent Green, but that's what we have for a living mythology these days, and the Wachowskis are bold and knowing in their deployment of it. They're acknowledging a tradition, not ripping it off. The same thing applies to their reflections on such matters as artificial intelligence, alternative realities and the space-time continuum. You feel they have at least read the better magazine articles on these topics - enough to provide a little more subtext than we expect to find in enterprises like The Matrix. Besides, there's real wit in their presentation of the Zionist oracle (who turns out to be a motherly black lady baking cookies in an old-fashioned kitchen), and real sexiness in Carrie-Anne Moss as super-buff Trinity, leading Neo to his destiny. Given a budget that encourages their kinesthetic skills, the filmmakers tend to go on a bit, but it's mostly a kind of quick, glancing hipness that's being indulged here. And that's a rare and welcome commodity in mass-market moviemaking these days.

(Richard Schickel, Time)

A science fiction thriller that is every bit the match of their debut effort, Bound, for tension, excitement, and intelligence. In an era when movie scripts (especially those pigeonholed into the science fiction genre) are becoming increasingly more stupid and special effects reliant, the Wachowskis prove that style and substance do not have to be mutually exclusive. I loved The Matrix, and only a few minor contrivances associated with the climax caused the film to miss a four-star rating. The movie is kinetic, atmospheric, visually stunning, and mind-bending. It toys with the boundaries between reality and fantasy in unique and interesting ways. In its approach and content, it reminded me of last year's vastly underrated Dark City.

(James Berardinelli, Reelviews)

Flings around enough imaginative ideas and digitized bodies to make it a definite check-out-this-one for all science-fiction fans.

(Bob Fenster, Arizona Republic)

Surreal and visually dazzling, The Matrix is one hearty bowl of sci- fi goulash.

(Ed Johnson-Ott, Nuvoi Newsweekly)

Amazingly deep and cool.

(The Flick Filosopher)

The coolest - a journey into a genuinely original vision of our cyberfuture that will have you checking your own reality by the time it's over.

(Marshall Fine, Rochester Chronicle)

With its cool gadgets, natty outfits and smashing action-set pieces, Matrix kicks serious butt, virtual and otherwise.

(E! Online)

Special kudos to the mysterious Wachowski tag team, who have created a lurid, splashy nightmare for the end of the millennium.

(Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post)

Beneath The Matrix's comic book artistry, stylized fight choreography, gothic sets and washed-out green tints, however, lies a classic Christ allegory with a simple mantra: believe in yourself. Morpheus (Fishburne), the legendary rebel leader, continually encourages Neo to open his mind, to believe that he is ‘the one’ here to save the world. And it's not until Neo buys this argument that he really starts to bust booty.

(Annlee Ellingson, BoxOffice)

Should you choose to see The Matrix, may I suggest you see it with a Christian friend. Challenge each other to find the biblical parallels. There are many more than are mentioned here. As we condition ourselves to see the truth behind the illusion and the spiritual reality behind the physical reality, we strengthen our resolve and our defenses against the one who would have us stay ignorant and in bondage to his lies.

(Michael Elliott, The Christian Critic)

A phenomenon... makes you thankful cinema was invented.

(Neil Corry, Film Review)

So damn cool the usher will have to drag you kicking and screaming back into reality. You can bet your bottom dollar George [Lucas] never saw this phantom menace coming.

(Ian Nathan, Empire)

Crazy, sexy and very cool.

(Jo Berry, Maxim)

A wonderfully ewnjoyable pulp classicc - an unalloyed pleasure from first to last, crammed with hi-tech, high camp action sequences and spiffy effects. And it achieves what I never dreamt was possible - it makes us fall in love with Keanu Reeves all over again... The Matrix rocks!

(Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)

Buckle your seatbelts, extinguish your disbelief and prepare to be amazed!

(James Christopher, Times)

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