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Film Review - Matrix, The
Here's some candy for the Johnny Mnemonic crowd. The Matrix is one of the purest science fiction films in many years. Like Gattica it's more cerebral than cinematic. Unfortunately, the cinema is what we've come to see and The Matrix loses points on this level.
But as a story The Matrix works better than most science fiction films. There's an underlying theme of man versus the machine, artificial life versus reality at the core of the film. Humanity has chosen poorly, and gone artificial to the point that there really isn't any point to life. Those who have discovered they aren't living in the real world are being hunted down by the machine. After all, there must be order in the system.
What it all gets down to is if you had a choice between a dirty hard reality, and a clean, soft virtual life, which would you choose? How much of the truth can you take? Are you willing to accept responsibility for your own life, happiness, mistakes? The Matrix is really about how most of us aren't willing to accept these responsibilities.
Keanu Reeves owed us all a film for the piss-poor Johnny Mnemonic and I think with this he has paid his debt. Reeves' performance works most of the time, and where it doesn't, I think we have a directorial poor decision.
I'm not really interested in talking about the special effects. They're good, par for the course, nothing to complain about here. As non-cinematic as they are, the real gold in this film are the ideas brought to the screen.
Directed by The Wachowski Brothers
Released in 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo