It hardly feels like twenty years ago that the groundbreaking dystopian movie The Matrix (1999) dropped to moviegoers around the world. Written and directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, then known as the Wachowski Brothers, The Matrix would go on to win four Academy Awards for Editing, Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects and Sound.
(Carrie Anne Moss as Trinity, Keanu Reeves as Neo, and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix).
The Matrix as a series of three movies covers the the story of a computer hacker named Neo who learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and the role he will take in a war against the controllers of that reality. A large movement of this film, the first part of that three piece movement, is introducing Neo (aka Thomas Anderson) as played by Keanu Reeves to his hero Morpheus (as played by Laurence Fishburne) and his love interest Trinity (as played by Carrie Anne Moss).
(Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in The Matrix).
Hugo Weaving plays perhaps the chief protagonist to Neo and the group familiar with what the construct of the matrix, the computer program known as Agent Smith. Agent Smith and the programs of the matrix power their existence atop the dystopian world that remains after a cataclysmic past wherein humans have blocked access to the sun on Earth and have been enslaved in a programmed reality wherein people are, in fact, enslaved without their knowledge.
(Joe Pantoliano as Cypher in The Matrix).
Joe Pantoliano plays Cypher, an enlightened character who has been freed of the enslavement ahead of Neo’s confrontation with this question. Cypher played an instrumental role in the course of The Matrix, along with the course of the future movies, in how he chooses to interact with his fundamental reality. The trajectory of Cypher, I’d argue, is perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the full franchise of The Matrix movies.
(Gloria Foster as Oracle in The Matrix).
The original role of the Oracle in The Matrix is played by Gloria Foster, who reportedly died from during the filming of The Matrix Reloaded (2003), the second of the three movies in the franchise. Oracle was granted the power of foresight through undefined means, which she uses to assist Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and others in The Matrix. I presume that Oracle is part of the construct of programs within the matrix, which is not explored in much detail at all in the franchise and not at all in the original film.
(Marcus Chong as Tank in The Matrix).
Tank, as played by Marcus Chong in The Matrix, is key to helping establish Neo’s role as ‘the One’ in The Matrix franchise. Beyond the myth building and engaging Neo with the neural interactive software used to engage the matrix from the real world, Tank plays a decisive role in the original movie that fails to carry his character into the subsequent movies in franchise. Tank’s role is central to the broader myth of The Matrix, the narrative arcs of Morpheus, Neo, and Cypher, and ultimately resolving with clarity the course of the story for all three of these characters.
(Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski wrote and directed The Matrix and its sequels).
Of the three movies in the franchise of The Matrix, The Matrix itself is the best movie of the three in establishing the mythology, setting a vision of an alternate yet compelling and frightening alternate view of a world, and ultimately telling an entertaining story for the length of the film. While not all aspects of each individual character’s story were fully explored and clear through the first film, I found the film satisfying, entertaining, and worth the investment in time and cost. I give The Matrix 4.25-stars on a scale of one-to-five stars.
Matt – Saturday, May 18, 2019