Tuesday, February 9

Film Reviw: The Matrix



It's hard to disassociate a film from the creator's latter works. Francis Ford Coppola will always be celebrated for The Godfather parts I and II but then will he ever be forgiven for part III? Eddie Murphy is a riot in his stand up movies Raw and Delirious and great in Coming to America and even Shrek, but Norbit is surely an indication of a career in decline, right?

Well, imagine being The Wachowski Brothers, a pair of film makers who's first film Bound, a tight and sexy thriller, becomes a cult classic and their second film, The Matrix becomes the success that they just can't match. Two films in and on the slopes to Has-been-ville already, it's a shame.

It's not actually this reviewers opinion that the two follow up films in the Matrix trilogy were abject failures. I believe that the follow ups failed only in matching up to the fanboy hype. Was that hype ever necessary? I don't think so, The Matrix is good, don't get me wrong, but it's not the masterpiece that the fanatic's fervour would lead us to believe.

It got our attention because it was a surprise, it seemed to have come out of nowhere, with new film techniques, a fresh take on kung-fu and enough gun-porn to take make any bullet fetishist wet. It kept our attention because it painted a non-reality so visceral that we could all imagine being inside of it, and escaping our own.

The film's main conceit, that our reality was a construct that we could escape at the drop of a pill spoke to me and my generation, allowed us to fantasise and dream beyond the new messiah story line present in the film. For me, that was the main strength of The Matrix, that the scope was so limited, the ending so open, that as the credit rolled I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities for the characters and for the story.

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