Without a doubt one of the best and most influential movies of all time, the Matrix is the defining science fiction film of the 1990's and the biggest leap the genre has taken since Stanley Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. The Matrix is a ground-breaking motion picture that not only raised the bar for all the science-fiction films to come after it but also redefined the action genre with its thrilling action sequences and revolutionary visual effects.
The film tells the story of Thomas Anderson a computer hacker that in the world of hacking goes by the alias of Neo. When he is contacted by the mysterious outlaw Morpheus and having always questioned his reality, he is awakened to the truth that the world he's been living in is a simulated reality called the Matrix and that he's nothing more than a slave in this dystopian world, created and controlled by A.I powered machines.
The direction and script by the Wachowskis is fantastic, as they drew ideas and inspirations from every other great sci-fi and cyberpunk movie and anime before the film, combining it with stunning action and putting it into one picture that has enough style, substance and subtext that everyone ended up giving their own interpretation of the story. The research that went into the preparation of the screenplay is quite extensive but the manner in which it is presented on the big screen is also very impressive. Every character presented on the film, has a well-defined arc and a purpose, and their motivations are clear.
The cinematography is impeccable. It was very innovative in the use of the camera angles and movements, the zooms, the slow motion captures and the different color palette used to differentiate the Matrix and the real World. The editing is flawless, as it makes sure that every scene is integral to the story and ensures the pace of the film stays ferocious through its entire runtime. Each frame is also packed with so much visual information for the viewer to devour. The visual effects introduced us to the bullet-time effect and their impact can still be felt in today's movies. The performances are also incredible. Each member of the cast gave their best performances and brought the characters they portray to life, but the one that stands out the most is Hugo Weaving's disciplined rendition of his character, Agent Smith; a powerful computer program made to search and destroy the human rebellion, in undoubtedly the greatest performance in his career.
In conclusion The Matrix is a masterpiece everyone should see. It is one of the most thought provoking, inventive, pioneering, influential and stylish movies of all time and it's also full of philosophical and religious allegories waiting for interpretation. Immortal for its contribution to cinema and pop culture, its brilliant combination of inventive visual effects, excellent vision and exquisite action easily makes it one of the best, most influential and most entertaining movies ever made.
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