While watching the Matrix an image suddenly came to my mind. I pictured a man, late 50's wearing a smart suit & puffing on a big fat cigar. He sits at the end of a table addressing a number of similar persons who all listen tentatively to every word which the man says. The man takes a big puff on his cigar & leans forward & says "what we need is something for the kids".
Watching the Matrix you suddenly realise that it is probably the most precisely made film since the Studio System was in force, every aspect is made to appeal to a young (15-30 yr old) audience, & market forces have been well taken into account. The lighting is neo-gothic similar to that found in Seven & The Crow, The camerawork is so John Woo I'm surprised he did'nt sue for plagerism. & it's a story about the internet, & hey, the kids 'dig' the internet, don't they? add a metal/big beat soundtrack & hey presto, a film the kids will love
The Directors have in fact taken so much time over including enough cool effects (as well as advertising Nokia phones) that they have seemed to have not worried themselves over simple features such as plot, amount of holes left in it are worrying, for instance why are the rebels (I use Rebels in want of a better word) stationed in a space ship? why do we never see Zion? & also how come they can defy gravity yet they are unable to jump off buildings/fly etc etc?
The acting is also bottom rate, in fact it seems that the Directors realised that Keanu can't act, so did.nt bother asking him to. However Laurence Fishburn & Hugo Weaving are both good actors yet little is asked of them. Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity is poor, although her charcter is supposed to be deeply in love with Neo (played by Reeves, also do you notice Neo, anagram for....I won't spoil it for those who have'nt seen the film yet) the lack of chemistry between the two characters is so un-reveling that the situation has to be spelt out by a third party. However it should be acted that the Script is one of the worst I've seen, full of the Cliches & Remarks which movie executives think are cool & funny yet often fall flat, indeed most of the script is so cringe worthy & predictable that only someone who has'nt seen a Big Budget Shoot-em-up in the last 10 years would be surprised. In fact many people have commented on how the film tries to tackle a new imaginative ide, however all I thought was that it took an idea from 19th century literature in man against Machine & put a few philisophical theories in tow, add technology & hey presto. That's not imagination, that's reading books.
However the film does offer some pleasures, for instance the Kung Fu sequence between Neo & Morphius (Fishburn) is the most camp fight sequence since Jacky Chan became a star although campness is'nt something I think the Directors aimed for, Indeed the clothes (lots of leather) is realitively camp once again yet you get the feeling that the Directors thought that their dress sense was 'cool'. However, apart from this, the film falls apart falls apart, Indeed some of it seems too long, with the fight sequences & gun battles often being too long, in fact over emphasise in a Tarantinoloveofgunsandshootingthingsisreallycool way. In fact the only thing that amazed me about the sequences was how it was shot, the amount of flying debris must have injured two or three cameramen in the process.
On the whole The Matrix is dumb, unimaginative, & poorly made & shows why Hollywood has suffered against an independent film industry able to produce much better & imaginative films than Hollywood. Seven & The Usual Suspects are far better films & even though the love affair with guns is similar to John Woo, at least his films (at least earlier films) had a bit of characterisation, Indeed, it seems that the directors believe that the main appeal of Tarantino lies in the gun fights, not in the far better developed realtionships between the characters which I find interesting. The Matrix, what a Turkey, makes Godzilla look a not bad film