For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Cyberpunk Films, here’s a review of The Matrix (1999) by Becky
Thanks again to Becky of Film Music Central for choosing this month’s genre.
In case you missed any of this month’s reviews, here’s a recap:
- Best Cyberpunk Film – Dan
- Turbo Kid (2015) – Troy
- Ex Machina (2015) – Gill
- The Animatrix (2003)- SG
- Strange Days (1995) – Catherine
- Strange Days (1995)- Reut
- The Matrix (1999)- Rob
- The Matrix (1999) – Becky
In addition, I watched and reviewed 3 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation. Unfortunately, none of them will be considered among my favorites of the genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Catherine of Thoughts All Sorts. We will be reviewing our favorite Westerns set in the “old West” – so, that excludes Contemporary Westerns i.e. No Country for Old Men, Hud, Desperado, Junior Bonner etc.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jan by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Catherine!
Let’s see what Becky thought of this movie:
The Matrix (1999): What is Reality?
This review is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur series and features a film from the cyberpunk genre (selected by me!!)
It was a movie perfect for the imminent arrival of the new millennium: The Matrix (1999) told a story that made us question everything we knew about reality, questions that persist to this very day.
In the uber-dystopian world of The Matrix, reality, as humans know it, is actually a complex simulation known as (you guessed it) the Matrix. In actual fact, humans have been enslaved to intelligent machines for decades (maybe even centuries), living their entire lives as “batteries” to power the machine cities. One such human is Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a successful computer programmer who also moonlights as a hacker nicknamed “Neo.” Through his hacking activities, Neo learns of something called “the Matrix” and soon after makes contact with Morpheus, described as a “terrorist” in the false world, but in true reality the leader of a small group of humans seeking to end the machine enslavement of humanity.
In a now famous scene, Neo is taken to Morpheus and given a choice: he can take either a red pill or a blue pill. The first will allow him to exit the Matrix, the other will wipe his memory of everything he’s just learned and he can go back to his everyday existence. Neo chooses the red pill and shortly thereafter is horrified to awaken and discover that he is naked, hairless and, for all intents and purposes, completely helpless.
It turns out that Neo was broken out of the Matrix because Morpheus is convinced that Neo is “the One”, a prophesied human who will defeat the Machines and end the Matrix forever. Most of Morpheus’ crew don’t really believe this (Neo has extreme difficulty training at first), in fact one (Cypher), is determined to go BACK to the Matrix, because, in his point of view “ignorance is bliss.” Of course, Cypher is ultimately double-crossed by the Machines and killed by one of his former shipmates (serves him right too).
Through all of this, Neo and his friends are pursued by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), a sentient program that helps to keep order within the Matrix and also to prevent those few who become aware of the Matrix from escaping. Agent Smith is intriguing to me because he believes absolutely that *his* point of view (that machines are perfect and humans are just a “disease”) is the correct one, and nothing will ever change his mind on the subject.
This film is known for introducing some techniques that are now staples of film, including “bullet time”, that effect where an object (usually a bullet) is witnessed by a character in slow motion while events proceed around them in real time. I believe there’s an example of this in the most recent trailer for the Wonder Woman film (but correct me if I’m wrong).
While we can debate the quality of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions until the end of time, there is no doubt that The Matrix is an instant classic that all fans of cyberpunk film must see at least once in their lives (and probably should see twice for good measure).
Thanks again to MovieRob for letting me choose the genre for this month! -Becky