Re-Watch: The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix
Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Writer: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Julian Arahanga, Matt Doran, Belinda McClory, Anthony Ray Parker
Seen on: 1.11.2021

Thomas Anderson, better known under his hacker name Neo (Keanu Reeves), receives a mysterious message that tells him to follow the white rabbit, just before there is a knock on the door and a customer with a white rabbit tattoo leads him away. This fateful encounter brings him to Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), probably the best known hackers in the world, always on the run from the law. They offer him a choice: Neo can follow them and learn the truth about the world, or he can forget about everything and stay trapped. What Neo doesn’t know is that Morpheus is convinced that Neo can save them all. In fact, Neo isn’t even aware that they need saving at first. But he soon learns better.

To say that The Matrix is a formative movie for filmmaking is probably putting it mildly. Seeing it again now, more than twenty years later, the footprint it left is very obvious – and understandable. It is still an awesome film.

The film poster showing Neo (Keanu Reeves), and behind him Cypher (Joe Pantoliano), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). All dressed n black, wearing sunglasses and holding weapons.

I don’t know how long ago it was that I saw The Matrix, but huge parts of it are burned into my memory. There are so many moments of it that were revolutionary when it came out, and that inspired so many films (and parodies) afterwards, it’s simply unforgettable. It’s an iconic film in the literal sense of the word.

Reacquainting myself with it was pretty awesome already for that reason alone, but its iconicity is not the only thing about it that still works. There is a good reason that it became so iconic, and that is that it’s just really cool and very well-made (with a special thanks to Chinese wire techniques that found their way into this film and through it Hollywood). Yeah, not everything about it aged perfectly well (those outfits! the sunglasses!) but overall, it did.

Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Neo (Keanu Reeves) walking heavily armed into a building.

The Matrix is not a flawless film (the romance between Neo and Trinity lacks build-up; there is a certain kind of discomfort in having a white male Jesus figure in Neo; while there are many people of color in the film, Asians are severly lacking, especially considering how much the film “borrows” from Asia cinema), but it is awesome, even after more than 20 years.

Neo (Keanu Reeves) sitting in a car, a weapon pointed at him.

Summarizing: a formative classic.


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