The Matrix – The Unbeatable Original – Film Review

The Matrix (1999) - IMDb

Directors: The Wachowskis

Writers: The Wachowskis

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Anthony Ray Parker, Julian Arahanga, Matt Doran, Gloria Foster

Rating: ★★★★★

With only a few weeks until the highly anticipated The Matrix Resurrections is finally released, the original Matrix film is heading back to cinemas, this time in 4K and IMAX. The ground-breaking film is one of the most important releases in modern times. It’s not just the massive leap in technology which inspired so many parodies and copy-cats, but the film was and still is a cultural phenomenon and it still stands up as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made.

There’s nothing that hasn’t already been said about this film over and over again, it’s as close to perfect as it can be. Being able to see the modern classic on the big screen is worthy of making the trip, especially for those of us in a generation who didn’t get the chance the first time round. In 4K the film looks gorgeous. The picture is crystal clear, and the sound is perfect.

The story about someone who sometimes can’t tell if he’s awake or dreaming and then finding out the world around him is a simulation still resonates. The world created within the film is still just as interesting as it was the first time around. In last few years people have gone back to the film and looked at the transgender themes in it, something that co-writer/director Lilly Wachowski has spoken about in the last couple of years in detail. It’s very interesting to read through the interview with her, that’s available online, and then watch that film through that lens.

It’s not the only way to look at it, the film also works as a religious allegory with Neo being The One, as well as the capitalist society that we live in with the idea that the system we live in is only an illusion that only works if we agree to it. There’s a lot of different interpretations to the film, but what makes The Matrix so special is that at its core, it’s simply just great sci-fi with some excellent lore and world building.

The Matrix (1999) - IMDb

It’s a film that rewards you for repeat viewings, each time you reveal more and more of the universe and story that’s being told. So many things are explained and shown that every time you watch it you pick up on even more little details. It’s a fantastic story that’s told really well. It moves so fast that the whole thing flies by, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.  

The action and choreography for the fighting is incredible and hasn’t aged at all. It rivals any of the big budget blockbusters with its fight sequences. They are choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping and are incredible. It’s still just as exciting to watch, as it must have been in 1999. In the same way that the special effects, such as bullet time, which were revolutionary at the time still hold up. There’s one dodgy looking explosion towards the end, but beyond that you could mistake this for a film made today.

The performances are all excellent, especially from Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Laurence Fishburne. Even Keanu Reeves is pretty good in this film. His stilted performance fits Neo, who is essentially a new-born child in an adult’s body. They all look stylish as hell in the outfits, that became a trend in action films of the late 90s.

The Matrix is a quintessential sci-fi film. It’s absolutely thrilling, the effects and choreography are stunning and the cyberpunk stylised visuals pop of the screen. For fans of the film it’s really worth seeking out the 4K edition, especially if it’s showing in a cinema near you.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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