HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
   
 
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
   
 
  Matrix, The Pill Poppers
Year: 1999
Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Julian Arahanga, Matt Doran, Belinda McClory, Anthony Ray Parker, Paul Goddard, Robert Taylor, David Aston, Marc Aden Gray
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's a disturbance in this apartment block of the city, as cops assemble in one of the homes to track down a troublemaker. She is Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), and she has been doing her own tracing, of someone online who she needs to get hold of, for very important reasons, though thus far he has proven difficult to pin down. As she makes good her escape, shooting, kicking and punching her way through the assembled law enforcers and slaughtering them without being caused too much trouble, one special agent, Smith (Hugo Weaving) proves harder to get rid of, and it's only chance that allows her to get away...

But Trinity is not our protagonist, that would be Neo, played by Keanu Reeves who with this blockbuster would become the poster boy for cyberspace and every keyboard warrior who thought themselves pretty tasty in a fight, be that in the so-called real world or in an online flame war. Indeed, there were viewers coming out of The Matrix who found themselves seeing the world in a radically altered manner thanks to its plot which discussed over and over again the possibilities for living in a society that was not genuine, it was a construct, and thus a thousand thinkpieces were inflicted on an unwary population.

The hook to The Matrix was that Neo was not who he believed he was, and on being contacted by Trinity he wakes up to the fact that he now has a mentor, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who can teach him precisely what is really happening in the universe. That this fed into the superhero wish-fulfilment fantasy playing out across pop culture into the next century is no coincidence, for audiences wanted to feel powerful through surrogate characters who could assert themselves, often through violence combined with superior strategy. Add to that a heightened awareness of what was a very conspiratorial take on the globe, and there was your audience.

Not that the Wachowskis, who dreamt up this scenario, were entirely original, as cyberpunk had been a thing since the nineteen-eighties, often in the work of William Gibson on the page, and they drew on a number of references to craft their dystopia. They made sure to put allusions to the influences across the film so anyone watching it who recognised them could pat themselves on the back that they "got it", much in the way that conspiracy theorists looked out for details that they could use to piece together their ultra-paranoid picture of the lives they were living. Thus the influenced became the influencer as it turned receptive audiences on to all sorts of parapolitics and theories that would only be accessible through red pill taking insider knowledge you understood, not like these sheeple who thought The Matrix was a throwaway action flick.

But the dark side, which should have been obvious, has grown more apparent down the years, as conspiracies have replaced facts in how we see the methods and functions of our societies, and the way that many try to wrest control of their lives from the overwhelming powerlessness in the face of the corporations and rogue states is to do what Neo did: turn to violence. There is a sequence late on in the film where after he has learnt his new talents for bloodshed, he unleashes them on a bunch of security guards in a corporate-style building; both he and Trinity impassively take back their agency in their world by gunning down people they do not know with zero consequences, and we are asked to applaud them for it. Yes, Yuen Woo-Ping was onboard for fight choreography, and Bill Pope's cinematography makes everything look sleek and glossy, but the grim fact was that there could be no mass shooter on the planet who did not see that and think, that's the way to do it. Obviously blaming real life violence on fiction doesn't tally neatly at all, but The Matrix remains a troubling effort for the obsessive way it boosts the paranoid while building them up as new Messiahs. Music by Don Davis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 295 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Lana Wachowski  (1965 - )

Reclusive American director who, along with brother Andy, now Lilly, wrote and directed the Matrix trilogy. The Chicago-born Wachowski brothers debuted with the lesbian gangster thriller Bound, and followed it with 1999's sci-fi thriller The Matrix which was a critical and commercial smash and set a new standard for special effects. Sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were less well received but still scored at the box office. What did not score was their live action version of cartoon Speed Racer, their adaptation of the bestselling Cloud Atlas or their original epic Jupiter Ascending, though cult followings were not far away. Also wrote the screeplays for Assassins and V For Vendetta. Born Larry, and credited as such on her first few films, she became Lana in the 21st century.

Lilly Wachowski  (1967 - )

Reclusive American director who, along with brother Larry, now Lana, wrote and directed the Matrix trilogy. The Chicago-born Wachowski brothers debuted with the lesbian gangster thriller Bound, and followed it with 1999's sci-fi epic The Matrix which was a critical and commercial smash and set a new standard for special effects. Sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were less well received but still scored at the box office. What did not score was their live action version of cartoon Speed Racer, their adaptation of the bestselling book Cloud Atlas or their original epic Jupiter Ascending, though cult followings were not far away. Also wrote the screeplays for Assassins and V For Vendetta. Born Andy, and credited as such on her first films.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: