The Matrix – Review August 3, 2009Posted by Cello in Domestic Film Reviews.
The Matrix is another great movie that is heavily influenced by asian culture. Japanese director Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell was a strong influence. Producer Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowski brothers first described their intentions for The Matrix by showing him that anime and saying, “We wanna do that for real”. He stated that since Ghost in the Shell had gained recognition in America, the Wachowski brothers used it as a promotional tool. Another Japanese anime which influenced The Matrix was the 1985 film Megazone 23, directed by Noboru Ishiguro and Shinji Aramaki. An American adaptation of Megazone 23 was released in 1986 as Robotech: The Movie. There are also several more Japanese anime and manga that can be found as sources of influence.
That knowledge aside, the story follows Neo’s pursuit of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a purported leader of a group of hackers known for bringing down major institutions. But the real surprise comes when Neo meets Morpheus, who informs him that everything he knows about the real world is wrong, and that existence bends to the whims of the Matrix. The Matrix is a simulation of the real world achieved by plugging a jack directly into people’s brains. The bulk of the film revolves around Morpheus’ belief that Neo is the one who will bring an end to the war between humans and the machines. Within this, the action is terrific: the principal cast training for four months pre-shoot to sell breakneck martial arts sequences using Hong Kong wire techniques, and a barrage of weaponry that would make John Woo blush.
This movie could have been trimmed a spot during its over-elaborate second act, but comes through on all cylinders in respect to style, vision, mood, and premise. The Matrix is a curiosity, and it’s definitely a good ride. It’s a handsome picture with extremely slick photography, computer-enhanced stunts and neo-goth atmosphere. The more you get into the movie and the more of the story unfolds, the more impressive and science-fictionesque the entire scenario becomes.
The video above depcits the entire trilogy as a whole, although I was a fan of the second one, I felt the first movie was the best in the trilogy and was influenced the most by asian culture. Visually and artistically The Matrix owes a lot – and I mean A LOT – to Hong Kong Wire-Fu and fantasy films. While stunt coordinator Woo Ping Yuen, one of Hong Kong’s best stunt choreographers and directors, does a great job choreographing the extraordinarily elaborate fight sequences in “The Matrix” the performances seem stiff and wooden at times. All in all, this movie is a modern day classic. It’s hard to believe it’s been already 10 years since its release. The thing is, another 10 years from now, people will still be talking about this film.