"The Matrix" (1999) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #150 Gem Mint 10

"The Matrix" (1999)

Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Writer: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong

Rated: R for sci-fi violence and brief language

Runtime: 2h 16m

Genre: Action | Sci-Fi

Country: United States | Australia

Language: English

Available on: Various VOD platforms

"When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence."

You might like this if you like: Action, Sci-Fi, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong

"The Matrix" (1999)

The earliest I can actually remember “The Matrix” was when my older nephew came into town from Texas and saw “The Matrix Reloaded” at the Ojai Playhouse back in 2003. I was too young to go, but I also didn’t even know what it was and don’t think I even showed any interest.

Years later, I’d remember going over to my Sister’s house in Texas, and they’d have “The Matrix”, specifically “The Matrix Reloaded” on the TV in their living room and I was drawn to some of the visual slices of action set pieces that the franchise is so well known for. I also remember a year later, when I went to Texas again, I swear to god, “The Matrix Reloaded” was playing and it was during the same fight sequence where Neo’s taking all the weapons off the walls. At that point, I finally made the jump and watched every “Matrix” film I could on my own.

Carrie-Anne Moss in "The Matrix" (1999)

As a Bruce Lee fan growing up, I was very much drawn to the martial arts factor of the film, even though it didn’t feature any leading Asian cast members, I still found it to be visually groundbreaking and a fascinating story. At the very least the first one.

It was still a bit mature for me when I first saw it. That opening sequence with the metal worm and Keanu’s bellybutton still haunts me to this day. I think I almost couldn’t get through that scene the first time I watched it. Freaked me out. Luckily I was able to get past it and find plenty to love about it afterwards.

Laurence Fishburne in "The Matrix" (1999)

The first few times seeing the film was certainly on a visual level, appreciating the effects and action/stunt coordination, the pretty actors, but it wasn’t until a came back to it in my teenage years did I really come to have the story hit me hard. Almost like I was still living in ‘The Matrix’ those first few showings.

Side note: I also remember trying to bend a spoon with my mind for a very long time.

It was the first time I’d seen most of the actors, with the exception of Keanu Reeves who I’d seen in Steve Martin’s “Parenthood” film and knew Hugo Weaving from ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne stole the show for me. Joe Pantoliano was also incredibly memorable!

Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix" (1999)

By far my favorite ‘Matrix’ film, although I do love the action sequences in ‘Reloaded’, this one hits home the hardest as most 1st films in a franchise do. It feels stand-alone, it was the first time I’d heard ‘Rage Against the Machine’ which I loved, and opened my mind to trying new things and asking more questions. A visual and philosophical classic that will remain a favorite for years.

Written by Sam Gall on Dec 21, 2021

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"The Matrix still stands up as a fiercely exciting and discombobulating futurist drama, which pioneered breathtaking "bullet-time" action sequences inspired by Asian martial arts." - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

"Neo offers Reeves the perfect combination of Ted Theodore Logan's curiosity and wonder, Johnny Utah's earnestness and the badassedness of Jack Traven." - Adam Kempenaar, Filmspotting

"A technologically stunning movie that furthers the genre and features crowd-pleasing performances to go with the frequent scenes of gunplay and violence." - David Hunter, Hollywood Reporter

"Extremely violent, extremely preposterous, extremely entertaining, The Matrix succeeds at two extremely difficult tasks: as a vast, exciting virtual-reality movie and as a defibrillator for Keanu Reeves' big screen career." - Keith Simanton, Seattle Times

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

#MovieReview #TheMatrix #TheMatrix1999 #Neo #KeanuReeves #LaurenceFishburne #CarrieAnneMoss #HugoWeaving #JoePantoliano #GloriaFoster #MarcusChong #LillyWachowski #LanaWachowski

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