D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
The Matrix, 1999.
Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving and Joe Pantoliano.
The Matrix is one of the most iconic films in the modern era and itself draws on iconic films and genres of the passed such as Spaghetti Westerns, Hong Kong cinema, dystopian fiction and Japanese animation. The film references several subcultures including cyberpunk and hacking as well as touching upon religion and philosophy.
The Matrix follows Thomas Anderson (Reeves), whose computer name is Neo, as the truth of the world in which he lives is made clear to him by Morpheus (Fishburne). It is revealed that the world in which Neo has been living is in fact a simulated reality that sentient machines have created in order to harvest energy from the humans that they farm. Huge fields of humans lay dormant and wired into this simulated reality in order to keep their minds pacified. Morpheus and his band of rebels live in the real world, but are able to link themselves into The Matrix in order to fight against the machines programs and free people such as Neo.
Morpheus believes that Neo is the chosen one and will be the one to free all mankind of the machines. As Neo embarks on war with the machines he is trained by Morpheus in ways of combating the machines in the simulated world and how the boundaries that Neo realises in reality can be overcome within The Matrix. However, no one has ever battled against Agent Smith (Weaving) and won, with the computer program being able to manipulate the world of The Martix more than anyone else is able to.
As the rebels battle for survival and freedom they fight against the Agents within The Matrix and sentinel machines in the real world. Neo isn’t sure he is the chosen one that Morpheus thinks he is, but maybe that’s just what he needs to think in order to fulfill his destiny?
The Matrix is a film you must see before you die because it helped move forward and popularise ‘bullet time’ visual effects. ‘Bullet time’ is the art of allowing a camera to seemingly spin around a character of event at normal speed whilst the action unfolds in slow motion. Some of the effects used in the film were truly mind blowing at the time and still hold up to modern day effects.