The Matrix

SF elements

virtual reality, plucky human resistance, evil computers
  • The Matrix. 1999
  • The Matrix Reloaded. 2002
  • Matrix Revolutions. 2003

1999 / cinema

The Matrix


[Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne]

Keanu Reeves plays a man with (initially) two lives: computer programmer by day and hacker Neo by night. Then strange things start happening to him, stranger people start contacting him, and he begins to discover the world is not at all what it seems, and that it's up to him to put things right.

Just your standard solipsist paranoid nightmare, then.

[flying effects]

Lots of great special effects, oodles of cartoonish violence (machine pistols blaze for minutes on end, but no-one is more than scratched), wonderfully hissable Men In Black (with a nice pun on Agent), some "needlessly Messianic" philosophising, some risible Kung Fu fighting, a bit of totally implausible thermodynamics, and not much of a plot. (I'm not sure why people seem confused by the plot -- it's just a straightforward chase through a VR-world -- but why is it so hard to leave VR? and why would pulling the plug kill you?)

So, crank your Willing Suspension of Disbelief up to "high", sit back, and enjoy the action.

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]


Neo ..... Keanu Reeves
Trinity ..... Carrie-Anne Moss
Morpheus ..... Laurence Fishburne

reviewed 9 August 1999