The Matrix, a movie review

A movie review: By Lee Sonogan

(1999) 2h16min/ Action, Sci-fi


The Matrix for its time was one of a kind movie with an original concept. A computer hacker learns about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. This movie stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. The first three play the characters Neo, Morpheus and Trinity while the last character is the main villain called Agent Smith. With a budget of 63 million, the movie successfully made a profit of 463.5 million at the box office.

This movie was directed and written by The Wachowskis brother and they harboured their vision for five and a half years, working through 14 drafts of the screenplay. The final concepts took up 500 storyboards. The idea for the movie was created when The Wachowskis were thinking of some new story for a comic book series. They wrote the entire script before their first directorial venture Bound (1996) and worked on it up until the time of production.

Shot almost entirely in Sydney, Australia, the location scouts found it very difficult to find burned-out, American-ghetto-looking locations. Many of the urban-decay locations had to be created from scratch. Before filming, the principal actors spent four months with martial arts experts learning the fight moves, from October 1997 to March 1998. The actors had originally thought that it would take just a few weeks. The opening action scene took six months of training and four days to shoot.

For Keanu Reeves’s scenes set in the real world at the start of the film, his costumes were deliberately shabby and ill-fitting to suggest Thomas Anderson’s feeling of not quite fitting into the world. Keanu Reeves gave $80,000,000 USD of his $114,000,000 USD salary for The Matrix to special effects and makeup staff. In the first 45 minutes of the film, Neo has 80 lines. 44 of these lines are questions, just over half of his total dialogue, averaging at roughly one question per minute.

Laurence Fishburne stated that once he read the script, he did not understand why other people found it confusing. However, he had a doubt if the movie would ever be made because it was “so smart”.  In Greek Mythology, Morpheus is the god of dreams. Somewhat ironic considering Morpheus’ role here is to awaken people from their dream states to reality.

All scenes that take place within the Matrix have a green tint, as if watching them through a computer monitor, while scenes in the real world have a blue tint, blue was also used at a minimum in the matrix scenes since the directors thought blue was more of a real-world colour despite, ironically, blue being the least often occurring colour in nature. The fight scene between Morpheus and Neo, which is neither in the real world nor in the Matrix, is tinted yellow.

In conclusion, this movie hits the spot in all categories. Amazing story, acting, special effects, visuals action scenes and so much more. In 2012, it was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry archives. Many big actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Russel Crowe, Tom Cruise and more have turned down roles in this successful movie. Even Will Smith turned down a role because he thought he wasn’t a mature actor at the time. This is a much watch film for sci-fi and action lovers. Understanding the story only adds to the goodness of this movie. I recommend this movie to everyone. The first movie is better than its sequels, so you do not have to watch them if you do not want to. You could watch the animated movie The Animatrix straight after this movie and still understand the stories in it. The six individual stories in it are definitely worth a watch if you liked this movie.



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