As promised a month or so ago, here is the first blog for my new feature; “You haven’t seen…?!”. Each month, I will be watching a classic film that I have yet to watch. This month, it is The Matrix!
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
It’s been a long-running joke between my brother and I that I hadn’t seen The Matrix. For reasons unknown I have lived 16 years of my life with this film in existence but did not watch it until November 2015. Now I can no longer be met with the retort, “you haven’t even seen The Matrix!” in any film-related sibling disagreement!
I have no idea why I avoided this film for so long; in my younger years the excuse was probably “it isn’t my sort of film”, but now at 24 years of age, I don’t really have a “sort of film” anymore, so no more excuses, it was time to enter The Matrix.
I don’t regret many things in my life, but I do regret not watching this sooner! What a film. As I watched the 1999 classic, I became more and more aware of how familiar certain aspects were. I’ve seen the action sequences before in various parodies and online clips, I knew all about the “cool bullet thingy” as I so eloquently described it to my brother. Yet seeing the whole package blew my mind.
Some of the CGI effects look a little dated now, but the camera trickery, “bullet-time” effects and slow-motion shots are still totally jaw-dropping. Watching this in 2015, I have of course watched countless films with mind-blowing special effects; I would love to go back to 1999 and enjoy this film having never seen anything like it before. I can only imagine it was even more incredible back then.
I’m not a big fan of Keanu Reeves as an actor, but this is undoubtedly his finest film. Neo, the character he plays, doesn’t require a huge range of emotion, so it suits Reeves’ subtle style perfectly. Laurence Fishburne is also excellent as the mysterious Morpheus, as is Hugo Weaving as the conniving Agent Smith.
Some of the highlights include the fight scene between Reeves’ Neo and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), with just the right balance of humour and tension, and of course the amazing lobby action sequence. You’d still be hard pushed to find a better shot action scene than this one!
The Wachowski Brothers deserve so much credit for bringing their vision to life in this film; whilst so often pastiched, it cannot be bettered. The list of films post-The Matrix that took their cues from it is very interesting. Perhaps that is also why The Matrix seemed so familiar to me; it is a style often imitated, and one which I have seen in so many other films. However no one does it better than the Wachowski’s!
As alluded to earlier, whilst I do regret having not seen The Matrix until now, perhaps the best thing to come out of this is that I will not have to deal with the anticipation and then crushing disappointment of the sequels (I’ve heard they’re not good). I shall naively pretend that no sequels to The Matrix exist, and simply enjoy the perfection of an amazing standalone film..!
I’m probably the only person in the world who hadn’t seen this film until now, but if you are reading this and haven’t seen it, I would urge you to watch it, and then let me know what you think! Maybe you’ve seen The Matrix but hated it, or maybe it is your favourite film, and you’d love to tell everybody why you love it so much? Either way, it’d be great if you could let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Why not get in touch and let me know your favourite film? If it is one I haven’t watched before, I will add it to my list! 🙂
Next month I’ll be watching another film which I’ve never seen before, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige .