We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of this movie, so I thought I’d give it another watch to see how it holds up. I’ve seen it a handful of times, so I know what’s going to happen. I can’t watch it with that objective eye that one needs to accurately review something. But maybe that’s a good thing. I remember being blown away by this and expecting great things right from the get-go. The small fight and chase scene with Trinity, the cops and the agent let you know that cool things will follow.
First off, the acting. Does anybody REALLY like Keanu Reeves? I guess he was okay in Constantine, and his mannerisms were perfect for the Bill and Ted movies, but otherwise I just can’t take him seriously. I could in college. I could forgive a lot of faults in college. But I guess I’ve just got more discerning tastes now, even after his great performance in Street Kings. And it seems like, at least in the beginning of the movie, everybody is overacting. Lawrence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Reeves...even the minor background characters. Maybe it’s just a side-effect of being in the Matrix. The best actors, though, end up being the Oracle and Joe Pantaglione (Joey Pants to his friends).
The graphics are still excellent, even by today’s standards. The sparring between Morpheus and Neo was so damn cool. And the scene where Neo and Trinity infiltrate the building where the Agents are holding Morpheus? When the security guard runs the wand up and down Neo, who opens his trenchcoat and reveals all of his weapons? Priceless. And the ensuing gun battle is just spectacular. It’s still being imitated in current films.
I’m surprised that, with all the violence in the movie, there wasn’t as much blood. It was rated R, so I can’t imagine what the reason might have been. With an $80 million budget, you’d think they could have afforded more corn syrup and red dye.
I thought that exiting with Rage Against the Machine’s "Wake Up" was excellent. I thought the phone message was corny, but Neo flying off and Zack, Tom and the gang playing him out, it was just perfect.
Overall, I still think it’s a good movie, but it’s lost a lot of the luster it once had. I don’t get that with Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark or Alien. I think ultimately The Matrix will end up being a classic for its time, not a classic for all time.
Listening to: Lit - My Own Worst Enemy