Much has already been said about The Matrix. A movie that came at the perfect time with the perfect theme that flowed from the minds of The Wachowski Brothers into Pop Culture. If The Matrix were to come out a year or two after its 1999 release it would’ve still be a huge hit, but not as massive. The world was very different in 1999. Technology was beginning to expand beyond our wildest imaginations, and computers were still a bit of a luxury. The concept of “Second Life” was interesting and scary at the same time. When talking about this movie its important to mention the year because it creates a better context. The concept behind the movie amazes because it’s great science fiction. The idea that the world we exist in is not only an illusion, but a computer program is so exciting. Everyone in this False World, this Matrix is actually alive somewhere (as a battery for The Machines) but this computer world is so believable that their conscious can’t tell the difference. A group of Freedom Fighters go back and forth between the real world and the Matrix trying to stop Agent Smith and free the minds of those willing to find the Truth. The group finds Neo who is believed to be “The One”, a person who will save the world from The Machines in the real world and Agent Smith in The Matrix. Although the next two films resolve the central conflict it is the original movie that blends action and science fiction perfectly.
We all know about the amazing action set pieces John Woo put together, like the Trinity kick or the bullet dodging, but we must remember the cast. Laurence Fishburne was literally born to play Morpheus, and say what you will about Keanu’s acting, but in retrospect I can’t imagine anyone else playing Neo. The movie would have been great on the merit of its action alone but instead it decided to deal with some mind-expanding themes. Do “The Machines” represent the powers controlling the real world? What is reality? Who defines “reality?” If we did live in The Matrix would you want to know? Would you leave if you could? And how much of our reality is a “Matrix?” Our ideas, thoughts and desires are controlled by faceless organizations. Are we living in a cultural Matrix? Is it possible to free our mind like Neo did when he took the red pill? Are we just comfortable in this illusion of blissful ignorance? And is it possibly to bend or break the rules we’ve been taught to be law? All of these questions are legitimate after watching this movie and that’s why the movie is so good
“What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.“‘-Morpheus
Entire essays have been written on this philosophy of this film and the themes it tackles. The scene when Neo realizes he is The One is amazing because we’ve all experienced in before. Its as simple as looking at a puzzle or math problem for hours before finally getting it. The split second of ureka is translated into the movie as Neo waking up from death and seeing The Matrix for what it is.. a computer program with rules he doesn’t have to follow. All of you have watched this movie before, but watch it again. And remember “There Is No Spoon”