Science fiction fans are already looking forward to the release of “Jupiter Ascending,” which will open in theatres this summer. The newest science fiction adventure from the Wachowskis, it is very likely to be one of those films that viewers either love or hate. Although it had more fans than detractors, that was certainly true of their earlier co-directed film “The Matrix,” one of the most popular sci-fi films of all-time, which came out in 1999, and still prompts curiosity.
Although the plot is challenging to condense, here’s a try. “The Matrix” stars Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson, who works for a software company in the late 1990s. He lives a secret life as Neo, where he is a highly skilled computer hacker. Eventually, he is found by Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne), who exposes him to the real world, where it is many years into the future, and much of humanity has been destroyed by machines. Morpheus, the leader of a group that rebels against the machines, explains to Neo that he was living in the “matrix,” a computer simulation of reality. Neo may or may not have a mission to fulfill in this hard-to-decipher world.
“The Matrix” features some of the best special effects and action scenes ever put on film. An example is a shootout in a lobby near the end. This movie is notable for using “bullet time,” which shows a scene in slow motion. The most famous “bullet time” scene is early in the film when a character jumps into the air and kicks a cop. In the first few years after its release, many movies and television shows parodied this scene.
The cast is very good. Keanu Reeves does an effective job rendering a character challenged by strange and aberrant occurrences. Laurence Fishburne is great as Morpheus, a strong leader. Another memorable performance is by Carrie-Ann Moss, who plays Trinity. She is a tough member of Morpheus’s team who falls for Neo.
From the perspective of this reviewer, “The Matrix” is one of the best science-fiction/action movies of all-time.