We picked up the deluxe boxed set of the Matrix. The old lady likes the scifi/special effects/kung fu genre, and I figured I’d take another stab at it (I’ve seen fragments of the trilogy on commercial TV) and try to make sense of it as a whole. Supposedly, it has a lot of fans, has been very influential, and it has practically created a whole new art form, all by itself. Well, I’ve seen enough to write a review.
It is dreadful. Could someone tell me why this is so popular? Why it has so many fans? To begin with, it is based on the ultimate pre-adolescent query as to the nature of reality; “What if this is all a dream?” You know, the old Chinese philosopher question; “Am I a man dreaming he’s a butterfly, or am I a butterfly who dreamt he was a man?” You should have figured that one out by the time you were a teenager. And what about all the Messianic bullshit. Is Neo really the Kwisatz Haderach?
OK, these are valid questions, the nature of reality, perception, worlds within worlds, etc. But it has been explored previously, and much more competently I might add, by several excellent recent films; ExistenZ, The Thirteenth Floor, Inception, I could go on. But this trilogy makes no sense. This film not only fails to answer these questions, it seems incapable of even asking them coherently. It seems to be just an excuse to put on interminable fight scenes that go on forever, where nobody actually seems to get hurt. Lots of gunfire, collateral destruction, kung fu fighting, and subterranean spaceship battles, and even a car chase,all loosely tied together with endless impenetrable pseudo-filozawfigal doubletalk. What does it all mean, Mr Natural? Yeah, you got it, it don’t mean shit.
I must concede the art direction, special effects, fight choreography, and particularly the representation of alien tech are absolutely breathtaking, but it only highlights how all that technical talent and cold cash was lavished on such a pointless plot, god-awful dialogue, and formulaic and hackneyed acting. I really have enjoyed Laurence, Carrie, Keanu and Hugo’s work in other films, but they were all wasted on this turkey. Most of the time they’re too busy fighting to act, and the fisticuffs seem pointless because nobody seems to be taken out. Only Ms Moss’ skin-tight black rubber body suit makes it all worth watching. Gravity-defying leaps and hopelessly heroic one-sided combat may have worked on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but the suspension of physical law for purely dramatic effect gets old really quick. Its about as convincing as the Dwarvish swordplay in the Goblin Kingdom was in the Hobbit.
Somebody help me with this. Am I missing something? Or is this as bad as it looks? What did people see in this movie.