Who remembers when The Matrix first came out, because I sure do? That’s rhetorical by the way, so please don’t speak at your computer screen. In fact, there should be a new date system, and instead of BCE, and CE, it should BTM, and ATM, because in many ways things changed after The Matrix came out.
First of all, Hong Kong action film making, and Anime style storytelling, was brought to the mainstream audience, and they soaked that shit up, and still do to this day. But in many ways, its biggest impact was the dawning of the mega epic blockbuster, in both financial earnings, as well as scope, especially when you look at how it changed the world of trilogies.
I know, I know, there are lots of other examples that could be used to also describe this new style of epic film, but come on, really, there aren’t many films that shook up things as much as this film did. Even the marketing for it was epic, as I remember those ‘What is The Matrix?’ ads pretty well, and to still have those locked away in the memory vault for a film that came out 14 years ago is saying something.
So when the local cinema, that has nostalgic screenings every second Sunday, had the first The Matrix film showing, I jumped at the chance to see it, as I hadn’t seen it on the big screen since I first saw it those 3 times back in 1999. So I bought my ticket, got my package deal of a drink, popcorn, and ice-cream, and sat down ready to once again be blown away by this film that, in my eyes, should be universally loved.
Yeah, some of the costumes are a little dated, yeah, some of the acting is a little cheesy, yeah, the action can also be a little cheesy, but god damn do I love this film! One of the main reasons why I love it so much is the fact the story goes way deeper than just a cool story, as the ideas and concepts behind it are grounded in a lot of research into psychology, philosophy, and the greater mysteries of life.
The action also is still pretty epic, and despite some of it now feeling a little clumsy, it’s still often jaw dropping. Though it would be interesting to see what a young person would think about it if they had never seen it before, but had been brought up in this current generation of Hong Kong action style films that have flooded the market these past 14 years, as to that person it may seem just a little been-there-done-that. For me though, I still see this film with those eyes of a younger self, and those eyes still marvel at the action, with maybe only a hint of dulling.
So all up, this film has dated only a very little bit, and I would like to think, at least the concepts behind this film, will make this a classic for many decades to come, if not for all time. It really did change the film making landscape, as well as film consumption, and I’m sure it’ll be remembered for that just as much as the story and action will.
9.5 out of 10 from me!!!