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(Review originally written at 26 March 2006)

"The Matrix" has redefined the science-fiction genre. Previous to this movie, most science-fiction movies consisted out of scene's in space with spacecrafts, aliens, all set in a futuristic world. Most movies that tried to be different from this, mostly failed. "The Matrix" does however does not fail and it redefined the science-fiction genre and has taken it to a whole different and more seriously taken level of movie-making. The movie has inspired many different movies ever since and showed that science-fiction and action elements are a great and spectacular combination. From that perspective "The Matrix" is one of the most important movies for film-making, from the '90's.

This is a superb piece of movie-making. The Wachowski 'brothers' were obviously inspired by the Japanese anime style and they transform that style spectacularly into a life-action movie. Because of the style and flair of the movie, it makes the action look spectacular and even also look as something totally new. The fantastic bullet-time effects were something unseen before and are already alone reason enough why this movie is already almost a classic and certainly unforgettable movie. The style and new effects used in the movie make this movie to be also a refreshing one. It's an extremely original movie, both story-wise and technique-wise.

Especially the action is what truly makes this movie a success. The fight and action sequences are beautifully choreographed. It also all is beautifully shot by cinematographer Bill Pope, who uses some fantastic lighting and camera-angles at times. The musical score from Don Davis is also quite good. Also the costumes and settings most certainly do not disappoint. The special effects are spectacular and also something totally new at times.

The cast is not the strongest element of the movie. Keanu Reeves is fairly good as the main character but he lacks some charisma at times. Some goes for Carrie-Anne Moss to be honest. Actors who do not disappoint are Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantoliano and the fantastic Hugo Weaving in his real big breakthrough role. He is an excellent 'villain' because of his look and way of acting.

But what really makes and shapes the movie is its story. Yes, it's complex and believe, not everything makes sense or is explained in a satisfying way but it at least is something totally original and imaginative. The story really shapes the movie and its style and make the action and science-fiction elements of the movie work fantastically together.

The movie is great non-stop spectacular action entertaining that doesn't even get slow or boring even when nothing is really happening. This is mainly due to the imaginative powerful story of the movie. If you don't understand and/or get the story the first time, just watch it a second or third time. The movie is worth it. The movie uses multiple layers, symbolism and elements from religions and other styles of movie-making. It makes you discover more new things, every time you watch the movie. One of the most original and influential movies from the '90's and therefor also an absolute must-see!

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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