Film Reviews, Short Review

The Matrix (1999)

3.5/4

Of that stretch of late-‘90s/early ‘00s films that spoke to a particular brand of frustrated masculinity, dealing with millennial anxiety and an increasingly computerised world, (Fight Club, American Psycho, American Beauty), The Matrix is the most cheesy and self-knowing in its own pseudo-philosophy. Whilst Fight Club and American Beauty both take themselves entirely seriously and fall flat on their faces as a result, The Matrix seems to understand that the zen nonsense that Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus spouts is exactly that, nonsense. What’s left is a wonderfully imagined cyberpunk world and some excellent action sequences, courtesy of legendary Hong Kong director/choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping (even if he has directed some even better fight sequences back home). The Wachowski siblings haven’t done much of note since, but the enduring popularity of The Matrix will almost certainly guarantee them some sort of place in the annals of film history.

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