Directors: Andy and Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong
Every now and then, a movie comes along that's so bold, creative, and technically advanced that it leaves audiences in a state of oh-shit wonderment, saying to themselves, "Hollywood still has it like that?"
Back in 1999, that's exactly what the Wachowski brothers' sucker punch of a sci-fi revolution known as The Matrix did, enduring through some incoherent plot points with camerawork and effects that redefined the genre. Not to mention, the remarkable achievement of turning Keanu Reeves into something more than a vapid acting drone, if only momentarily.
n The Matrix, the Wachowski bro's influences are on front street: kung fu cinema, Japanese anime, Philip K. Dick ideology, cyberpunk. It's all there as computer hacker Neo (Reeves) fights his way through cyber-tyrants in an alternate dimension, a freedom mission that the directors stylize with filmmaking previously unseen, such as now-infamous, and often rehashed, bullet-time camera trickery. When reflecting upon the impact of The Matrix, it's wisest to completely disregard both of its ball-dropping sequels, which sadly proved that the Wachowskis were as overzealous as they were slightly overrated. —MB