review for The Matrix on AllMovie

The Matrix (1999)
by Lucia Bozzola review

"What is The Matrix?" In the hands of writer/directors Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, The Matrix proved to be an exhilarating comic book/Hong Kong/sci-fi treatise on the nature of reality for the Keanu Reeves crowd. With Sydney, Australia, standing in for an ominously green-tinged Any City, the initiation of Reeves' ace hacker Neo into the Real World by Laurence Fishburne's super-cool Morpheus and Carrie-Anne Moss' patent leather-clad cyber babe Trinity sets off the ultimate conflict between man and malevolent machine. Regardless of that conflict's philosophical bent, the real attraction became The Matrix's trailblazing special effects and bravura set pieces, including airborne kung fu, time-bending, bullet-dodging shoot-outs, and an ultra-stylized, slow-motion lobby fusillade. Along with sweeping the four technical Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Visual Effects and Best Editing, The Matrix's sleekly kinetic action attracted legions of fans, turning it into not only a bona fide blockbuster (and an MTV Movie Award winner), but also a top-selling DVD. While its open ending hinted at further adventures to come, The Matrix's financial success guaranteed that the Wachowskis' plans for two sequels would indeed come to fruition.