Wednesday, April 7, 1999

The Matrix

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Fasten your seat belts and open your minds: Kansas is going bye-bye and Wonderland is out of joint. Forget everything you know about comic books, action thrillers, film noir, Kung Fu, horror, man-eating machines and the Internet. In fact, forget everything you know about the movies. The Matrix is here to redefine all that and twist your perception of reality until you believe that every physical object is nothing but a projection of your mind.

"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?" Neo (Keanu Reeves in a surprisingly stylish performance) is soon to find out the truth from Morpheus, the rebel (Laurence Fishburne).

There are two realities, Morpheus tells Neo. The one in which we carry on as usual, every day, and the one that lies behind it, like a fearless shadow. The first one is a dream. The second one is the Matrix. The Matrix cannot be defined; it has to be experienced. It is the beginning and the end. It is protected by superagents whose capabilities would make even the Terminator kneel down and beg for forgiveness.

The Matrix is a dark, flexible metaworld in which you can arrest motion, walk on air, will bullets into submission, control space and free the mind. Guns: lots of guns. Violence: real and imagined. Nightmares: more terrifying than the inside of a prison cell. Everything is allowed: If you are the One, you are the only god of this underworld. Outside your will you are nothing. Inside the dream you are a prisoner. Choose.

A sinister and exhilarating look at the online future, the Wachowski Brothers’ (Bound) second feature rewrites the book on the science-fiction thriller. With a story born out of elements of absurdist literature and mythology, and uncanny imagery which combines Asian cinematic techniques of wire-fighting and "bullet-time photography" (slow-motion close to 12,000 frames per second), The Matrix offers a glimpse into the cinema of the next century.

E-mail comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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