One of the greatest and most memorable movies ever made celebrates its 10th anniversary today. That movie is The Matrix.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten full years since The Matrix opened on the big screen on March 31, 1999 to great reviews, a plethora of film awards and an incredibly strong fan base. The movie sits at #29 on IMDB’s top 250 movies as voted by users with over three-hundred thousand votes and it has 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie, written and directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, set new standards in special effects for action and gunplay, martial arts choreography, sound and music style all the way to cinematography and editing. On top of that, they took a geeky concept and made it insanely popular and cool amongst mainstream moviegoers. It was an action movie that was both intelligent and stylistic and it did pretty much everything right.
Winner of four Oscars including Best Visual Effects, the movie went on to earn two follow-up films. Unfortunately, this is where all the praise and glory starts to plunder.
The two sequels, titled The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were filmed back-to-back with theatrical openings in the May and November of 2003 but they weren’t nearly as good as the original.
The Matrix Reloaded received rather good reviews and managed to perform far better than the first in theaters and on DVD. Revolutions however, was not so fortunate. The third movie in the franchise was shot down by most critics and fans and it’s earnings dropped significantly to just over half as much as Reloaded took in at the box office suffering through negative word-of-mouth.
For me, Reloaded was good but not perfect. It had some of the best action sequences in the trilogy and one of the coolest car chase scenes ever. Combined with a stellar soundtrack and some cool new characters (before they lost their cool in the third flick), these aspects of the movie helped overcome some of the negatives and it still was plenty enjoyable.
Revolutions, I thoroughly disliked in pretty much every way. They took the green theme way too far, to the point where every single item, person and background was literally different shades of that one color. The fight scenes which should of been so meaningful and epic became boring and the insane special effects were all for naught. The forced philosophical ideas discussed throughout the movie failed to accomplish what the first film did naturally and it came off as cheesy and unnecessary dialogue. To top off the mess, the much-hyped battle of Zion came off as a poorly setup skirmish with extremely counter-intuitive designs of city, the robots, weapons and strategy – it looked flashy but I wanted it to end.
Enough dwelling on the negative – let’s look at something positive!
For you collectors out there and for those who may not own The Matrix on DVD, a brand new special Blu-Ray anniversary edition is now available (as of today). It includes a book, photos as well as a pile of new special features among other added goodies.
What’s in store for The Matrix franchise now? Unfortunately, there’s no movement currently underway for another Matrix project. There has been speculation over the years that a fourth movie could be made but the Wachowski Brothers have kept busy with other projects.
What memories do you have of The Matrix Trilogy and does another installment in the franchise interest you?