I’m not exactly mad about sci-fi flicks generally speaking, but I’d lie if I said this one didn’t get to me. The original idea behind makes the movie a unique and exquisite one, and the deftly crafted story is nothing short of enthralling. Basically, the world people live in is a computer-created one, a program. Naturally, they haven’t got a clue that their lives, the goals they do their utmost to achieve, and the milieu they develop in are mere illusions and that the steak or burger with the works they slobber over is nothing more than a code. Everything is a code, and while people go about their lives in this virtual reality, eating, sleeping, knocking themselves into shape, falling in love, and what have you, their bodies are actually plugged in and locked somewhere, serving as batteries and energy for the machine-controlled world, in an apocalyptic scenario imagining a war between man and artificial intelligence. There are entire fields crawling with these people that the machines grow as makeshift fodder. The only human city left, the last redoubt of the free human race- Zion- lies somewhere close to the center of the Earth, and here, incidentally, is where it becomes more or less apparent, the extent to which Fritz Lang’s 1927 Metropolis fed into The Matrix. It’s not only the telling location of the city, but the idea of a mediator being needed, the absolutely vital role of the machine and more. The people of Zion publicly celebrating the good news also is redolent of Babylon’s frenzied razzmatazz in Griffith’s 1916 tour de force, Intolerance.
The truth is The Matrix does a bang-up job at laying out its perspective, and the whip-smart scenario enacted by a good many adroit actors make it a must-see killer for any and every film enthusiast. That said, the film, it is plain to see straight off, didn’t win the war on cliche. Definitely, it’s just a cinch overlooking the now-and-then missteps and sure don’t make for much of a hassle. This does however change with the second and third movie respectively, and this is where the Wachowski Brothers, I gather, made the awfully momentous false move- in making The Matrix a trilogy. The occasional chink in the armor of the first flick foreshadowed the disastrous path that the movies to come were to walk. If the movie kicking it off is nothing but a masterpiece, the following two bring downright disgrace on the first. Not only they fall short of their name, but fall prey to every possible cliche, it seems. The poorly and brazenly contrived love story comes to be unbearable at some point, the dialogue then rings grandiose and sappy, and the melees and face-offs that came over as epic and a nice touch to an anyway intriguing movie, take now center stage as bush-league eye candy in films that, stripped of that initial quality and charm, strike the expectant viewer as underwhelming, wishy-washy epigones. The bottom line is that steering clear of the sequels is certainly the sensible thing to do, and I can’t but bask therefore in the afterglow of the first one – which is, by contrast, undoubtedly all that and a bag of chips.