The Matrix: The Future Will Not Be User Friendly

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Perception: Our day-in, day-out world is real. Reality: That world is a hoax, an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us. Whoa….

In 1999, Andy and Lana Wachowski came up with an amazing trilogy that took us into a dark, high-tech world where things were not as they seemed. They put together a cast of stars that were both A-list and unknown, and blew us away with some intense special effects, and via the local movie theatre screen, we were all suddenly jacked into The Matrix.

Even though this was one of the most intense movies of the late 90s, it was revolutionary in so many ways, with the dark effects, the slo-motion, the choreographed fight scenes created by Yuen Woo-ping, and even the idea that we might be all just part of a big battery that ran an earth that had been taken over by machines was mind-boggling. Add a high-energy soundtrack featuring some of the hottest names in alternative rock of the day, and you get a film you just never get tired of. It is no wonder that we just could not get enough. This even spawned a disturbing spin-off, The Animatrix that featured some of the minor characters from the trilogy, and some speculative history of how this alternate world came about.

In the opening, we see a hacker, known online simply as “Neo” (Keanu Reeves) doing some late night work for a client. He gets a message from someone online known as “Morpheus”(Laurence Fishburne). Morpheus tells him to follow the white rabbit. When Neo’s customer arrives with his friends to pick up his software, he finds they are dressed to go clubbing, and they invite him to come along. His customer’s date has a tattoo of The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland on her shoulder. He goes along, following Morpheus’ advice, curious to see where this will take him.

At the club, he runs into Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a plain Jane of a woman with a body that won’t quit. She has come to tell him that the world is not as he sees it, and that he will be meeting with Morpheus soon. The next day, he goes to his regular software designer job, late and hung-over. He gets the third-degree ribbing from his supervisor, and then is sent back to his cubicle. He then receives a package from by a FedEx courier. In it is a Nokia cellphone, and it rings as soon as he opens the box. On the line is Morpheus, and he directs Neo on a way to escape from the Agents that are hunting for him.

The Agents look like typical Secret Service men, but they are anything but. Neo fails to get away, and ends up in their custody. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is the lead agent, and soon Neo finds that this world he is in is not real, because things happen to him that could not be possible. The Agents put a bug in him, and send him home. Trinity, Switch (Belinda McClory), and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) come to get him on a stormy night, and remove the bug. They take him to meet Morpheus at an old, moldy hotel. It is here that he learns about the Matrix, and is soon release from the battery farm and comes aboard the Nebuchadnezzar, a terra-ship that travels underground to evade the machines in the hunt for the residents of Zion to find a way to free themselves from the oppression of the machines that rule the surface world.

We learn that the Matrix is just a vast program that the battery pack is plugged into, and all those cells are humans that they machines are using to run their world. The Agents are programs put into the Matrix to make sure things run smoothly. There are other minor programs that run nature, such as birds and animals and plants and weather. Smith is an agent that wants to be free from his programming, and sees the humans that the machines use to run their world as a virus that could upset the balance of this world if they found out the very ugly truth of their perceived world.

This trilogy, actually, more of a WB franchise, as there have been four movies made, and possibly more, is one great ride of dark and sexy, loud and disturbing, but very entertaining, always leaving the viewer curious and wanting for more, series that can always be expanded on. As long as there are possibilities that this world we live in can be changed, or there are unexplained things going on, such as paranormal tales or mysterious legends, is one great way to speculate on how things might really be. If we are merely plugged into a Matrix, then some programming needs some serious repair, because the files have become very corrupted, just sayin’.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★☆