Oh look, another movie from the science fiction genre that I’m watching for the first time. It’s almost as if I’ve been intentionally avoiding them, my whole life.
Key word: “intentionally”.
The Matrix came out in 1999 and for the last 21 years, I’ve only known one thing about the movie. Sorta.
When I was about 10, or 11-years-old – this would’ve been the summer of 2002 or 2003 – I was regularly called upon to pitch a few innings, for my softball team.
In one game, there was a line drive right back at me. I leaned back a little and caught the ball right before it took off my head. My teammates came over and were like, “Woah! You did The Matrix!”
And I was like, “Haha yeah, The Matrix.”
“Haha yeah, (repeat what the other person said)” is a reply format that will get you through most situations in life.
The same play happened to me during an intramural game in university. A line drive right back to the pitcher, except I don’t think I “did The Matrix“. I caught the ball in front of my face and quickly turned to pick off the runner at first base.
I overheard the players on the other team say, “How’d he do that?”
And I thought, “Matrix“.
That was the extent of my knowledge of the movie. I didn’t even know what it meant. I just thought that leaning back and doing something cool(?) was called, “Matrix”.
Bless my innocence.
Now that I’ve seen the movie, I know it comes from the scene where the main character, Neo, is leaning backwards to avoid the slow-motion bullets coming at him.
Ohhh, so my teammates took a 12-second scene in the movie, The Matrix, and said I basically did the same thing on a baseball field, and called it, “The Matrix.”
It took me almost 20 years to figure this out. This is what happens when you assume everyone has seen the same movies as you.
Anyway, on to the rest of the movie.
Most of the time I was watching, I felt like an idiot. What is this movie about? Is it actually simple? Why are there no normal scenes?
I’ll be honest, I had to open up its Wikipedia page for some guidance.
The description was: “It depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside the Matrix, a simulated reality created by intelligent machines to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source.”
I read that about four times before I gave up.
So, basically, humans and robots got into a war and the robots won, but there’s this rebellious group living in a place called Zion (not Williamson; this is a basketball joke), lead by someone named, Morpheus, trying to get the planet back to normal.
Morpheus really likes wearing sunglasses, everywhere he goes. Someone should’ve told him that “Less is More-pheus” but they didn’t have the guts, I assume.
Morpheus and his group track down this hacker who goes by the name, Neo, because Morpheus believes he is “The One” who can defeat the evil machines.
It took me half the movie to figure that out. At many points, I found myself wondering how anyone came up with the premise for this movie.
Was there a memo sent out to every Hollywood writer in 1997 and 1998, telling them to start putting together unrealistic scripts that play into Y2K paranoia, and the idea that computers will one day be our leaders?
Personally, I don’t know why people are so concerned about robots taking over and controlling us. I mean, WE COULD STOP MAKING THEM AT ANY POINT.
Also, people already don’t listen to people. We’re not going to listen to robots. Pour some water on them and watch Netflix.
Back to Neo, for a second. Every time they said his name, I thought of the singer, Ne-Yo. I was annoyed at myself.
The movie didn’t captivate me until about 80 minutes in, when one of Morpheus’ people – Cypher – turned on him and the crew, by shooting Tank, but failing to make sure he was dead, which ultimately meant he came back and killed Cypher.
Is this what names are going to be like in the future? Is this why celebrities can’t name their children anything normal? What do they know that we don’t?
“Hi, I’d like you to meet my son, Compass, and my daughter, Vinyl. This is our dog, Drops of Jupiter.”
That is when everything started to click for me and I became invested in the plot.
When Neo and Trinity went back into the Matrix to save Morpheus from the machines aka evil white men, who kidnapped him, they entered their headquarters(?) wearing black trench coats, while heavily armed.
I’ll be honest, that scene made me uncomfortable. It was too similar to Columbine for me. I looked it up to see if anyone felt the same way, and apparently, a lot of people did.
In fact, The Matrix came out three weeks before the Columbine shooting, and people were blaming this movie – among other things – as possible inspirations.
I am not here to guess what made those two individuals do what they did. However, I can see why people immediately pointed to this movie and tried to make the connection.
I made the link in two seconds, 21 years after the fact. Whether the link actually exists, that’s not up to me to decide.
There were a lot – A LOT – of bullets fired in this movie. It was amazing how many of them missed the intended target. And by “amazing” I mean it was borderline unbelievable.
Anyway, the Agents/Machine/Evil White Men with Superiority Complexes kill Neo, but because love conquers all and Trinity kissed Neo’s corpse on the lips, he came back to life with more powers than ever before, and defeats Agent Smith, before exiting the matrix.
Got all that?
We have a Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, Tank, Cypher…and an Agent Smith. Did they just give up on coming up with abnormal names? Or are robots just really simple?
The movie ended and I’m not sure what happened, even after reading Wikipedia.
So, yeah, I am not smarter than a 5th Grader, or at least not as smart as I thought I was, after watching this movie.
The Matrix is rated 8.7/10 on IMDB. I would probably give it half of that, just because I didn’t know what was going on, or care, until the last 40 minutes. The movie was 2 hours and 16 minutes long.
The things I do for a blog post…
I forgot to mention that some scenes randomly ended by the screen fading to black, and I half-expected to see commercials, or a video game cutscene.
Very 1999, if you ask me.
I think I need a break from the science fiction genre for a bit. Too much thinking involved.
Stay tuned to see which genre I land in next week.
If you’ve seen The Matrix, what did you think of it?