Set in the 22nd century, The Matrix tells of a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) who joins a group of underground insurgents fighting the vast and powerful computers who now rule the earth. The computers are powered by human beings... 

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For anyone who liked the Wachowski brothers' previous film Bound, prepare for a gigantic leap into the future with The Matrix. This is a special effects, action film with a clever sci-fi premise that offers huge dollops of adrenalin pumping tension.

Keanu Reeves stars as Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, a computer programmer who's being sought by the mysterious Morpheus – Laurence Fishburne – via a woman called Trinity – Carrie-Anne Moss. But men who look awfully like Special Branch agents are on the trail of Trinity and Morpheus and they know the key is Neo. They're led by the coldly vile Agent Smith – Hugo Weaving. When Neo finally gets to meet Morpheus he discovers more is expected of him than he would ever dream.

The Matrix was shot in Sydney last year and it gives a mild thrill to recognise some of the locations in the film. But you get a grand thrill from the action heart of the movie choreographed by Hong Kong Kung Fu master Yuen Woo Ping. And some of the special effects are stunningly effective. The story is conceptually a challenge but the Wachowskis manage to delineate their double realities very skilfully. Keanu Reeves is terrific as Neo as is Hugo Weaving as his nemesis. Carrie-Anne Moss makes an attractive and active heroine.

I found The Matrix more interesting than a lot of other action films because the plot wasn't laid out simplistically just so the bad guys could get their comeuppance from the goodies.

David's Comments:
Visually exciting, with very inventive colour and design and pretty spectacular stunts and effects. But the plot, which seems to be aimed squarely at the players of computer games, is pretty hard to follow. Performances are bland, though Carrie-Ann Moss looks fetching in black plastic. Interesting to compare it with Dark City, another Sydney-based film which mixed grunge and sci-fi – I prefer Dark City of the two. The Matrix is far too long, but it's not unentertaining.