This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Casey Malone’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
A review in two parts.
Content Warning for talk of Real World Gun Violence if you don't want to think about that and WHO CAN BLAME YOU.
Part one - The Matrix
Holy shit, have you guys seen this movie? GOOD MOVIE. The Matrix? Huh, wow! THE MATRIX. GOOD. MOVIE. I obviously saw it when it came out, but this is not something I have nostalgia for AND YET for about 80% of the running time I was still sitting in my chair thinking "Wow, is this a PERFECT movie???"
Have you ever seen a movie before where the EXPOSITION is the maybe best part? Where you're going "YES! CONTINUE TO FUCKING KICK OUR ASSES WITH KUNG FU WHILE YOU EXPLAIN THE BUGNUTS AND INCREDIBLY IN-DEPTH RULES OF YOUR WORLD!" I truly can't think of another. Even in Star Wars they have to have an old man in a hut sit down and go, "Look, here's a laser sword, everything's going to stop while I tell you what's up."
That being said, the lobby fight doesn't hold up for reasons mostly beyond the Wachowski sisters' control. That whole scene is a product of a time when gun fetishism felt so much more abstract and harmless and, frankly, cool. Instead of now, where I was, frankly, kind of horrified. I'm not saying that media causes violence, but about twenty minutes before walking into the theater I'd been talking about mass shootings in movie theaters (hi, Joker), so more than anything this scene made me wonder what I would do if someone walked into the theater right then with an assault rifle. Which feels ridiculous but also isn't ACTUALLY outside of the realm of possibility? I don't know, again, can't really blame the movie for this. But this was my experience and it wasn't a great feeling.
ANYWAY BACK TO THE MATRIX, WHICH SLAPS. Lawrence Fishburne deserved AT LEAST a Best Supporting Actor nomination for this shit, and given that the winner in 2000 was Michael Caine for the Cider House Rules - A MOVIE THAT DOES NOT EXIST - he probably should have won. The subway fight is unreal and I KNOW it seemed like I was done with political readings of this movie BUT given that we now know both of the directors are transgender there's definitely new power/perspective on the villain being an asshole who keeps calling Keanu “Mr. Anderson” and the big climactic hero moment of self actualization is when he says "My name... is NEO." and fucking hits Smith with a train. IDK, it's a great moment outside of that, but ADDITIONAL CONTEXT BAYBEEEEE.
It's been twenty years and despite everyone trying, nothing looks like this movie (sorry Underworld), and nothing has been as efficient at setting up mystery, an insane reality, and plot. It's so so good.
Part Two - 4DX
I saw this movie in 4DX where the chairs move and there's lightning effects and when an Agent shot at Neo and accidentally hit a watermelon I got sprayed in the face with water. Five Stars.