OK, the romance strand is lame, the accents occasionally waver, Keanu ain't exactly Olivier, but The Matrix is the best sci-fi film since Starship Troopers. In fact, the ambitious but ultimately thin plot line is just an excuse for a number of action set-pieces, but what set-pieces they are.The film immediately spirals out of control via a leather-clad super-chick played by Moss (Models Inc.), a guerilla agent running for her life from a bunch of federal looking agents led by Weaving (in his first international role and one which should see him hit the big time). She amazingly gets away and is soon contacting a computer software programmer by day/hacker by night played by Keanu. After a lot of mistrust, he finally puts his life in her hands and is introduced to Morpheus (Fishburne), the leader of a hacker guerilla group working on the theory that our existence is in the hands of the government.
Oh yes, and Keanu is the Messiah.
But who really cares? Amongst the 1984-style conspiracy theories that will impress paranoiacs, manga and comic book fans, those crazy Wachowski Brothers (Bound) have created such an amazing visual palette that will have most preaching that style kicks substance in the arse, especially when Keanu is involved.Entirely shot in and around the Sydney Fox Studios, The Matrix is full of jaw-dropping firsts: the use of motion is groundbreaking, the Sydney skyline has never been this explosive and the kung-fu sequences are more impressive than any Jet Li flick. The Matrix is entertaining, full-throttle virtual reality. ---Dov Kornits