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The Matrix

How do you know you're not just a brain in a jar, sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere, being fed stimuli that convinces you that you have a body, walk around, eat, work, fuck, etc.?  The truth is . . . you don't know.  You can't know.  Not 100%.  Stick that in your skull bong and smoke it.

People have been noodling on that existential conundrum for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  One of the most interesting and entertaining dorm room bullshit sessions on the topic is 1999's The Matrix, which added virtual reality to the mix and put the entire body in the jar.  It's a 20-year-old modern masterpiece that convinced some of the world's smartest and richest muthafuckas that we're all actually living in a Matrix of our own right now.  That earns The Matrix a Cinemavenger Classic review and the cunt punch that goes along with it.

The Matrix gave us the bullet time special effect.  It brought wire fu into the Hollywood mainstream.  It ensured 20 more years of Keanu "Whoa" Reeves flicks.  But it is far from fucking perfect.  Its 90s cyberpunk aesthetic has aged as well as Disney's Song of the SouthThe Matrix explains all the pleather, PVC and mall kiosk sunglasses as the product of "residual self image."  So what, Morpheus (Laurence "Burn The Fish!" Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne "Never Floss With" Moss) and the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar were all in a BDSM-flavored Flock of Seagulls cover band (probably called Flogging Seagulls) before they got woke?

When Reeves' Neo gets woke, he's plucked from the frothy, nudity-obscuring water by a giant claw machine claw, and there's no shitting way that thing doesn't crush his little One in the process.  The Agents ("Baby" Hugo Weaving et al.) are supposed to be omnipotent and damn near omnipresent, but they can byte a shiny, metal ass if they can't see Neo crouching on the other side of a virtual cubicle divider wall.

Worst of all, the success of The Matrix led to two of the most exponentially disappointing sequels in movie history.  If only the then-Brothers-now-Sisters Wachowski would've said, "Whoa," while they were ahead.

March 1, 2019

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