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The Matrix Trilogy

No one can be told what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself 

Year: Unknown 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: Unknown 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Matrix Trilogy

Either you’ve not heard of the matrix films, in which case you’ve got to see them, or you have, in which case it’ll be hard to stop you. Simply the knowledge that the full matrix trilogy is being shown is enough. This is not merely the showing a few sci-fi films but an event to be gripped by. It’s not only for geeks, but a trilogy for anyone who wants to see an intelligent adrenaline-pumping all-action spectacle. Just ask yourself when else are you going to get a chance to see all three films on the big screen one after another?

In case you need reminding, the films are about the worlds of Mr Anderson/Neo (Reeves), who discovers he has been living in a dream world all his life. The matrix. The truth is that in the real world humans and artificial intelligent machines have been waging a war for the last 200 years. And he discovers that if the prophecy is true he is ‘the one’, the only person who can end it all. Fortunately he has Morpheous (Fishburne) and Trinity (Moss) to guide and aim him in his journey in both real world and in the Matrix, where he has many encounters with the deadly Agents, in particular Agent Smith (Weaving) who seems to have a wee bit of a vendetta against him, the Oracle and other characters mainly known by their job description (architect, keymaker etc.)

The first film took the whole genre to the next level. The choreography of the fight scenes (arranged by Yuen Wo Pin, whose other works include Kill Bill and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), the wire work, the bullet time (remember how cool that was the first time you saw it), the characters and the plot…That’s right a film with a plot that made you think about philosophy while simultaneously putting your jaw back in place after the dojo or lobby scenes. If you don’t think it left an impact, think back to the number of times you’ve heard people say, ‘I know kung fu’ or ‘there is no spoon’.

The second film, though in large part a transition film, built on the foundation and increased it a notch. More philosophy, more action, multiple Agent smiths, a stunning car chase and the twins. And then the third concluded the trilogy with the awesome battle for Zion, more philosophy, the final battle between Neo and Smith and the resolution of the stories.

I’m not saying the films are perfect. All that philosophy does get confusing after a while, the architect appears to be deliberately incomprehensible, some of the fights wear a bit, as does Morpheous’s reliance on the phrase ‘I believe…’, at around 7 hours the trilogy is possibly overly long and the cast may not always be Oscar worthy. But that is largely to miss the point. These films aren’t there to be overly scrutinised. Don’t give yourself a headache trying to work out the nature of being. They’re simply there to be entertaining. Watch them and let them blow you away.

Deb Mitra

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)