A computer hacker who is unsatisfied with his life is contacted by a mysterious stranger who reveals to him that the “real world” is in fact a computer generated simulation designed to subjugate the human race.
The most striking aspect of The Matrix is obviously its visuals; highly influenced by the wire work of Asian cinema, the Wachowski brothers cranked it up another level by creatively using computer software to pretty much perfect the action sequence. The mix of fetish wear, brilliantly designed cyber punk technology and super cool actors – both Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne were catapulted into mega-stardom by this film – makes for an audio-visual cocktail that influenced virtually every film that followed. But for me it is the simple but brilliant concept that is the real strength of The Matrix, which marries all the favourite themes of sci-fi. The Messianistic super hero, technophobia, conspiracy theory and prophecy all combine to make a thrilling story which creates the perfect structure in which the hero can perform fantastic feats without compromising narrative logic.
It still looks good more than a decade later and is two solid hours of pure, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment and one of those few films that changed the cinematic landscape forever.