Friday, July 4, 2008

The Matrix

I just read The Full Burn, by Kevin Conley. It's about the world of stunts and stuntmen, but it wasn't as great as I was hoping it was going to be. I think my main objection was that it was really short, and that about a third of it was stuff I already knew from watching Double Dare. The chapter about Zoe Bell was still interesting, because the author was on the set of Death Proof, but it still spent a lot of time telling me how cool she is. I already knew that, thank you!

Anyway, there's a lot of discussion of driving stunts, and specifically the motorcycle riding in The Matrix Reloaded. And that got me to thinking, maybe I've never really given the second and third Matrix movies a real chance. So, since I was lounging around all day with nothing to do, I figured I'd watch all three of them in a row. That didn't actually happen, but I did get around to rewatching the first one.

It feels kind of dated already, of course. The washed-out green color scheme led to a great many washed out movies, and the bullet time (which, I feel obligated to point out, first showed up in Kill and Kill Again) also isn't as groundbreaking as it used to be. Still, it's a great looking movie. There are a lot of really neat shots and fun action scenes. And there's the vaguely philosophical overtones, which on reflection appear to be a mish-mash of Buddhism, Plato, and fairly obvious Christ symbolism. And you know what? That's fine with me. I have no objection to movies with awesome action scenes and set pieces, vague philosophy to tie it together, and sex-ay people in tight latex. I'd like more movies like that, in fact.

Keanu Reeves is fine in this movie. He's supposed to look dumbfounded and befuddled the whole time, and that's well within his range. I find I like him best when he's playing a vacuous idiot, like in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and arguably Dangerous Liaisons.

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