10.08.2019 - By The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
This week we take you back to philosophy 101 with our review of The Matrix. Join us as we take a look at The Matrix movie cast, talk about the red pill, blue pill meaning, ask the question 'are we living in a simulation?' and finally, give our own Matrix movie rating.
Quick Philosophical Commentary
The Matrix does serve as another cautionary tale very much like most modern sci-fi films. The film critiques our reliance on technology, human nature, reality, spirituality, and “are we truly living our best life." We followed a young hacker who could not come to grips with his mundane existence and ends up finding out that everything he knows is a lie. This film borrows elements from Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Christianity, though, not too heavy handed.
The Matrix Movie Cast and Directors
Directors - the Wachowski's
The Matrix is written and directed by the Wachowski's. The film serves as their second directorial effort after 1996’s “Bound”. The Matrix was an international success and skyrocketed the Wachowski's to global fame. Critics raved about their direction, story, and use of mind-bending special effects.
Our podcast show hosts had some commentary on their careers so far. Chris believes that the Wachowski's may have peaked with this film due to their follow-up films never catching the same fire as the first one. Sean felt otherwise, citing “Cloud Atlas” as a nice return to form for the Wachowski's, but does agree they have yet to make another film as universally acclaimed as The Matrix.
Keanu Reeves - Neo/Thomas Anderson
Keanu Reeves was sort of lucky in a sense to get the part of Neo since the studio seemed to want a few other A-list actors to have the role at the time. The list of actors who turned down the role included Will Smith (who went to film Wild Wild West instead … ha!), Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, and Nicolas Cage. Johnny Depp also auditioned for the role, but ultimately it went to Reeves.
It’s curious to think about how different the role of Neo would have been with Will Smith donning the leather and glasses. In the end we got Reeves, and not to disappoint. Reeves worked hard on perfecting his fight scenes which we believe have carried over to the John Wick films.
Neo as a character took the audience on a ride throughout the film as we see him grow and become more certain of who he is and what he can do in the Matrix. Elements of religion with Neo representing a Christ-like figure were prominent as he served as “The One” and would end up dying and coming back to life. The only criticism was (Sean gave) felt Reeves' acting was stiff throughout the film; however, there's always the possibility this was a directors choice and preference.
Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus
Fishburne's character served as a mentor and coach throughout the film, sort of like Neo's Yoda. He awakens Neo to the idea that he is part of the machine and needs to “unplug” in order to truly live.
Morpheus is cool, has great shades, and a solid fighting style. However, it feels like Morpheus and his whole crew were “too in for the win” or being so sure that Neo was the chosen one.
While watching the film Morpheus would drop one-liners like a college philosophy professor and have Neo fend for himself. As leaders and mentors go, we would give him a C+.
Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity