|Hollywood has just thrown out the Geek stereotype and replaced it with a very cool, black-leathered-butt-kicker! The geeks of this movie look like techno-chic Rock Stars, and they are on a mission to save the world.
Keanu Reeves is the starring Geek. He starts out pretty accurate to today's standards of a geek, you know, pale, sleep-deprived, yet he's not too hard to look at. By day he writes code for a software company, by night he is Neo, the hacker! He stashes his pirated software in a false-bottom book, and only opens doors a wee bit, when someone comes a' knockin'.
Early in the film it is apparent that the film makers are making several references to "Alice in Wonderland". At one point Neo, quite noticeably follows the white rabbit down the hole. Neo is summoned by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) to meet Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who, like in Alice, offers Neo a choice, to know, or not to know. What Neo wants to know is, what is the Matrix? Why even ask if he wants to know? Neo just gets curiouser and curiouser.
Obviously, I'm not going to tell you what the Matrix is. But, once you do find out, you'll leave the theatre looking at everything a little differently. It opens your mind to some wacky possibilities.
Technology in this film is everywhere. There were some great concepts such as brain-as-CPU-with-programming capabilities. They installed jacks into their skulls and "plugged in". Once in the loading zone, they could download programs such as "what is the Matrix?" and "Guns, lots and lots of Guns", as well as hack into the real Matrix. They could also download their style, their fashion, and hair! These hackers had a very good fashion sense too. I really liked the idea that you could install programs such as "JuJitsui" and "Helicopter flying lessons" and in a few seconds you would know what usually takes years to master. Could you imagine? All you would have to say is, "Load C++ programming" and in a few seconds you'd know how to do it!
The villains were superbly evil. These guys were BAD! You got the sense early on, that something wasn't quite "right" with these bad guys. They talked too precisely, wore sunglasses all the time, and were relentless in the pursuit of hackers. Evil Fun. The Agents looked like they were enjoying their Agentness immensely, they really loved their work.
Geek-o-spheres in the Matrix were deliciously enviable. Neo had all the toys covered by lived-in piles of junk and junk food. The huge flat panel monitors, in the hackers' geek-o-sphere were stunning, and functional too. You have to understand how hard it is to excitingly portray the act of computing. It's a problem that Hollywood struggles with. This movie is really turning on it's heels, the hacking is exciting, and thrilling.
Another thing I enjoyed about the movie is the references to classic movies genres. There are John Wayne Showdowns, Bruce Lee Kung Fu fighting, Alien Abduction with Goo chambers, even some "Jedi Knight" training, some Arnold double-fisted shooting, and a tip '0 the hat to Sneakers, Space Odyssey 2001, Twilight Zone, and Star Trek's borgs.
When I saw the previews of this movie, I thought, "gee, a whole movie about a special effect". After seeing the movie, I realize it has a solid story, interesting characters, and the acting was well-done, especially Fishburne. The references to classic cinema was a nice touch, and the excellent effects is the icing on the cake.
You'd better go see it, and watch the Geek derogatory stereotype melt away.
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