Silver Screens: Celebrating 20 Years of ‘The Matrix’

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Lana and Lilly Wachowski gifted us with The Matrix, changing the way films were made forever.

In the 1999 classic, computer hacker, Neo, searches for answers to the million dollar question, “what is the matrix?” With the help of rebels, Morpheus and the rest of his crew on the Nebuchadnezzar, Neo finds his way down an enlightening path of kung-fu, love, and ultimately freedom.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this pop-cultural phenomenon still holds significant weight in storytelling today: 

It features badass female characters

 

After this film, I fell in love with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and couldn’t believe how larger-than-life she was zooming in and out of the frame. 

It has one of the best opening sequences of all time

 

It has one of the best cinematic endings of all time. 

You just got done with this action-packed, trippy, cinematically gorgeous, and philosophical awakening and then you make it to the final shot to see…is that? Is my guy flying right now? Come on, imagine stepping out of the theater with “Wake Up” playing by Raging Against the Machine?

Speaking of…

 

It has a dope ass soundtrack

If you didn’t know Don Davis’s name before, you knew it after The Matrix with one of the most stunning scoring for this kind of storytelling.Featuring cyberpunk/rock bangers from Rob Zombie, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, Rage Against the Machine…this soundtrack definitely converted some rock heads.

 

Killer fight sequences choreographed by legendary, Yuen Woo-ping

There’s yet to be any more updates about the newest addition to The Matrix world. Do I trust a cis, white man to take the lead? Not necessarily, but I remain hopeful and low-key excited that this will continue a legacy that set a lot of hidden souls free. 

 

Hidden queer details 

Fans got some clarity in the character Switch. Initially, I thought her all-white wardrobe resembled a light switch, but the name was actually meant to represent her storyline as a trans character. Originally, the character was meant to present as male in the real world, but then switch genders in the matrix. See what they did there? 

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Then there’s the theory of the film presenting an allegory to the coming out experience of transgender people, which is well within the realm of possibility given the trans women who created the film. 

 

It gave us special effects while still being practical

CGI is a gift, but too much is just an eye-sore. Need a reference? Just compare the lycans from Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Awakening (2012).

 

And it’s literally a comic book in motion.

Which makes sense, given the comic books that heavily inspired the film including: The Invisibles, Hard Boiled, and The Ghost In The Shell manga. I mean, look at that shot! Like a comic page ripped straight from the book.

Can you imagine seeing this for the first time in 1999?

We love and salute you, The Matrix. And your sequels too. Yeah, that’s right, I said it! The sequels don’t deserve your hate!!!

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