What, exactly, causes somebody to allow Keanu Reeves to act in theirmovie? Did the Wachowski brothers (who also directed "Bound") really sit down and decide to spend a hundred million dollars making their dream sci-fi film, then proceed to hire a guy with all the acting range of a carp?
The movie itself is unapologetic postmodern science fiction, which means that it rips off every sci-fi source in existence. This is because most of its target audience doesn't even know the Enterprise had a captain before Picard. This is lucky for them, because when Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) tries to convince Neo (Reeves) that he has the ability to control his reality, it reminded my nerdy friend of the Star Trek episode where Kirk and the boys fought at OK Corral and lived through it because Spock mind-melded with them, convincing them that the bullets weren't real and that Vulcans are hung like rhinos.
This whole Matrix thing seems a lot like "Dark City" in both story and theme. In order to convince Neo that he's crucial in their battle to reveal the Matrix to everybody, Morpheus and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) take him to an Oracle. Constant references to the Oracle reek of the constant references to The Force in "Star Wars," which means that after about five minutes you hope the next person to mention the Oracle is accidentally decapitated by a futuristic meat cleaver. Then there's the role of love in the end, which was apparently stolen from that Bruce Willis tour de force, "The Fifth Element."
There's also a ton of John Woo gun fights and Jackie Chan martial arts-type stuff, except that Reeves looks so stiff in the fight scenes you wonder if his next gig might be Tomb Raider IV, or maybe Vice-President of the United States.
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