I remember watching an interview in very early 1999 where actor Joe Pantoliano was talking about his new film The Matrix. He was going on and on about how great it was and how the movie was just going to be so much better than the new Star Wars movie. What? There was NO WAY this movie was going to be better than The Phantom Menace! I mean…it tells the story of Anakin Skywalker! At that time EVERYONE was waiting for May when Star Wars was coming out.
The Matrix came out about two months prior and I went opening weekend. I’m a Keanu fan (Point Break! Bill and Ted! Speed!) so I was up for the flick. I just remember thinking to myself, “Yeah, let’s see this movie that is going to be better than Star Wars.” This was such a different time. There were movie review sites but sites like Rotten Tomatoes weren’t huge. Spoilers really were not a thing. Even in 1999 the Internet was still in its infancy. It was easy to go into a movie fresh without some douchemonger ruining the movie 18 seconds after he saw it.
I was blown away. The film completely floored me. I left the theater and started calling each and every one of my friends. I told everyone that they HAD to see this movie. The next day my girlfriend, my friend, and I were back at the movie theater so I could see it again. It was such a game changer. The plot, the visual effects, the look, the feel…….it was simply mindblowing.
And you know what? Phantom Menace came out 2 months later and, well, it certainly isn’t the greatest Star Wars movie. Joe Pants was right – The Matrix was the much better film.
Sequels were announced and they were shot back to back. When it finally came time four years later to see The Matrix Reloaded me and all of my friends went that Friday night into a very crowded theater to see the next Matrix film.
Then they got to the rave scene. And I was seriously like……what the fuck is this!??!?!?!?!?
The film is not great. There’s some interesting aspects to it but overall the Wachowskis just put way, way, way too much shit into the film. They actually changed Neo and regressed him from where he was at the end of the first film. And Zion? Where all the freed humans lived? It was just disappointing. And the acting. Man…some of the acting was just atrocious.
Matrix Revolutions came out just six months later and…that one pretty much sucked too. At least Reloaded had some Monica Bellucci in it. Once again…too much crap cramped into a movie. The end battle in Zion was…oh my God…so bad. So, so bad. That doofy kid who the picked to play….The Kid…who did he blow to get onto that movie?
There are those who only watch the Matrix and ignore the other two. There are those who came around and actually like the sequels – though mostly in parts. They can appreciate that the Wachowskis were almost given unlimited creative power in creating their sequels – something that will probably never happen again after what happened when these sequels came out
In my eyes the Matrix is a damn good franchise and while the siblings made a phenom first movie the sequels are really subpar. So should the story end with how they ended the third film?
The Hollywood Reporter announced that WB is rebooting the Matrix. The Wachowskis may not be involved. Zak Penn may write the treatment. Michael B. Jordan could be in it because he’s an awesome actor so why not put him in the movie?
Honestly I think this is an excellent idea. The world the Wachowskis built was an amazing one – they just got lost in their own storytelling.
So reboot it. Remake it. Make a prequel. A sequel. Bring that world back. Because it really should be more than one great movie and two not-so-good ones.
Zak Penn? I mean he’s written some decent stuff. The early X-Men films. The Incredible Hulk. And, dude, I LOVE PCU. Is he the right guy for this film? Who knows. But getting someone to write something is just a good start. They can always go with the idea or rewrite it or just bring someone else in.
It doesn’t matter.
People can say, “Well Star Wars told a whole story! Why does it need a sequel?” Because it did…because we got Empire Strikes Back. We got a trilogy. People can say, “Well, we got a Matrix trilogy! And besides – when George Lucas did a prequel trilogy it was awful!” I’ll agree that the Star Wars prequels are lacking but all these years later the films are in the hands of new filmmakers. They can bring these films to new and exciting places (or if you are JJ Abrams just remake the first film…but that is typically his M.O.). In the world of sci-fi one usually isn’t enough. Don’t believe me? Did Isaac Isamov only write one Foundation book (I understand that they were stories first and published together later…but that was in the beginning. He kept those books going, didn’t he?) Did Frank Herbert only write on Dune book?
Once you build a great sci-fi universe sometimes it is just a lot of fun to go and play in that playground.
Warner Bros is now all about their franchise films. Their DCU films are struggling. They decided to make the Lego movies into a franchise. They are now continuing Harry Potter with 5 Fantastic Beasts films. They want their franchises. But where 5 Fantastic Beasts films are questionable even with JK Rowling writing the screenplay, The Matrix is a huge, massive sci-fi world. Some may say, “Well the Harry Potter universe is big and massive too.” Well you are right. But you see my point…sometimes, when you are a fan, it is worth continuing the adventures.
And if they reboot the Matrix and it sucks? Then it’ll be par for the course for Warner Brothers…who really can’t seem to have any luck. But hey…nothing ventured.
It makes me sad that I won’t be seeing Carrie Anne Moss in pleather. You know who I can get behind in black pleather? Eva Green. Eva Green and Michael B. Jordan in a Matrix film? Yeah…I’d see that.
So go for it WB. Best of luck to you. If I’m never going to get your Akira film I might as well enjoy another adventure into the Matrix.