Another all-nighter at The Prince Charles and whilst downstairs was showing four Friday 13th films, I was upstairs in the smaller screen taking in the 4 Matrix movies, yep, four. There were 3 films made and an animated piece called The Animatrix which made up the fourth.
Released in '99 the first film was stunning and introduced us to bullet time, the trick where the action pauses as the camera spins around. This film was strong enough on it's own and is arguably the best of the set. Whilst there were always plans for a number of films, the first one holds up on it's own. In this one we're introduced to Neo, a hacker who is given the opportunity to see what the world really looks like.
The second one was The Animatrix, a collection of 9 animated pieces in different styles that adds some back story to and expands the Matrix world. Some of the strongest animation studios were brought in and each piece has it's own look and feel, some Asian, some American but all stunning. The standout was the final one "The Last Flight of the Osiris" produced by SquareSoft who did the Final Fantasy movie and the visuals are as stunning as that.
Reloaded was the one with the Ghost Twins and the utterly insane motorcycle sequence where Trinity takes a motorbike the wrong way up a freeway. This film is a romp and utterly enjoyable but the energy is totally sapped by a scene where Neo meets The Architect and that old man drones on for way too long. Getting through that scene is a challenge at the best of time, and really isn't what you want to face at 2 in the morning.
The onto the final film, Matrix Revolutions and I struggled to stay awake with this one. By now Neo has taken on superhero status and has to face Agent Smith, who has broken away from his organisation and gone rogue and stopping the Sentinels from breaking into the homeworld of Zion.
All films are great, and have stood up well which says a lot of the Directors' vision but the sequence suffers from having the best film up first...except for that bike sequence in Reloaded which is beautiful. Another fun night but the hardest for me to get through...all because of that flippin' architect.