This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
I’ve never actually seen the third Matrix film. I really enjoyed the first one when it first came out, but The Matrix Reloaded was such a massive disappointment I didn’t bother going back for more. In fact, so scarred was I by the experience that I haven’t watched the original Matrix ever since, for fear that it would turn out to be not that brilliant after all and that I only liked it the first time around because of the novelty of its wire-fu presentation. Now that we in the West have taken the likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero to our hearts, do we need The Matrix to justify wire-fu to us? Could it be that the whole philosophy underlying the film was a way to convince Hollywood audiences to accept stunts that wuxia audiences have accepted happily for years?
So, spying a modestly-priced boxed set of the three films, I decided that now was the time to face up to my fears – to rewatch The Matrix to see if it still stands up, to confront The Matrix Reloaded once again and exorcise the tormented demons of my tortured and angst-filled past, and to actually watch The Matrix Revolutions for the first time at the risk of scarring my blackened and shrivelled-up soul yet again.