Starlog (US), May 1999
An Excellent Cyber-Adventure
by Ian Spelling
Keanu Reeves is really stoked today. The usually laid back star of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed and The Devil's Advocate, can't hold back his enthusiasm for The matrix. "It's a science fiction kung-fu movie," Reeves explains, breathlessly. "This film is going to be crazy. It's going to be insane. I play a guy named Thomas Anderson, who thinks he's living in the present but is really in the future. It's about how this man is in life, but... Well, I don't want to give it away. No one will go if I tell you everything."
But even Reeves cannot check his own zeal for the film. "OK, I'll tell you, because I'm so amped. Anderson's a hacker. He writes code. He thinks it's 1999, but it's really, let's say, 2299. The world has been overrun by computers, AI machines. There was a huge apocalyptic war that you don't see but you're told about. What happens is that [the machines need energy], and the source of energy for the machines is humans, who are in pods all hooked up with these head things. The only way they found to keep the humans alive, however, was if they experienced consciousness.
"In this consciousness is something called the Matrix. Anderson is considered 'The One', because a certain group of people born in these pods had autonomy -- independence -- and broke out of them. The live in a ship that's independent of the Matrix and they're trying to break the remaining humans out of it. There are agents within the Matrix fighting against them. But Anderson starts to be able to dodge bullets. He has superhuman strenghts."
Reeves describes Larry Wachowski as a "Zen" person. So, accordningly, The Matrix hones in on the Zen nature of "The One" -- of letting go. "Anderson is very introverted and closed off, but he becomes a hero," Reeves enthusiastically notes. The actor is also excited about the film's action. "There's lots of kung fu. The Wachowskis are doing some really interesting cinema, what they call 'Bullet Time,' which is having things go from regular speed to slow motion. You'll see a bullet shot -- blam! -- then it slows down and you'll see me go around it. As that's happening, the camera will move at real speed and change the perspective. Then it'll go to superfast, then superslow.
"It's the Wachowskis, so there's tons of blood, death, fighting, sound effects and T and A," Keanu Reeves concludes. "There's tons of cool shit. In the end, that isn't the point. In the end, Anderson..."
Well, it's better not to give it all away.