In honor of Keanu Reeves' 50th birthday, the film chosen today is the sci-fi classic The Matrix. In spite of how disappointing the final film ended up or how many inferior action films afterwards aped its aesthetics, The Matrix is still a great cinematic achievement for its imaginative concept and ground-breaking visual flair. I certainly remember being wowed by it all when it came out in theaters and even upon re-watch for this post, I noticed most of its visual effects have aged quite well.
Neo, played by Reeves, is the main character and he's the Chosen One in every sense of that phrase. Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne, is the wise mentor who opens Neo to the realities of the Matrix. Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving, is the main antagonist hellbent on capturing Neo and company. They're fine and all, but I want to talk about Trinity played by Carrie-Anne Moss, because even though I remember loving her when I first saw the film, I really couldn't take my eyes off of her during my re-watch. She's the first of the main good characters we meet and she gets to kick ass a number of times even before we meet Neo and Morpheus. These two great shots are from the first six minutes of the film already showing us how ready she is for anything:
She gets a lot more opportunities to show off how awesome she is throughout the film, which is when I realized how fantastic it would've been if instead of Neo being the Chosen One, it was Trinity. Instead she becomes a catalyst for Neo to become the Chosen One, which is fine and all if a bit predictable, but to then frame it all by how much they loved each other was a bit of a stretch for the film as their romantic feelings were barely developed other than a few errant glances and the tacked-on Oracle prophesies to both of them. In any case, my runner-up pick is the shot right after my pick for best shot:
I think it's great how it's Trinity who is in charge of the active situation while Neo is on the floor still barely reacting. Plus if you watch the film, the whole thing is done in the film's trademark slo-mo way which adds to how bad-ass this moment was. My favorite shot is then the literal "shot" right before this one with Trinity giving the bad guy a heads up to the world of hurt she's about to deliver unto him:
Best Shot... literally
The foregrounded gun is made to seem huge, but she's the weapon and if you think differently then you're in trouble. It's a wonderful moment in the film and I'm glad she's the focal point of it since the entire film really should've focused on her.