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The first key element in building a successful action movie franchise is a great first movie. So in honor of AMC's Can't Get Enough The Matrix (which continues through Thu., May 3), here are the top ten reasons we can't get enough of the scifi classic that invented bullet time and reinvented the black raincoat
10. The Birth of Neo
Don't we all fantasize about getting a fresh start? Of escaping cubicle culture? There's something cathartic, in watching a goo-covered Neo emerge from his pod and enter into a strange new world (that might be this world). Although having a hole in the back of the head sounds horrific, as origin stories go, The Matrix rocks.
9. The Rebirth of the Wachowskis
When the Wachowskis pitched The Matrix, they pointed to Japanese anime movies and said "We want to do that for real." But the only directing credit they had was the neo-noir flick Bound -- a far cry from a scifi action pic of this magnitude. Producer Joel Silver took a gamble and the Wachowskis became the team that introduced the world to "bullet time."
8. The Redefinition of Green
This movie's visual effects earned much praise (and an Oscar). But to illustrate the menacing control of computers over humans, the production designers didn't just introduce bullet time: They also added a green tint to the scenes inside The Matrix. The result is a distinct look that's simultaneously cool and creepy.
7. The Rooftop Chase Scene
During the opening sequence, Trinity singlehandedly takes down two units of cops before taking to the rooftops for gravity-defying feats of escape. The chase culminates in a standoff between her in a phone booth about to get crushed by Agent Smith's dump truck. Then before you can blink, she's gone. Now that's edge-of-your-seat action.
6. The Oracle
Her time in the movie is brief, but Gloria Foster steals her scenes nevertheless. As the prophetess named the Oracle, she's the grandma we all wish we had: Wise, sassy, and able to sweeten bad news with a cookie. (Sadly, Foster passed away before The Matrix Revolutions).
5. A Love Conquers All Philosophy
Neither an arsenal of guns nor ingenious computer hacking saves Neo. What does is Trinity love for the hero. In other movies, whispering "I love you" into someone's ear as they lay dying is sappy. Here, the utterance rescues someone from death. Trinity's a bad-ass. Her words have REAL power.
4. The Construct or "White Room Scene"
Okay. You're sitting there watching all this complex imagery and intense action, and then, wham! All of a sudden, Neo and Morpheus are standing in a stark white space, void of anything but two wingback chairs and an old '50s Radiola TV. WTF?! At first, this scene feels like a glitch in the movie. Really, it's just the Wachowskis messing with your mind.
3. "Tank, I need a pilot program on a B-212 helicopter. Hurry!"
Ask and ye shall receive. After a request to headquarters, Trinity is soon helming a helicopter to rescue Morpheus from Agent Smith. The ability to download anything you want to know within seconds! Which brings us to...
2. The Training Program
After hours of combat-training, Neo and Morpheus engage in one of the most visually stunning martial arts grapples ever. Hong Kong action trainers worked with Reeves for months: It shows -- right down to Bruce Lee's famous nose-thumb move. A dazzling piece of fight choreography spiced up with special effects.
Played by Laurence Fishburne, he's arguably the best scifi mentor ever. Yes,Yoda is great but is he cool? Not really. Plus not only does Morpheus teach Neo how to fight the system, his faith in his disciple's greatness is unflinching. If it weren't for Morpheus, Neo would still be sitting in that cubicle at Metacortex.
Also, check out the Top Ten Reasons We Can't Get Enough The Matrix Trilogy.