This review contains spoilers. If you don't want the movie ruined, don't read any further.
Most people seem to really dislike Keanu's acting. He doesn't bother me, much.
The movie was mostly hard science fiction, with the exception of the Oracle. It really would have been better if they could have figured out how to do without that. I guess they were adding a bit of fairy tale, but it doesn't really fit the rest of the movie.
The camera angles were a bit annoying at times. Early in the movie they did a lot of overhead shots. I'm not really sure what they were going for. Then, they overused the 30-camera rotating freeze frame. There was a lot of super-slow-mo, but those all seemed to fit pretty well.
I never really did buy the bit about, "If you die in your dream you die in real life." They were showing physical effects in the real world that matched what was happening in the virtual world. That just doesn't make sense. But I guess it was necessary as a plot device.
Another problem was the entire idea of using humans as an energy source. First, there are much more compact and efficient energy sources. Next, if you do want to use a biological source, there are much more compact and efficient biological alternatives. I'd think bacteria or algae would likely work the best. It was a pretty pitiful excuse to keep a lot of people alive.
The "agents" were strangely constrained. They could jump from body to body, but they couldn't simply teleport themselves to where they wanted to be. I mean, come on. This is a virtual world. Alternatively, I didn't like the Sentinals because they looked like they should have been in the virtual world and they were supposed to be part of the real world. They were overly complicated and too animal-like.
Despite all those problems I found myself enjoying it for the most part. The special effects were definately top-notch. They had some timely comic relief that kept the mood light where it needed to be. I saw that some people consider it just another ID4, but I think it was better focused than that. While watching the movie it felt like a cross between Star Wars and Terminator. The Star Wars stuff is obvious, with The Force/Matrix binding everything together and the master/apprentice training sessions. I can't really put my finger on the Terminator references, but they felt pretty strong during the movie.
It is one of the more intelligent movies I've seen in awhile, even if the science is deeply flawed.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Rental with Dinner. A fairly fun science fantasy extravaganza.
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