The Matrix is a movie about a man called Neil who has a weird dream in which he is the Chosen One, and cannot tell whether he exists in someone else’s dream, or everyone else exists in his. In his dream, he has accidentally joined the resistance by swallowing a red jelly bean, in a scene which, as an educator concerned with empowering people to get all the information before giving consent to a procedure, I found horrifying. Indeed, what follows are several scenes in which mysterious things are done to Neil without his full knowledge or understanding, and therefore without genuine consent.
Neil is played by Keanu Reeves, in a performance that ranges from looking slightly baffled to looking slightly bored. I shared both of these emotions over the course of the movie. Among the things that baffled me were that the year 1999 represented the peak of human existence, and that the character of Neil was apparently not one of the robots. High points were the appearance of the character Morpheus, at which point Pete and I looked at each other and hissed at each other in unison, it’s Larry Fucking Fishburne. It’s not that we were surprised or particularly delighted by this, it’s just something we do. Later, having torn himself away from the game on his phone for five minutes to find out what we were watching by looking it up on IMDB, Bernard sniggered, Heh heh. Lawrence Fishbum.
The point of this project was to fill in for Bernard all the cultural references that one acquires by having watched the last fifty years’ worth of well known movies. Unfortunately, with the exception of The Shawshank Redemption, he has declared every movie we have watched so far this year utterly boring beyond the reasonable threshold of boring parentness. It’s harsh, but in this case, also true.