Mostly remembered for its distinctive use of slo-mo style and physics-defying action, but what makes The Matrix really stand out, at least for me, is its extremely innovative exploration of some philosophical questions and ideas. These themes are discussed through the movie's layered story premise, but they are explored by The Wachowskis' directorial vision.
There are many great Sci-Fi/Action movies that earned their place among the best of their kind because how profound the thoughts and how interesting theories they are explore, but this is not the case here. The Matrix is one of the best thought-provoking Sci-fi movies simply because of the direction. There is no doubt that the fact we get information bit by bit made the movie so intriguing, but the main reason this movie is so exciting is because how little it offers by showing us, not by telling us. And here is the best thing about The Wachowskis' direction, that it created a world that, for the lack of a better word, broke the limits and pushed the boundaries for its story. The result is what seems to be implausible and nonsensical, made all the sense in the world.
It goes without saying that The Matrix has some of the most dazzling and imaginative action set-pieces ever put to film. Although, it's not the most thing I was impressed by, and therefore not what made me love this movie, I have to admit that the groundbreaking action in The Matrix is what made the movie timeless. As it's as creative as it's unprecedented. That's also due to the unlimited world that has been created by The Wachowskis' revolutionary vision. What we got is some of the most memorable scenes in cinema history that deserve every bit of the expression "often imitated, never duplicated".
Surprisingly, the movie's wonderfulness doesn't stop at its philosophy or the exploration of it, neither stop at its breathtaking action. The movie also reutilized some of the clichés and tropes that are often found in action movies, and sometimes also in classic fantasy movies! And I can't describe how exceptionally clever they are utilized in the movie, particularly in the astonishing final act.
There is no need to talk about the acting. For all the cast gave great hammy, yet charismatic performances that perfectly matches the movie's distinguish tone. Keanu Reeves played Neo, the role that was the turning point in his career. Both Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss have some of the most intense and emotional moments in the movie that showed some of their terrific acting abilities. Hugo Weaving portrayed one of the most popular villains in cinema, Agent Smith. The rest of the cast who played less important roles are very good, especially Marcus Chong as Tank.
Another great thing about The Matrix, and one of the factors that made it stands the test of time, is the ageless special effects. The visual effects are utterly stunning. In large part because of how intelligent they are used not just because how stellar they look. The sound effects are equally brilliant and game-changing.
More intelligent and creative than the vast majority of modern big-budget science fiction films, and more impressive and enjoyable than the vast majority of modern big-budget action films. The Matrix is an outstanding achievement in almost every aspect. And an immortal classic that deserves every bit of recognition it got.