The Matrix is one of the must see films that made an impact in the 90s when it was first released because of the way it took what you’d perceived as real life and made it appear like a piece of software in a complex computer program (The Matrix) - a virtual reality.
One of the reasons for The Matrix’s massive impact at this time was the boom of computer usage in households in addition to the fact that there had been no movie made like this before its birth. It was therefore inevitable that forum user handles began appearing over the internet as Morpheus, Neo and Trinity - the lead characters from the film, after its launch.
The StorylineWithout giving too much away, the basic storyline involves a hacker named Thomas A. Anderson (Reeves) who moonlights as a hacker whose alias is displayed as Neo. His online quest for “The Matrix” leads him to connect with Morpheus (Fishburne) who is initially described as a terrorist in the virtual reality, however, he is later discovered as the leader of a mercenary group who have been searching for Neo outside of this virtual reality.
To explain The Matrix Morpheus compares it to Alice In Wonderland and gives Neo the choice to remain in this virtual reality by taking a blue pill or find out what The Matrix is by taking a red one (chasing the rabbit down the hole to Wonderland).
Actual reality is a much poorer world in appearance where hard graft is needed to survive against technology that the humans had initially created. In this world where technology is self-maintaining it still needs human life as a source of power, which leads to humans being manufactured by the machines - a complete reverse to our current situation where we manufacture machines for use.
As I said I don’t want to give away too much about this film and its a hard one to explain, however, all I will say is that the story continues to show Neo as “the chosen one” who has been woken from the virtual reality in order to help save the human race from the machines that rule that world.
The Matrix Movie Poster Critique
|The Matrix movie poster designed by Concept Arts|
In overall appearance The Matrix movie poster is very striking with the lead character or Neo given primary focus alongside his leather wrapped colleagues. Almost none of the plot is given away in this poster, however, themes within the film are presented e.g. the falling lines or text that look similar to binary code are placed on the background to the characters. In the film we realise that this virtual reality is made from this code, therefore, the designer’s choice to place it on the walls (an element of this virtual world) is a subtle hint at what The Matrix is.
The fragmented logo of the movie has a similar appearance to an image that is loading on an old PC line by line but also looks like it is struggling, which subtly displays the technology theme. Additionally, the clear evidence of guns gives away the fact that this is an action movie, confirmed by the subtitle containing the word “fight”.
The photoshop cutouts of the characters is somewhat laughable when you consider the budget that would’ve been spent on the film’s content. You’d think that a slightly more exciting and imaginative representation of The Matrix could have been created rather than just having the characters standing around with guns, however, action film posters of the late 90s followed a very similar format so you can’t entirely knock it.
SummaryTo summarise I’d have to say that not only is the movie well made but the poster is well structured for its time. I’d like to see a more imaginative representation of this poster created by an artistic fan as I feel with the current technology available to graphic designers there is something more impressive to be made that will give this film justice.
This week The Matrix gets an 8 out of 10, mainly because the poster’s design isn’t as imaginative as I feel it could be to present the great themes within the story.
If you haven’t seen The Matrix before, here’s the movie trailer for your enjoyment: