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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Directors
Peter Chung
Andy Jones.
Screenwriters
Running Time
0 minutes

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The Animatrix
Nine animated shorts - set in and around The Matrix, written and directed by the cream of Japanese anime creators.


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Plot
Nine animated shorts set in and around The Matrix, written and directed by the cream of Japanese anime creators, with the Wachowski brothers' blessing.


Review
Featuring nine animated shorts set in and around The Matrix, written and directed by the cream of Japanese anime creators, with the Wachowski brothers' blessing, The Animatrix arrives with a weight of expectation similar to Reloaded.

However, while it's visually sublime - a magical mystery tour of animation styles- it doesn't fully deliver. Overall, the disc is debilitated by story issues and an overwhelming number of downbeat endings, which place it far from the cathartic exhilaration of the original movie.

The Wachowskis themselves penned The Second Renaissance Part 1, a beautifully designed look at life pre-Matrix, using a faux newsreel style to chilling effect as the machines rise.

Dark-edged, brutal and less smoothly styled, The Second Renaissance Part 2 shows those machines creating The Matrix.

Program - the most truly manga-fied effort - is a love story set in Medieval Japan; artistically startling, but less profound than it thinks it is.

An athlete breaks out of the Wachowskis' wonderland through sheer willpower in stylised short World Record. Bouquets for its strange, angular art; brickbats for a confusing story.

A Kid's Story, on the other hand, is suffused with a dream-like quality, as Clayton Moore (who appears in Reloaded and Revolutions) tries to escape The Matrix with Neo's help.

Until a climax which betrays the internal logic of The Matrix, Detective Story is by far the best of the shorts - a spot-on black-and-white noir about a detective enlisted to find Trinity.

Beyond (a group of children exploit a glitch in The Matrix) is slight and atmospheric; while Matriculated (outside The Matrix, humans reprogramme a machine) is a visually stunning, frankly hallucinogenic trip which out-Kubricks 2001.

Lastly, The Final Flight Of The Osiris, the much-vaunted precursor to Reloaded: a triumph for CG photorealism, but the story is wafer-thin.


Verdict
Though undeniably beautiful, overall, the disc is debilitated by story issues and an overwhelming number of downbeat endings, which place it far from the cathartic exhilaration of the original movie.


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Animatrix
Empire Star Rating

Beautiful/ Nonsensical

This is another case of tales from earthsea: Visually stunning, but damned confusing ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 13:34, 04 February 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Animatrix

I'm with AgentGoth on this one. The Second Renaissance parts 1 and 2 were my favourite, but each of the shorts are great viewing in their own way. ... More

Posted by Ell at 20:48, 01 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Animatrix

I think the article is pretty spot on; I mean they're fun to watch, but they don't really add anything to the trilogy.  Unless you're a matrix fan, what do they do.  I mean I love last flight of osiris cos it's just beatiful, but I normaly ignor the rest of em. ... More

Posted by SimonPatricOon at 20:43, 01 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Animatrix

The Second Renaissance part 1 and 2 are absolutely fantastic viewing. The rest of them are also great fun to watch. All in all, an awesome collection of animations to go with the Matrix Trilogy. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 20:14, 01 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Animatrix

Haha...the reviewer didn't like 'em because they lacked the "cathartic exhilaration" (read: "superficially feel-good") factor that ended the first movie.  The trilogy as a whole is a lot less traditional than that, and isn't quite as cartoonish. The reviewer lacks finer tastes according to me.  Should watch more noir. ... More

Posted by max314 at 17:24, 31 March 2006 | Report This Post


A mixed bunch. The Second Reneissance Pt. I & II are uttely brilliant and Detective Story is beautifully styilized ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bass88 at 14:32, 31 March 2006 | Report This Post


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