Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski have only done six movies, but boy their first two were so special one thought they’d be a legendary super-director team. I don’t know if The Matrix sequels derailed them or they just ran out of ideas (they also write their movies). Or maybe they ran out of Joe Pantoliano. Either way, they are highly skilled at directing fight scenes and are pretty good at understanding suspense. But as far as getting the most out of their actors they’re only average and their writing appears to be hit and miss, perhaps too ambitious as of late.
The Matrix Reloaded: Not-needed sequel failed in part because it ruined the mystique of the original, over-explaining everything. Some decent action scenes, but man I felt nothing while watching this. So much so that I haven’t bothered to watch the final movie.
Bound: A genuinely tense thriller that relies heavily on situational tension rather than manufactured scares, An ex-con (Gina Gershon) teams up with her new lover (Jennifer Tilly) to swindle millions from the mob while framing Tilly’s boyfriend, Joe Pantoliano. Very tight script with slick direction. Tilly and Gershon have good chemistry, and Pantoliano is outstanding. And just so my wife knows, I don’t like Bound just because of the lesbian scene.
The Matrix: I had high expectations when I saw this in the theater and they were met tenfold. I was blown away by the special effects, possibly the only time that’s ever happened. The fight scenes are some of my favorite ever. But more than that, I found the pacing of the movie to be brilliant, with very effective doses of tension. Hugo Weaving plays the cold-as-ice lead agent perfectly, and the rest of the cast is capable, especially Pantoliano and Carrie Ann-Moss. Keanu Reeves doesn’t get in the way, which is the best he can probably do. The plot (is our reality the real reality?) is not terribly original, and sometimes the philosophizing and Jesus references gets to be a bit much, but the story is revealed layer by layer, with the viewer never knowing more than the main protagonist. Repeated viewings weakens the movie only slightly.
Other Wachowski Movies You May Have Seen