I remember being in school when The Matrix fever took hold. Kids doing their own version of bullet time, mouthing slow mo bullet sound effects as we shot our fingers at each other. 8 or 9 year olds watching and mimicking a film heavily influenced by philosophy and Anime. A new generation of nerds discovering obsessions they would keep with them well into adulthood. The Wachowski brothers (at the time) created a science fiction film that came out the same year as a Star Wars movie and made it look more infantile and amateur than it already was.
The groundbreaking action mixed with a plot and world that made you think made this a cut above your average blockbuster. Long before the sequels took those aspects and added bloat and pretentiousness to the extreme, The Matrix was the shining example of what a visionary, or in this case two could do when given free reign. The audience glimpses a dark yet limitless world through the blank slate that is Neo. A protagonist we could all imprint a part of ourselves upon. Not to mention introducing us to characters such as the deadly Trinity, wise man Morpheus and the gleefully evil Agent Smith. While the franchise went into mediocre levels (Animatrix aside), as did the Wachowskis career, The Matrix was and will always be in the sci fi/action hall of fame. Woah!