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The Animatrix - Final Flight of the Osiris



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

SPECIAL FEATURES: 'Scrolls to Screen – The History and Culture of Anime' (25 mins); Seven making-of featurettes including director profiles featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at each film; Four audio commentaries (featured on The Second Renaissance Part I & II, Program and World Record).

AS EXPECTATION reaches fever pitch ahead of the Matrix Reloaded, the first of this year's two Matrix sequels, Warner Bros continue to whet our appetites by releasing this animated adventure, which sets new standards in cinema animation.

Final Flight Of The Osiris is part of a collection of nine short animated films, dubbed The Animatrix, which tell stories set within The Matrix universe, providing a backstory to support the films.

Osiris is particularly pertinent, however, because it leads directly into The Matrix Reloaded, and features the crew of a hover ship, which discovers an army of swarming Sentinels hovering above a massive drilling device that is attempting to tunnel into the hidden city of Zion.

A chase ensues, during which beautiful first mate (and lover) of the ship's captain, Jue, volunteers to warn the humans by entering the hidden city alone, knowing full-well that her crew have little hope of out-running the sentinels, or of returning alive.

Opening with a gloriously tounge-in-cheek swordfight training programme between Thaddeus and Jue on board the hover ship, Osiris, in which the couple are blindfolded but proceed to strip each other, the 11-minute feature then takes us on a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the hidden tunnels of The Matrix, breathlessly building towards the downbeat finale and, presumably, the start of Reloaded.

Directed by Andy Jones, who also helmed Final Fantasy, this is everything that the former film wasn't, and expertly builds the hype ahead of Reloaded's May release date.

As a marketing ploy, it again proves how inventive and innovative The Matrix franchise has become, while as a means of making people go and see Dreamcatcher, it is also quite clever.

Quite simply, though, this surpasses anything that happens in Lawrence Kasdan's disappointing movie, cramming more into 11 short minutes, than Dreamcatcher can in over two hours.

For those who can wait to catch a glimpse of it, however, the collection of features will be released on DVD in the summer of 2003.

 

 

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