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Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris

Final Flight of the Osiris is the first of the Animatrix animations, and is canon for the films: Its events are directly referenced in the second and third films. In part it becomes the basis for those films. So, of all the Animatrix films, this can be considered the most important from a continuity point of view.

Osiris starts off in a room not dissimilar to the martial arts practice arena of the first film: A full body VR construct designed to teach, train and hone fighting skills. There, two opponents face off: a black man and a causican woman, both wearing blindfolds and seeking the other. The animation is CG and is crisp and clean, with both figures having quite realistic body movements. The lack of eyes due to the blindfolds for much of the sequence helps, as without dead eyes to stare into, the expressions seem much more real.

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The two continue circling, until her foot squeaks softly on the tile and he zeroes in. What follows is an intense and complex fight sequence; almost seeming choreographed, although not quite. Each in turn lands blows upon the other with their swords. Each blow stopping shy of piercing the skin, and simply removing an item of clothing.

On and on they fight, becoming more and more naked, and more and more aroused. It is clear from their jabs both verbal and in swordplay, that both are very much in love with one another. Each lifts the blindfold to peak at the other as they are stripped down to their underwear. The male, Thadius, and the female, Jue, build up in crescendo, until they finally lean forwards, over crossed swords, to kiss.

Just before their lips meet, the alarm sounds, and the VR construct drops away. They are summoned back to the physical world; the Osiris is on full-blown alert. Thadius, the captain of the ship, immediately takes stock of the situation. The crew gathers round a holographic information display, which indicates thousands of sentinels - literally thousands - are massing nearby.

Eleven of the sentinels have noticed the Osiris and are closing for attack. Thadius orders the crew to get the ship out of there. Fleeing down an uncharted tunnel, the captain orders the gun turrets to be manned, knowing there is no time for an EMP strike. This is the first time in the Matrix universe we see that each hovercraft is equipped with dual machine guns.

As the sentinels close in, Jue leaps into the chair for one of the rear gun ports, and opens fire, four streams of lead pouring from the back of the fleeing ship, straight into one of the sentinels, tearing it to shreds in an explosive display of sparks and flailing limbs. Bullets continue to pour into the mass of sentinels, striking several, as she ploughs the road behind them.

A second gunner opens up, a male. However, it is clear that he is nowhere near as good as Jue, as his first salvo goes wide, and he only wings a single sentinel, despite firing at the same massed pack.

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The pilot screams for everyone to hang on, as he slams the ship upwards, and ploughs straight through the roof of the tunnel into another pipe. This one is heading to the surface, and the Osiris is following it, engines flat out. The debris of their ruptured opening slowing the sentinels only momentarily.

Once on the surface, they fly between the desiccated husks of ancient buildings and rock formations, shaking off their pursuit long enough to slow and get a good look at what the thousands of sentinels are doing, spread out on the surface far below. It is a frenzied hive of activity; there are not just thousands, but hundreds of thousands of the death machines. Thadius curses as he realises what is going on. Jue climbs back to the cockpit to see a large digging machine rise up in the middle of the pack. A second quickly joins it, and begins to turn.

Thadius looks to Jue and asks her. "Look where we are. What is four miles straight down?"


As the crew of the Osiris take in the absolute horror of what they see before them, it is interesting to note at this point, that the CG short achieved what so few CG films have: the light in the character's eyes, particularly Jue's, is sufficient, even in stills, to portray a considerable amount of emotion, and even hint at a true window to the soul.

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The mass of sentinels chooses this point to notice the ship, and rises like a black cloud from the rocky surface towards the building in which the ship lays. Thadius tells them to "go. Go. GO." As it becomes clear that whatever else happens, the information about this attack must get back to Zion.

That rules using the EMP out. Whilst they would kill thousands, the majority would escape. Osiris has no chance of reaching safety, so someone must enter the Matrix, and reach a drop point, carrying all the recordings and scan data. Their best operative must go, whilst the ship's crew buys her as much time as possible.

Jue settles into the chair whilst Thadius straps her in. She reaches out to grasp his hand, knowing this is the last time either of them will see the other. Both are clearly pained by what they have to do. They kiss for the last time, knowing time is short. Finally bidding one another good bye, Jue's neck jack is pressed home and she is sent into the Matrix.

Every second counts now. Back offline, the Osiris gunners are holding nothing back, pouring a constant stream of lead into anything that comes close. No ammo is being held in reserve, everything is focussed on holding the army back as long as possible before the ship is overwhelmed.

In typical Matrix fashion, Jue hurtles out of the side of a skyscraper in the matrix, presses down on the roof of another, and leaps from rooftop to rooftop. She was inserted as close as possible to the drop point without compromising its location, now she has to make the rest of the way on foot.

Sentinels begin swarming the Osiris, landing on the hull and crawling over it. One begins to cut away at the gunnery capsule, and the broadcasting antenna. The pilot, in desperation, slams the ship into a cliff face, sideways. The impact crushes a dozen sentinels, and damages the ship's propulsion somewhat. It doesn't matter. They know they are about to die, all that matters is the drop, and its safe completion. Sentinels peel levitation pads off the ship, slowing it further, and allowing more to catch up, as the guns desperately blast away.

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Jue meanwhile is going through a series of incredible gymnastics as she vaults from building to building, along a dire escape and through the middle of a power sub station and then a construction site, at speeds beyond the sane.

Back on the ship, the guns fall silent, as the gunners are killed one by one, and the sentinels enter the ship. Thadius turns hearing creaking metal as internal floors are stripped away above him. The ship spins out of control, the left side propulsion completely dead. Corkscrewing through the air, it smacks into the surface in a fiery cloud. Sentinels pour in after it as the remains screech to a halt, laying on one side.

Jue reaches the mailbox, and drops the cartridge in, as an old lady strikes up pleasant conversation with her, seeing she is rushed. Dialling her phone, Jue whispers "Thadius" into it. On the ship, Thadius is the last alive, caked in his own blood, fending off the sentinels with a blaster. For every one he kills, two more sets of red eyes loom out of the darkness. Hearing her voice, he targets the energy weapon at the ship's main core and fires, a grim look on his face.

The remains of the ship fireball instantly, incinerating the sentinels nearby. In the matrix, Jue collapses, her mind destroyed in the fireball; her avatar only an unsupported shell, empty without its dead owner.


Running time: 9:39

Written by the Wachowski Brothers
Directed by Andy Jones
Animation by Square, maker of the Final Fantasy games


Purchase This

The Animatrix

The Animatrix is a collection of nine short animations, a mix of CG and hand drawn animation, starting with this one, and moving through eight others, each with a unique point of view. Some are deeply philosophical , some wax poetic. All are filled with information on VR, on what it could and can quite easily be, beyond the matrix series itself.

Ironically, Flight of the Osiris is the odd one out, as it is the most plot-canon of the nine, and has the least to offer in philosophical or technical musings about VR. That said, the CG still gives us a great deal to muse over visually, but the others too, are well worth a look.

Review also links to all nine short films.

The Ultimate Matrix Collection

The 'Ultimate Matrix Collection' is actually rather less than ultimate, since it does not include the Matrix philosophy books, and other add-ons. However, what this bumper DVD collection does include, is all three films, and the Animatrix.

Other Links

Resource List: Everything Matrix

A resource list held on VWN, attempting to index everything we have, Matrix related. It continues to grow steadily over time.

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