The problem with "Matrix" is precisely that it does take this very interesting philosophical premise and then mutilates it into a lame and boring standard action flick. The philosophical aspects aren't explored in any way, they are just exploited to form a convenient backdrop for the rest of the movie.
I actually don't have a problem with movies that utilize interesting concepts simply as hooks for a genre exercise. What bugs me about the Matrix isn't that it's a simple action flick, it's that it is a bad one. Due to the way the heroes are depicted, all the martial arts and special effects are to me stuck in an emotional vacuum. Also, the movie is much too wordy, considering how poor the dialogue is.
And, to add to your examples of much better movies that actually explore the concepts The Matrix at best merely mentions:
- Blowup, by Michelangelo Antonioni, which retains the technological angle due to the protagonist being a photographer.
- Solaris, by Andrei Tarkovsky, a Science Fiction movie that carries all the philosophical weight The Matrix lacks.
I'm not sure how to respond to you. Your argument here is basically that you didn't get the film, you found it to be too challenging, so you'll gripe about the fact that the director chose to stylize the film in a way that you didn't get.
Johnny Mnemonic had a similar deal going where all the characters were effectively half humans with little emotion to them. Like in the Matrix this was done on purpose to carry the story along.
If you pay attention in the Matrix, as things go along, things get less and less emotionally void until the touching scene where Trinity declares her love for Neo. It's still very cool, but you're in a universe where people are effectively inventing a new culture and it works. And where humans are in effect part machine.
As for bad films, I recommend you watch V for Vendetta and come back here and tell me how horrible the Matrix was.