Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, May 26, 2003

Failure of the Day: Matrix Reloaded

So I think enough time has passed that I can write about this without spoiling anything for anybody. I've heard from two people who both said they thought it sucked ass. They actually both used that exact phrase. I didn't think it sucked ass, but I also didn't have my hopes pinned on it that it would be transcendent or anything either, and happiness is a function of expectation, after all.

I didn't really like the Zion-As-Burning-Man scene, but I liked the religious images of Zion as a whole. I thought the freeway scene was GREAT, and I'm not even much of a car chase girl. I understood that even though Neo is super powerful, he still had to fight with the agent guy clones because they were "outside" of the matrix, and that was a handy little workaround.

But that scene with the Architect was really ponderous. Do they create the One, messiah guy, on purpose in each iteration, or is it just an expected but not necessarily desired side effect? Did each of the other iterations of the One pick the door to Save Zion, and Neo was the first one to pick the door to Save Trinity? What difference does the door he picks make? It looked to me like the destruction of Zion included the destruction of Trinity and everybody else, too, so I'm not clear about the rationalization used to choose the Save Trinity door. I suppose that's the point…the machines would look for a rational choice, which would be the Save Zion door, and would not count on the irrational, emotional human choice that Neo makes. But if this is the sixth iteration, and all the previous "Neo" messiahs were human and presumably in love with the girl as well, wouldn't at least some of them have made the same choice that Neo made? And wouldn't the Architect have a contingency in place? It's not like they're offering a real choice, I didn't think…like "Here, if you can figure out this puzzle, we'll let you destroy all our work." Don't you kind of have to assume it's a "damned if you do/damned if you don't" proposition? Or was that the point? Is it a movie about choice and free will or isn't it?

Or maybe, as Chris suggests, the whole Architect business was supposed to just be gobbledy gook. In which case I might lean a little more toward the Suck Ass contingency, because I'd like there to be some sense to the whole thing. And there are other questions…what's up with the French accent guy? The Oracle called him a dangerous "program," but I sort of got the impression that he might be an earlier iteration of the One, which would mean he was human, or at least had been at some point. And that building they blew up that supposedly housed the mainframe for the matrix…after they exploded it, why was there still a matrix? Or did they not really destroy it? Was that part of Neo's choice?

We're going to see it again, probably, so maybe I just zoned out at parts and will get a better grasp on second viewing. If anyone one knows, or has a good guess, at any of this, by all means let me know.


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