The Matrix Trilogy

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    Ah, I remember when the quotes and avatars were rampant in the online communities. Now that several years have passed the opinion on the movies have shifted to a bit less favourable opinion for some, while for other people they remain a classic.


    So time to go back to it and talk about those quotes, plot holes, that world and all the reflections about our own.
    Also, if you want, talk about the negatives like how you got tired of the bullet dodge and freeze scene - turn angle in the middle of a jump kick. Or how X movie might have done it first/better.


    Whatever you feel like. In the basic sense is a thread to just talk about the movies and if we liked them or not and why.

  • It's rare to get a big budget movie that makes a serious attempt to discuss philosophy and theology seriously. The latter two films weren't as successful in that effort. They oscillated between being too obtuse, (the Architect), to too blatant (Dead Neo being carried off with his arms out as though he had been crucified). But the first film managed to discuss some complicated ideas in a poppy, engaging way, and still manage to be one of the most entertaining action movies of the decade.


    Sure it's easy now, 15 years after the fact, to look back and say "HURR, MATRUX IS 2DEEP4ME," but you gotta remember that at the time a ton of people thought the movie was difficult to understand.

  • So did he really accomplish anything that makes any difference in the long term?


    Who was the spiky head Neo met in the machine city?


    And what really happened in the end, and why didn't Smith foresee it?


    They kill a bunch of humans and somehow that's okay because of the Matrix, but they are still innocent and they still die, and real people still grieve them!

  • The latter two films are a mess, for sure, but to give my thoughts:


    So did he really accomplish anything that makes any difference in the long term?


    The conceit of the latter two films is that the Matrix is cyclical. (A microcosm of the idea that all time is cyclical). Neo is not a bug in the Matrix, he is a feature. He's like an internal PenTester. He exists to show the machines how The Matrix can be broken. Then they rebuild the Matrix from the ground up, accounting for the flaws Neo revealed to them. Then they create a new Neo to test for flaws in the current version of the Matrix. Thus the Matrix is made better each time.


    Neo's accomplishment in the films is to break that cycle, and make a truce with the machines. The war, and the subjugation of humanity that followed it, are officially "over." But there's a lot of room for shit to get fucked up. War doesn't end overnight. But Neo created a chance at a new beginning for homo-machine relations.


    Who was the spiky head Neo met in the machine city?


    The leader of the machines. The biggest, smartest AI, which chose to present itself in the style of The Great and Powerful Oz.


    And what really happened in the end, and why didn't Smith foresee it?


    I'm having a bit of a hard time remembering exactly how this went down, it's been a couple years since I last watched the films.


    So Neo lets Smith assimilate him, and this causes Smith to be destroyed, right? Given how much Christian allegory there is in the third film, I'd say this represents the 3 days Jesus spent in Hell. In Christian mythology, Jesus dies on the cross, "Descended into hell," and rose from the dead 3 days later. And in doing so, he threw open the gates of heaven, and led all of the souls that had been trapped in Limbo to their eternal reward. In the same way, Neo is consumed by Smith, and in doing so, frees all of the people who had been trapped by Smith.


    In fact (and I'm completely guessing here. I don't have a copy of the movie I can check ATM), I'd bet you dollars to donuts that there's some kind of 3 beat between Neo being assimilated and Smith being destroyed. Something to stand in for the 3 days Jesus was dead. Like maybe Smith laughs 3 times or something.


    They kill a bunch of humans and somehow that's okay because of the Matrix, but they are still innocent and they still die, and real people still grieve them!


    There are a hundred thousand different ways you could interpret this.

    • Perhaps it demonstrates that humans are still the brutes who scorched the sky when we fought a war with the machines. We're willing to suffer any loss if it means winning. It begs the question of whether we even deserve the freedom we're fighting for.


    • Perhaps it asks us to empathize with a terrorist mindset. Yes, killing innocent people is bad. But when we put you into the shoes of these characters, can you see how killing innocent people might seem like a reasonable choice?
    • There's a quote from the TV show M*A*S*H that gets thrown around the Internet a lot:
      "War isn't hell. War is war and Hell is Hell, and of the two, war is a lot worse."
      "Why do you say that?"
      "Who goes to hell?"
      "Sinners, I believe."
      "Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. But war is chock full of them. Little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for a few of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander."


      In the Matrix, when you shoot at an agent, you're shooting at the enemy. But if you succeed, then the enemy doesn't die. An innocent person dies. Someone with hopes, dreams, a family, people who love them. Because that's what happens in all wars.

  • I watched the first one recently with @Edward_Stryfe. I think it still holds pretty good and it is possibly still my favourite movie of the lot. It has great quotes and good moments. They did something (back then) unique with the angles and offered a very interesting reflection.


    One of the common complains in character I read about is the lack of emotion, specially in Trinity. Specially with the love blooming. I dunno, for me it was fitting, I think it was intended like that.

  • I assume you mean @Sardonic Pickle ...?


    Neo and Trinity are both pretty wooden, there's no getting around that. It really doesn't bother me in the first movie. Sometimes people are emotionally reserved, I think it works. It's not until the second movie where they're supposed to be passionately in love when it starts to feel a little awkward.

  • I assume you mean @Sardonic Pickle ...?


    Neo and Trinity are both pretty wooden, there's no getting around that. It really doesn't bother me in the first movie. Sometimes people are emotionally reserved, I think it works. It's not until the second movie where they're supposed to be passionately in love when it starts to feel a little awkward.


    Actually she meant me and yes I'm still in America, but I streamed the movie on twitch for the heck of it and my lady friend and cousin were supposed to show up to but couldn't and I guess Kaynil followed my twitch and got the alert.

  • Yeah, I just watched the stream of the movie through twitch while using the system chat to talk with Edward. :)


    Neo and Trinity are both pretty wooden, there's no getting around that. It really doesn't bother me in the first movie. Sometimes people are emotionally reserved, I think it works. It's not until the second movie where they're supposed to be passionately in love when it starts to feel a little awkward.

    I can't recall the next movies, but I agree for the first one you can still justify it as being reserved, given their past, their reality and their own doubts.

  • When the first one came out, I was pretty obsessed with it, although I didn't totally get the philosophical stuff - I just loved the special effects and music. The next two were just okay to me.


    Later on I could understand the philosophical stuff better, and saw a whole new layer to it - way late to the party though haha.

  • I loved the Matrix trilogy. M1 came out when I was 11, so for me it was just cool action sequences. M2 was higher budget and tres cool, but lacked the sense of threat and fear that drove the first. Also, it failed to realise the ambitious promises of the M1 outro with Neo in the phonebox. M3 felt a bit sloppy, to be honest. But more than anything I loved it for creating such a vivid and tangible universe. There was nothing about that felt anything like the Matrix - sure, it had influences, but in many ways it was its own genre. But, although a lot of thought went into the Matrix universe, by the end it felt like they were cramming it all in. It was like one of those marvel films that tries to cram in the entire Marvel heritage into a couple of movies. It all become a bit fleeting (and a bit Dragonball Z).


    Also, if The One can 'reprogramme' the Matrix at will, why are his powers only expressed through physically logical superpowers? Why fly when he could simply input a new location co-ordinate for himself into the program and just be at his destination? I get that superpowers are cool, but they might have explained his limitations better.


    Also, do human being really create enough energy to warrant all the maintenance and effort? Surely it's more logical to harvest the geothermal energy at the Earth's core, or emmigrate to some other planet and take power there, like the geothermal energy of Jupiter or the solar energy of Mercury.


    I never got that it was that philosophical. Conmplicated, maybe. The only real question posed is whether the machines are good or bad, which becomes a little greyer towards the end, and when you watch the Animatrix. You could pose a question of happiness vs. freedom - if life can be happier in the Matrix, what is the value of freedom? But the movie pretty much forces the answer at you that freedom trumps all. Also that killing innocent people is ok because it's self-defence and it looks good. So, there are questions you could pose, but I got the sense it wasn't the intention of the film - these things were just flavouring for the Matrix universe.


    Having said all of that, the brand and universe is so vivid and fascinating to me, it bring me up to 'love'.

  • I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the philosophical underpinnings of the films.


    Take the scene in the first movie with the oracle. A scene where Neo passes under a sign that reads "Know Thyself," and speaks with a woman who sits on a stool with three legs. She remarks on the pleasant fumes of the cookies she has prepared, and tells him something about himself that is only true when you turn it on its head.


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    "Socrates is the wisest man in Athens."


    Whether you think it's hackneyed or not, the matrix movies were made with clear intention. Small details exist for a reason.


  • Wow that's pretty interesting, I didn't notice any small details like that. Pretty cool.