2003 May 25

The Matrix Reloaded

Saw The Matrix Reloaded last night with Jon and Amy and Ry and Beth. It was about what I expected, which is to say, overwrought but pretty. On the whole, I'm with Daragh Sankey: "Can these movies get a goddamned sense of humour?" Please, I'm begging. Frankly, he's right on most of the reasons why he wants to give it to the Matrix up the ass (except for "who wants to watch a movie about a flying priest?" A flying priest would be pretty cool -- I refer you to the avenging Father MacGruder from Peter Jackson's Dead Alive: "I kick arse for the Lord!" -- but flying Keanu in a hipster cassock? only kind of cool). I had fun anyway, though I'd have had more fun if it had been half an hour quicker. "Reloaded" is pretentious, slow, and badly written, many of the fight scenes are desperately in need of being shorter, there are far too many indigestible page-long soliloquies, and there's nothing to match the genius of the red pill/blue pill scene from the original; but (a) damn, it's pretty, and (b) there's enough of something there to support a good few hours arguing about what the hell was going on -- consider, for example, the Corporate Mofo, who is convinced the whole thing is a careful and deliberate metaphor for Gnostic theology:

Considering that The Architect built the Matrix, you might think that he's God. Of course, he's nothing of the sort. In Gnostic theology, it is Satan, not God, who has created the world in order to imprison humanity. It is also the Architect who is unleashing the Sentinels to destroy Zion; that is, beginning the Battle of Armageddon.

He's also got a rilly nifty Three Laws of Robotics-derived argument explaining why (a) the machines are so obsessed with getting Neo to make a choice, and (b) the Matrix exists in the first place, because obviously claiming to be using humans for a power source is such bullshit. I don't know if I buy that that's what the Wachowskis are really up to, but it's a cool argument to have; well worth a beer.

In summary, I got most of my entertainment value out of "Reloaded" after leaving the theatre.

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