?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Matrix: Reconsidered

I think one of the marks of great art is that it keeps coming back and making you rethink your assumptions and conclusions about it. The consensus in fandom (to say nothing of the public) seems to be that The Matrix was a great movie, The Matrix Reloaded not so good, and The Matrix: Revolutions a disappointing failure. While I'm willing to accept that the Wachowski brothers may have been a little too subtle for their own good. Or maybe the word I'm looking for here is obscure - how many of us, after all, are really up on our mythology and theology? I'm fairly hardcore for a Catholic, and there was stuff in Brian Takle's essays that kinda sounded familiar but that I couldn't really claim to know well. Anyway, here's the links to Takle's two essays, which are mainly about the symbolism of the two sequels, and den Beste's essay, which pulls everything together for the benefit of people who think there's something wrong with the movies on a fundamental level.


The Matrix Reloaded.

The Matrix: Revolutions

The Engineer's Guide to The Matrix

From haibane.info via Chizumatic.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
hyperblaster
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
I did try to figure out the sequels when they came out. But then I realised the movies were much more fun for me at just face value.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
See my comment to Cheb below. You don't have to get all the deeper meanings and references, but the chances of not enjoying it go way up if you don't.
chebutykin
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Complexity notwithstanding... the storytelling in the sequels sucked ass.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
I think that's the point that Takle's essays make by their very nature: you have to be up to speed on the Grail legend as well as Hindu and Christian theology to really appreciate the story, and if you aren't, then they're going to suck for you. Which, clearly, they have.
stuckintraffik
Mar. 29th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
See, I'm gonna have to disagree here. I got a lot of these references (not all, but a lot). And to be fair, the symbology is very cool - dissecting these films is fun. The films themselves, though, are teh crap. Despite choosing Trinity at the end of the second film, Neo still does EVERYTHING that the Architect says he will. He resets the Matrix, Trinity dies, etc, etc (it's been a little while, so I don't have all of them, but I saw Reloaded on DVD for the first time a week before Revolutions opened so it was fresh in my mind then and it annoyed the hell out of me). Humanity lost. Again. At the end, there's no reason for the Architect to give humanity anything aside from then we have a happy ending.

And as far as all this 'the Architect did a touchdown dance' crap in the first essay, then why the hell is he pissed off at the end of movie three about giving the Oracle and humanity freedom from the Matrix?

Plus, the storytelling is just plain bad - at the end of movie two, Neo saves Trinity - then, when she dies at the end of three, AGAIN, she has this craptastic speech that never ends about how all this time he's given her has allowed her all these revelations and blah, blah, blah, and she's talking like they've had all this time - except it's been less than 24 hours since her resurrection. Just because months elapsed between the releases of the films the stories did not have similar time. As I recall, her speech is just reiterating stuff she said then, but frankly, I don't give a crap. It's worse than Cyrano's death scene.

I like symbology. I really, really do. But if you can't tell a story which works on the surface then you fail. Big 'F', red marker. It's just masturbatory 'ooh I got a degree in classic literature' BS at that point, and they can do that in their own room instead of spewing it onto a movie-going audience thank-you-very-much.

PS - I apologize if some of my points are muddy here - I watched Reloaded and Revolutions once and do not intend to do so again. The second one is only worth it for the scene with the Architect, and the third one isn't worth the price of admission. The best thing to come out of movies two and three was the spoof of Reloaded done for the MTV Movie Awards.
stuckintraffik
Mar. 29th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
This is what I get for having rabid film geeks on my f-list. Praise Allah, I never added petsnakereggie...
chebutykin
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
Ah, it looks like stuckintraffic got to my response before I did. Content does not make good storytelling in and of itself. The storytelling of the sequels sucked ass. The dramatic notes were off, the pacing sucked, the writing was painful. I couldn't give a rat's ass about the content because it was served up on a bed of manure.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
Come on, it wasn't as bad as Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter. *ducks*
chebutykin
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
There's at least a shred of fun in Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
True, the Anarchist Clown Car scene is fun, but then so is the Burly Brawl in Reloaded and the fight in the Zion dock during Revolutions. ISTR saying to jamestrainor after Revolutions that all I'd expected out of the movie was a big battle scene and a lot of chop socky, which I got. Anything else was frosting on the cake for me.
433
Mar. 30th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
That's the athiest clown car.

"Hello, Jesus -- we're the athiests. You don't know us because we've never talked to you before."
wombat_socho
Mar. 30th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
You can tell it's been a while since I've seen the movie.
stuckintraffik
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Sorry - didn't mean to steal your thunder. ;) I just really hated those films. It was a ton a potential wasted as far as I'm concerned.
chebutykin
Mar. 29th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
No problem! You saved me a lot of typing. *grin* I'm completely in agreement that the films were dreck and that they were a missed opportunity.

However, there is something to be said for the fact that the original Matrix story was designed as a one-shot deal. It wasn't designed to have sequels.
wombat_socho
Mar. 29th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
That's the first time I'd heard that. My understanding was that the Wachowski brothers intended to make a trilogy from the beginning but the studio was dubious until the first one made mad bags of cash.
chebutykin
Mar. 29th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
I've heard conflicting reports. My strong suspicion is that we have a George Lucas Syndrome going on... "Oh, yeah, I always intended for this to be part of a nine-film saga."
radio_gnome
Mar. 30th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
I like all three of them. I watch them all every six to nine months. So there.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

wombat
wombat_socho
wombat_socho

Latest Month

April 2019
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner