The Matrix Reloaded

If you ever get around to getting your GED, there’s probably a reading comprehension section. If you manage to make it through that difficult part of your life you might figure out that what I clearly stated is that I didn’t like the movie because it was boring, not because of its political overtones. The political overtones, though they might be troubling, were, as I wrote, the only thing about the movie that were particularly interesting. (That’s what it means when I say “the most interesting thing about the movie”: that that was the most interesting thing about the movie. I realize that’s a little complicated for a juvenline deliquent like yourself to comprehend, so there it is in plain English…again.)

It really demonstrates a vast cultural ignorance to state that sci-fi movies shouldn’t be interpreted politically. Sci-fi is probably the most political genre, and Blade Runner, of all examples that you could have fished out, is one of the most political sci-fi movies ever. (But they’re all so political, from Starship Troopers to Total Recall to Running Man to 2001: A Space Odyssey to Soylent Green, that making that distinction is just a matter of degrees).[/quote]

Please re-read what I said.

Oh, and admit to being SiNNER, would you?

Thanks. Bye.

The rave had a purpose. Morpheus says in his speech that he wants everyone stomping, making noise in a show of defiance to the machines on their way. Shake the walls, etc, etc.

It was the human spirit at its orgy best. Little do they know they’re just a pawn in the Matrix’s own prophecy-loop :(

SPOILERS

Saw this at the Century in Corte Madera tonight (great single-screen old style theater). I enjoyed the movie. Even the goofy french reconstructionism comments, and especially some of the more self-effacing parts (like Smith telling Neo that, as usual, he’s been using all his muscles except the important one… Elrond must have gotten a chuckle out of speaking that line to Keanu). And the way they explained Neo’s difficulty with the new Agents (“hmm… [patented Neo Head-tilt™] …upgrades.”) 8)

Now Zion ends up being the machine-world equivalent of malloc: The matrix is buggy, we know it’s buggy, so we planned for this garbage-collection place where we dump all the rebellious twits… and every hundred years or so we come in and clean it out (with your predecessors’ help, of course). Then you pick a few people to re-found the city (“it was he who freed the first of us” from the first film) and the cycle starts again. Tidy ;) looking forward to the conclusion.

Btw, during the opening previews, there was the preview of the new Cruise movie The Last Samurai. It opens with the scene of a 19th century Japan to set the tone, and then fades to a gritty, bearded, long-haired Tom Cruise in a rugged-looking outfit, squinting meaningfully at a passing samurai. The murmur of derisive laughter rippled through the theater the instant he appeared. I don’t think that was quite the intended reaction… but it was pretty funny.

When they played ‘The Last Samurai’ preview in the theater I was at, one guy said, “Bullshit! The Last Samurai can’t be white!?!” Everybody had a good laugh! Ah gotta love those loud comments in the theater.

etc

I’m a sinner all right, but I’m not the original sinner.

Sure, the rave itself had a purpose. The decision to show it for five minutes intercut with a sloppy and mind-numbingly bad sex scene, doesn’t.

There’s no excuse for bad filmmaking.

This scene is a great example of one of the (admittedly many) things that I hated about this movie: Neo is so god-damn dumb.

I took the gift of the spoon to mean “There is no spoon, here, in the ‘real’ world either”. Now, who gives it to him? The dude just says “one of the orphans”. It’s unclear whether someone unplugged the Uri Geller tyke from the first movie or not, but I am thinking the chances of that are low, so someone different is giving him the spoon. Now what kind of thing does that say?

So anyway, that’s what I thought, right away upon seeing that spoon. Regardless of whether anyone agrees with my interpretation, you’ve got to figure that at least Mr. Neo would realize that it has some important significance. But no, he just fucking shoves it in his pocket and goes on his way.

Same with Morpheus in the freeway chase. I’m like “god dammit dude, pick up the sword that you left sticking out of the side of the truck” for like 5 minutes while he’s fighting this agent hand-to-hand. But he has to get knocked down and see the sword to remember it’s there. Obviously the writers just did that so they could pace the fight, but it just comes out feeling lame.

Anyway I’m just going to agree with an earlier poster that my primary reaction to this movie was boredom. I really went into it expecting to enjoy it at least somewhat, but I got nothing.

And what the hell was with that key that the Keymaker gives Neo when they first meet him? I am figuring “okay the keymaker is going to get waylaid and Neo’s going to realize that he’s got this key in his back pocket that is the right one to open that door” but no. What-fucking-ever.

The least they could have done was gotten Rick Moranis to play the Keymaster. “Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!”

As everyone who has seen the movies knows, there are like eight or nine previews. After about seven of them had played when I was at the theater (very first showing, very first night mind you) some guy hollers out, “Oh you’re fucking KILLING me!”

Damn funniest thing I hear anyone say that day.

MILD SPOILERS:

My quick take: good movie, could have used some tighter editing. They could have trimmed a good half an hour or maybe a bit more off of it and it would have been better. Fight scenes were great. I don’t know who couldn’t follow the plot. Aside from the few jumping around dream sequence things it was fairly obvious what was going on at least to me. Not as good as the first but definitely entertaining and I am looking forward to the last one.

– Xaroc

OK, all in all, I actually enjoyed the second movie. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit it. But then I guess I can watch CGI kung fu fight scenes for a long time, even when they make no sense at all.

Random thoughts including many spoilers:

It still mystifies me why computer programs are using kung fu on each other, and why they are shooting handguns at one another, when they (the agents, programs, and Neo) are all essentially immune to this kind of damage. I mean really, that prolonged mass clone fight scene with Neo was like a typical Saturday Night Live skit – i.e. an amusing idea with no development that goes on way too long. Since none of them could harm one another, and since Neo could just fly away at any time as he in fact does at the end of the totally inconclusive fight, one is left with the inescapable conclusion that the writers couldn’t think of any more plot to fit into the movie, so they just randomly added a fight scene. The same thing applies to the fight scene with the Merovingian’s guards (stroke of genius making him French though he impressed me with his Frenchness about as much as Sean Connery does with his Russian accent… :). It’s as if that 15 minutes of movie was shot using maybe 10,000 production staff hours of effort for no reason at all.

What the heck is up with the Zion Dance Club? Was this an amateurish sequence, or what? I thought maybe I had dozed off and woken up in a Mad Max movie or something. Did the filmmakers fondly imagine that some demographic of their audience really wanted to see a bunch of Hollywood extras bumping and grinding for this painfully prolonged scene?

Is it just me, or does Zion seem like a pretty monstrous and nightmarish place to live? The fact that everyone there is pretty isn’t much compensation for the fact that the whole place looks like the inside of an oil refinery. One scene actually had a lava pit in the middle of the dance party, for heaven’s sake.

And who ordered, er, Counselor Hannah or whatever his name is? What an incredibly annoying role, fit basically just to pad yet some more plotless time. "Take that machine… I have no idea how it works, it just does… now… please… please… shoot me before I have to say any more of these stupid lines…’ Cut!

Man, those are high-quality distressed sweaters the cast wears when they are in the “real world.” I guess Cleanliness is not exactly next to Godlyness in Zion, but you’d think considering how all the cast are always clean-scrubbed and clean-shaven to the point of rawness, that they could clean their clothes from time to time.

“I am the Architect.” – What, you’re not Donald Sutherland? Are you absolutely sure you’re not Donald Sutherland? I had a hard time not seeing Sutherland and his fake transatlantic accent superimposed over whoever the actor actually was in this pompous, deliberately incomprehensible role. How could they NOT cast Sutherland for this part?

Why is the agent-dominated Zionite cutting his palm with a dagger? Did they just forget about that in post production, or does it actually mean something in the next movie?

Persephone? What an inane role. “Kiss me” – yeah right. Aren’t you just another rogue computer program? And couldn’t they put some make up on the sunburn or rash or whatever that was on her neck and chest? I found that red stuff on her thorax rather to be rather disturbing.

What? You waste my time with two 15 minute fight scenes that don’t have any resolution, with the disturbing sight of Neo having sex, with a stupid tribal council meeting out of Mad Max, with a literal “Dance Dance Revolution”, and after all that you can’t be bothered showing the agent causing the counterattack to fail? What weird choices of what to film and what to explain with narration.

“We are getting aggravated.” “Yes. We are.” What stupid villains. Even with their weak CGI wraith bodies those albinos are about as scary as Captain Kangaroo.

The Oracle was even lamer this movie than last movie, now that she seems to have lost all rationale for doing anything at all apart from that mystical doing what you have to do nonsense. You’d think though that eventually Neo would recognize when he’s being lied to. Fool me once, shame on you…

OK, the prolonged freeway chase/fight sequence was admittedly pretty cool, even if it was mostly incomprehensible. You’d think the Agents would just possess all the drivers nearby instead of a few cops and one or two other drivers. In the scene on top of the truck, an Agent goes over to finish off Morpheus instead of killing the Keymaker despite having been explicitly ordered to kill the Keymaker at any cost and to ignore other targets. In the early part of the car chase, the bad guys blast the car with more than enough rounds to kill everyone within, as well as to destroy the car. In one cut, Morpheus says “get down” and the bad guys promptly spray the car at car-door level, presumably hitting everyone inside. You’d think that would be the traditional signal for the bad guys to fire through the windows and miss the crouching heroes, but in this scene they just magically miss everyone with about 200 rounds of ammo.

I can vaguely understand why the regular non-Neo Zionites can suffer lethal damage in the Matrix and subsequently die, but considering that the Merovingian’s guards never suffer any serious damage (but eventually are all knocked out somehow) and that the agents can just fight indefinitely, how is that that a few stray bullets can kill the Keymaker? Guess he forgot to turn on “invulnerability” using his cheat codes or somethiing.

I lean towards the “they never left the Matrix” explanation. Like, not ever, even in the first film. Neo only realized it after he met the architect. It’s a pretty good safeguard: if only an infintesimal percentage of humans ever see through the illusion of the Matrix, how much of an infintesimal percentage of those will ever realize that they never actually escaped it?

Interesting reactions. Mine:

The series assumes an awful lot of AI and science fiction background. I haven’t the slightest idea how they expect the average Joe to figure out al the implications of the Architect sequence, for example; could they make it any less accessible?

If you consider virtually everything that happens in there as a proxy for a type of software interaction (bullets and kungfu is just security and competition for resources), it makes a lot more sense.

The dance sequence in Zion reminds me of the tunnel-network collective in Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. I suppose you can take the religion and hope angle on that as just another level of control in the cycle of the system attempting to perfect itself - they need to get the One all fired up to fix everything, after all. Besides, they need an uplifting montage scene before the heroes save the world.

My only complaint is that the movie continues to perpetuate the fucking magical negro stereotype. I suppose its not as bad in this movie as the last (the magical white guy throws it off), but still.

This, however, is wholly unlike Neo shooting a fucking eletric force field out and wiping out a wave of squiggies in the real world.

There’s a couple of explanations; another level of the matrix, or maybe Neo has some special upgrades. After all, the Architect describes how he was planned; who knows what they stuck in that DNA?

I took the gift of the spoon to mean “There is no spoon, here, in the ‘real’ world either”. Now, who gives it to him? The dude just says “one of the orphans”. It’s unclear whether someone unplugged the Uri Geller tyke from the first movie or not, but I am thinking the chances of that are low, so someone different is giving him the spoon. Now what kind of thing does that say?

Huh? Why wouldn’t it be the same character as in the first film?

huh? I have no idea what you’re talking about. You mean that Morpheus is the magical negro stereotype or the captain or what? I don’t get it. So like people have that stereotype of blacks as the ‘magical negro’? k whatever.

Anyway, my interpretation of the story is that the real world, the Zion underground world, IS real. The architect wants to confuse Neo into thinking its not. Other programs like the Oracle, The Keymaster, and maybe even the new Agent Smith, as well might eventually see Neo as the harmony between man and machine… sounds cheesy.

It seems the Wachowski brothers want to add in the ‘divine’ influence ala Luke Skywalker as the savior. They want to make it so that NEo is the uber messiah, be it buddhist, christian, judaic… whatever. At first I thought they were veering towards more another level of reality with Zion, but then I thought, Zion = last city of Israel, and Morpheus as John the Baptist and Neo as Jesus/the enlightened ‘ONE’. Neo IS the One because at the end of the movie he does that wall of electrical shit on the squiggies… so he has powers in reality… which the machines knew all along… the things he did in the Matrix defied even programming reality (as the Architect even alludes to) so thats why the architect lies (the devil?!). or maybe Neo isn’t the messiah and its that ‘Spoon Kid’

OR -

Its likely they might want to just confuse the hell out of everybody and give us an Akira ending, where the world ends completely both man and machine and then some rebirth shit… some sorta nihilistic end to begin anew. That would be a copout imo though. prolly would see neo and trinity as adam and eve… bah that better not happen.

Saw it again today, btw. The movie is better than when I first saw it, though it could use more editing and additional material. Notably adding from the car chase to the main building scene, it was a quick jump… should flesh that out more.

Overall, I like how the Wachoski borthers seem to be trying to mirror our own reality thru the dialogue of the characters, or at least use the program/human reference almost as a metaphor for reality in our times… like looking at OUR reality as a Matrix constructed by intelligent design (God?). something liek that. plus of how machines dominate our lives, and nobody could grasp how all of them work, we are slaves to technology yada yada. I can see them trying to push this as the Architect represents the ultimate in human endeavor… and even the architect cannot seem to uinderstand the ‘anomaly’ of Neo’s ‘divine’ powers… anyway pretty cool movie after a second viewing.

etc

Oh, well, there goes Jason.

This is why I hate this forum’s opinions on movies. You all sound like raving, rambling idiots who couldn’t follow a plot-line if you were watching a Pee-Wee Herman movie. Hell, you schmoes probably couldn’t even follow an Ernest flick.

And again… IT’S A GOD DAMN ACTION FLICK. A GOD DAMN ACTION FLICK. ACTION FLICK. ACTION. FLICK.

Uh, but that was the plotline. Maybe you were watching a different movie?

This isn’t the best explanation, but it covers most of it. Google can get you more.

Someone mentioned to me that Sean Connery might have been the initial casting for the Oracle, so it may be accidental. There was still a huge outbreak back around the time of the original movie, though (Legend of Bagger Vance, Green Mile, etc.)

There is something magical about the Negroes, now that you brought it up.

well i sorta skimmed that article and get the point hes trying to make… but its nothing new to say that Hollywood deals with stereotypes on a WHOLE RACIAL basis. drunk irish, funny jews, kung fu asians, uppity waspy whites. I’m not saying its right. Its just how it is. And with the Matrix… I don’t think they intended Fishburne to be ‘the magical negro’. Maybe they just thought it cool to have a kick-some-ass guy like him to be the prophet. If anything… what you’re really saying is that this movie shouldnt have so many black people in ‘magical’ roles because… its basically an American movie and more whites realistcally are in control and should be in the roles of Oracle and Prophet, its not a stereotype its reality. bah. what really would have been the right racial casting? pointless imo. Lets just call it Matrix - The Magical Negroes. stupid.

and yeah yeah, its an action flick. I liked it for asking philosophy 101 questions that, although sorta cheap, they do work in the context of the movie.

etc

so then Sean “you’re the Dawg now!!!” Connery would have been a better oracle? I thought the lady who played the oracle was awesome… isn’t thjat what raally matters? and Will Smith I can’t stand period… even as Ali. so his magical caddy act didn’t work for me. Actually that movie sucked period. a movie about golfing and a caddy angel? stupid. And yeah I can see the big nice magical black guy stereotype with Green Mile… but i think it was intentional since it was TRYING to tell a story of racism, even if the movie is sort of one-dimensional.

etc

Well, I’m not sure what I’m saying. But when the zillioneth benificent, smiling african-american savior that helps the white character to get in touch with their non-rational, intuitive, emotional side shows up, I start to get annoyed. It’s insulting and degrading to everyone involved; apparently white people are incapable of anything involving deeper meaning, and black people are incapable of playing the protaganist.

I think the Matrix is a harmless example of it, compared to the toxic levels present in ST:TNG and Green Mile.

Oh, and regardless of anything else, Neo stopping bullets like that is the coolest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.

well I can see the point that the oracle can be seen as a “magical negro” stereotype… but you know, its quite possible that they thought that actress was great for that role. Shes what most people wouldn’t expect of being an oracle (atypical casting)… an old grandmother type… it could have been a white grandmother from Russia who the hell knows?!? but i get what you’re saying, and im not denying hollywood casts roles stereotypically.

etc