Monday, August 11, 2003

Terminator 3: the Rise of Matrix

Not the Terminatrix! The Matrix. 2.

Matrix II disappointed me, so I secretly hoped that T III will offer something new. But, on top of its lack of innovation, it seemed to copy Matrix elements: starting with Schwarzenegger assuming a Keanu style-pose when putting on new sunglasses, to flying cars and trucks in highway scenes (also present in the Bad Boys 2 trailer – Matrix is truly an industry leader), the absurd fist-fights. The worst was the promotion of the notion of destiny, the unavoidable future and the victory of the powerful and evil machines. (How romantic!)

The T-series was far more optimistic even at the height of the technophobia. T1 (1984) came out at the time when PCs started "conquering" homes, but it still featured human ability capable of finding solutions. T3 offered total black-out: there's no use fighting, whatever you do, those who are most powerful than you will use it to their ends. Consequently, you must fear and hide like a rat! Just like in the Matrix.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Dumb part 1: Danta tipped me to a crucial detail that I'm sorry not to have noticed myself. After the dumb fight scene in the public toilet, the Terminatrix starts running after John and Cate, but stops for a moment at the exit to take a look at the mirror.

Yes, it is her. Flowing like the mighty river of Vardar.Women! Even if you are a murderous robot made of "liquid metal," capable of knowing the position of and adjusting every molecule of your body at will (the embedded Victoria's Secret commercial), don't miss a chance to pay even more attention to your looks. There's never enough cosmetics. (Antidote!)

DP2: If the Skynet was in fact a software which "escaped" the Army mainframe in order to "live" (in a decentralized manner) on the computers around the world, why would it destroy those same computers by causing a nuclear war? One of the less-known effects of a nuclear explosion is the strong electromagnetic pulse, which would spell death to such electronic devices.

Better moments: unlike the M, there was no blatant promotion of unnecessary affirmative action quotas. The beautiful blonde was cool, IMHO they could have made a whole better movie featuring her just walking around (and save tons of money on FX). The cliché jokes referring to the prequels (and the starry-eyed sunglasses), the subtle irony – Matrix proved itself completely incapable of the later.

I was already fed up with the Matrix guys trying to blow their "concept" out of proportion into some sort of "philosophy". They even have a philosophy section on their official web site (and use comics, a powerful weapon ;-), to provide "background" stories). I still think that the essence of their concept is the marketing survey of the U.S.A. market (containing large proportion of Christian fundamentalists) which resulted in embedding Biblical "associations" in the "story."

Ebert's review.

No comments: