Sunday, November 09, 2003

The Matrix 3: Resolutions? Nope.

The plot:
The male hero, facing enormous challenges threatening his life and his community, has a female lover who is also his helper (but, without offspring). Tremendous force gathers strength to destroy all that he holds dear. Regular people believe him to be their savior, in spite of his personal doubts. A powerful conspiracy is in the making, including persons positioned very near. The traitor attacks, blinding the hero (burning his eyes out). But, the hero can still see, thanks to mystic power bestowed upon him. He manages to circumvent obstacles and accomplish survival of his project. His mate dies in the process, and he soon follows. But, his destiny is reached; his task, accomplished. Thus ends Dune Messiah, an inspiring novel, part of enormously popular series by Frank Herbert. What a coincidence! Matrix 3 uses all these plot elements, also.

Visual effects remain quite decent. Even though they seem to have run out of FX money and decided not to make another Burly Brawl scene: agent Smith tells Neo they’ll do it mano a mano this time, instead of using many virtual CG actors.

Again, this movie confirmed my precognition that Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey offered the best performances by Mr. Keanu Reeves, ever.

Propaganda analysis:
Affirmative-action characters spill out references promoting religious outlook on life, sucking up to the bulk of the USA public. US of A maintain a level of religious fundamentalism comparable only to third world countries (to paraphrase Chomsky). Their representatives team up with Iran and the most backward Arab countries to limit freedom of female reproductive choice in appropriate UN bodies, for God’s sake! The Matrix brand relies heavily on biblical associations and the like, assuring good reception with the target audience. I don’t feel that the authors used the humanizing effect of the food-making African-American old lady (Aunt Jemima, AKA the Oracle), the Asian martial arts master, or the Indian child prodigy by accident. Just as all warriors in the movie, including the prep scene of the action-figure-look-alike Zion "infantry" are WASP males, “jock” subtype, with an exception of the Malaysian officer, and all “intellectuals” or support crew are black. Anyway…

In retrospect, even the seemingly novel idea of vanquishing the virus (Agent Smith) by letting oneself merge with it (Oracle, Neo), and then infecting it with goodness, seems just like a suck up to part of the audience who go on with the program all over the world, doing their part, being a little wheel in the giant machine of hypocrisy and exploitation that goes by the name of economic/political system. Especially to those who know better, but excuse themselves by saying that they want to change the system from within (rip the benefits and use the power instead of someone worse), and are then sentenced to a lifetime of boredom.

Was the time & money worth it?
Watching this movie “synchronizes your attention spans and cultural abilities to your peer’s.” (Tom the Dancing Bug)

Would I like to see it again?
Not really. It would be quite boring, I’m afraid. For the same reason I don’t go to strip-joints. I don’t care for tease very much. The best way is all the way. Matrix authors pose too many questions, and do not provide satisfying answers. Like, what is the source of Neo’s power over the machines in the tactile reality. How come he can wave his hand and destroy hardware that could match the impact of Abrams tank on steroids? Who was the imbecile in Zion that designed the “infantry” battle gear with the human pilot exposed in front of all the machine parts, with no armor or protection whatsoever. A person might as well be safer in a Volvo or even a Yugo. A Yugo on the streets of Prishtina during NATO bombing of 1999.

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