After finally seeing this movie, I
wasn't quite sure what to think. I believe many people felt that way, as
well, as there are some mighty mixed reviews out there. In general, I
The first movie blew us away with this new world. We loved the way
people could manipulate reality, since that would be the ultimate way of
living life, wouldn't it?
This movie comes in two different parts, and they almost
constitute different movies. The first tells us who these people are,
trying to live out a reality outside the Matrix. They have a mix of high
technology, which allows their society to thrive, but they also use
torchlight to illuminate their primitive superstitions. An entire half
of the movie is devoted to showing us who these people are, their hopes,
fears, loves, and beliefs.
We not only get to see the last human city of Zion, but experience
it, as well. There is something tribal about these people, even as they
can build large ships and computers that can hack into the Matrix. The
not-quite orgy scene in Zion (which was intermixed with the sex scene
between Neo and Trinity) was interesting because it showed the
desperation of these people. The scene may have been a little too long,
but we needed to see at least part of it, because, on the edge of
destruction, annihilation, they needed to live something full of energy.
And there is very little that carries more energy than sexual
The second half of the movie shows us more about the Matrix itself,
as a world. We learn about rogue programs, like the Oracle and the
Keymaker, programs that the Matrix believes are outdated, but which
serve their own purposes. Much of that purpose seems to be to serve The
One -Neo in this case. Amid the conflicts and chases to secure the
Keymaker and enter the mainframe of the Matrix, we also gain some
I'm not sure exactly what the Architect meant by everything he said
-that will likely require multiple viewings- but it seems that there
have been five other people like Neo, The One, who have all done the same
thing, attempting to shut the Matrix down. I don't know why "choice" was
actually required by someone from outside the program. It was mentioned
that if Neo chose to save Trinity from the Agents, the rest of humanity
would die. Did that happen, or not? The Sentinels seemed to have plenty
of power to destroy Zion even after Neo made the "wrong" choice. Perhaps
Revolutions will answer some of these questions.
The most world-shattering experience, though, comes near the end,
when we are led to believe that perhaps these people, who presume
themselves to be free of the Matrix, are part of something larger. Maybe
Zion and all the "free" humans are inside a computer program of sorts,
and The Matrix is also within that program. There could be multiple
levels to the "real" world, something that was briefly
explored in The Thirteenth Floor.
There are three clues given that directly point to this revelation.
The first comes fairly early, when the resurrected Agent Smith is able
to copy himself into somebody from Zion and transfer through to his
real body through the phone line. If the real person was nothing
more than a computer program, then it would make a lot more sense.
Second comes with the Architect's line "the Matrix is far older than you
think". Morpheus showed us the "real" world in the
first movie, but that
may have been the "real" world only since this incarnation of the
Matrix. Perhaps the real world is actually six times older! Third, Neo
is able to influence the real world after he spends time with the
Architect. He is able to destroy the Sentinels with an energy discharge
from his bare hands! If he was awakening to the binary state of matter
in what he thought was the real world, as he did in the first movie to
the Matrix, then he could influence it, just as in the first film.
Of course, all this is just speculation, which is the only thing this
movie really delivers. So much happens in the movie, but nothing really
happens, after all. The first fight scenes were neat, but nothing that
we haven't seen before. My personal favorite was just before rescuing
the Keymaker, when Neo takes on so many of the thugs, taking spears and
sai weapons from the walls. I always loved the sai, and I actually own a
pair of those three-pronged short swords, and learned the basics on how to use them. The fight with the
thousand Agent Smiths was hilarious, and after a certain point, I could
only laugh at the absurdity of it all.
The other fight scenes, with machine-gun fire, once again left me
feeling a sense of "who-cares". The freeway chase had some neat
elements, like the way the agents were able to destroy cars by jumping
onto them, and the ghosts that could move through just about anything,
but it was still a car chase. There were some amazing camera angles, and
this is something that could only be done in this fake world of the
Matrix, and still be "believable". I have to wonder how all the cars
could take so many bullet holes and keep going, yet a single blast to
the underside of the ghost's car blows it up at the appropriate time.
The characters other than Neo and Trinity had mostly very small
parts. Even Morpheus is relegated to the background in much of the
movie. Others, like Captain Lock and the beautiful Captain Niobe helped
give an urgency to the cause of both Zion and the Prophecy of The One.
Much of the dialog is curious, as it sounds very grandiose, using
lots of large words and complicated sentence structure. It seems
to spout from the mouths of all the computer "programs", from the Oracle
(who was much more straightforward in the first movie), to Merovingian
(who kept the Keymaker under lock and key), the Architect and even
Morpheus. Aside from a few words here and there, I don't know if any of
it means anything at all. Only the Councillor seemed to speak plainly,
when he brought Neo down to the engineering level to discuss their
dependence on machines.
This movie didn't seem to take itself as seriously as the first
Matrix, yet at the same time, it seemed to take itself even more
seriously. The first perspective comes from the style of the movie, the
way the directors directed and edited it together. The second perception
comes from the characters themselves. Which dominates? From the way the
music peaked in a campy horror-style at the very end, where we learn
that the traitor who was infected by Smith early on caused the total
destruction of Zion, I'd have to say it's the first one.
The plot was resolved in one way, in that Neo was able to reach the
computer core of the Matrix, and that he made a choice for the future.
It simply didn't solve anything. I think that is probably what most
people didn't like about it. I did like it, and as I assimilate more of
it, I anxiously look forward to the conclusion.