No. Before anyone gets a chance to try and rebuke me for saying that The Matrix is a bad movie, no. I am not saying that. The Wachowski Brothers took a fairly standard cyberpunk concept and transformed it into a thoroughly entertaining movie that not only thrilled people with self-aware and over the top special effects, but made viewers afraid of their microwaves, toasters, and anything else electrical in a way that Isaac Asimov could only dream. Hell, I might even say that I like the movie. But when it comes to what makes me nerdrage, nothing can really top The Matrix. It’s the kind of thing that can end friendships. I wish I was kidding.
Besides, at this point, it is a safe assumption that everyone on the internet has seen The Matrix at least seventeen times and found an opinion of it. If you are the one person that has not, enjoy your status as a statistical anomaly.
So if I like this movie, what about it makes me rage hard enough to temporarily stop speaking to my roommate after an argument (which might have happened several times)? Well, let’s start with the cast, because the characters, far and away, provide the most rage fuel. Not a single hero in this movie proves that they exist on the z-axis (that means they are two dimensional and lack depth, for those not in the math-know).
Trinity is a badass that gives anyone that gets in her way a heel to the face, yet for some reason falls in love suddenly with the bumbling and relatively idiotic Neo. With little in the way of touching, romantic moments between her and Neo, or even time spent together, Trinity betrays her tough exterior and becomes progressively more helpless as the series goes by. On the other hand, Morpheus suffers from a tragic form of Tourette’s Syndrome that forces him every few minutes or so to say the words “prophecy” and “One,” both usually preceded by “the.” His character just never really goes anywhere, or for that matter, does anything.
And Neo. Oh Neo. He’s a guy we are repeatedly told, and shown, based on how excited the ship crew gets when he spars with Morpheus for the first time, is the ultimate badass of this dystopian world…yet never given a reason why. Nothing we see up to the sparring scene, for example, gives any motivation for the other characters to have such faith in the new kid on the block or to even think it’s something out of the ordinary. But they rush out to look at vertical streams of data encoding the fight. The Matrix mythos writes off Neo’s nonspecific uniqueness as part of being “The One,” a nirvana that technically anyone can achieve. Of course, if that is true, then why do the characters go around trying to pluck out candidates from the human fields?
“Because, dummy, you have to believe that you’re the one. They need new people.” Right. Yes, because people can’t change their beliefs when such obvious manifestations of the power inherent in those beliefs is literally everywhere in their digital world. My bad.
And that’s where the rage boils up to the surface and scalds my frontal lobe. While all the ideas are solid and hold up to scrutiny when
argued discussed after the movie is over, there’s very little reasoning given within the actual film itself. We should not have to fill in so many crucial bits to the story! Remember how Inception blew everyone away and made the walk/car ride home a fun time to compare notes so you could catch up on all the things you missed and eventually get the whole story together? The Matrix clearly tried for the same thing…except it didn’t work. Instead, the plot comes off frustratingly half finished, teasing watchers that knew it could be so much more.
None of the ideas are bad per se, they just have not been thought out all the way, which is exactly why The Animatrix is fantastic. It actually examined many of the concepts with morality and consequences of living in a digital world through to logical conclusions. But if the series was left without the animated story catch-up, I’d honestly rather take the blue pill.
Think I’ve finally gone too far? Or were you furiously nodding in agreement? Talk about it in the forums!
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