The Matrix Reloaded (2003) just didn’t load properly
What a mess of a story is The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – the second part of Matrix (1999) trilogy, in which the world we know turns out to be a simulation created by AI intelligences. We met some of the characters from part one, The Matrix (1999), reviewed here. But then what happened?
First, we’re introduced to the new tech, Link, but no one explains where his predecessor Tank went. Then Zion (“the last human city, the only place we have left”) is introduced and we find ourselves in the infamous Party Scene:
To watch this techno-hedonistic rave, you would think we entered Pompeii a long time ago, challenged by volcanoes. But this holiday is more reminiscent of the Weimar Republic.
Why the party? Well, here we get an answer. Morpheus, the Agent of Zion whom we met at The matrix, tells the people of Zion that the machines are coming to kill them all. An army of 250,000 sentries, programmed to destroy humanity, will besiege Zion within 72 hours. So he wants humans to really stick to the machines while partying.
This is confusing. Do these people turn out of spite? Looks like the crowd is saying “Eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we could all die.” Then Neo, the hacker we met in The matrix who is Morpheus’ protege, dreams just after the party that Trinity, another agent of Zion who binds him, will die. It is as if everyone’s energy is spent and they remember that they are all doomed.
I come back to the Matrix trilogy here because on December 22 Matrix: Resurrections drops (the fourth in the series, after an eleven-year hiatus) and we’ll likely need the trilogy story.
After the announcement of fate, the main characters are sent by the Oracle, a clairvoyant computer program, on a MacGuffin, a pointless chase where each task seems to be just an excuse to make the characters pass from a place to place.
Along the way, Agent Smith, a security program that was supposed to have been destroyed by Neo in Part 1, reappears, claiming that he did not obey his programming and ultimately deleted himself.
So it looks like Smith is now a sentient AI. I don’t know how this is possible, given that autonomy, choice, is the only thing machines cannot control, as The Architect admits, which we will talk about later. So how can Smith express autonomy when he has no way of understanding the concept? Moreover, it is also a virus which can possess other computer programs.
Speaking of autonomy, the themes of free will, faith and fatalism are frequently discussed. But unlike what we see in The matrix – where faith and belief are considered virtues – in The matrix reloaded, we are seeing an intense debate about them among the characters. But the debate is not very clear. Machines choose what they want to believe about free will, no one has a clue what Neo thinks, and Trinity’s opinion is also unknown. The only real anchor is Morpheus who continues to believe in the prophecy that the Matrix that trapped most of humanity will be destroyed.
The consistency of the story hangs by a thread until the climax – at which point it completely crumbles. After random battle scenes and unnecessary car chases, we reach The Source… or rather, the Source waiting room (the central computing heart of the Matrix). Here we meet the Architect, the program that created the Matrix. And we get answers. Kind of.
What follows is one of the most inconsistent and pretentious speeches that has ever clouded a writer’s mind. This scene was mercilessly mocked, and it should be. The point is this. It turns out that the prophecy is a lie. The Oracle is a computer program designed to study human nature, and he realized that the only way to stop the Matrix from destroying itself was to create an anomaly that would leave room for human choice. Neo is supposed to make the ultimate choice by entering Source, which is located somewhere in Zion, and leading a group of Adams and Eves to restart the human population after the machines destroy the city.
What does this have to do with the Matrix? I do not know ! How does the state of free humans affect humans trapped in the matrix? Don’t worry about it! How does Neo’s existence act as a counterweight to all the choices of other humans, thus creating a balance within the Matrix? Stop thinking about it!
Things get even more complicated when the architect informs Neo that Trinity is a factor in her situation that previous Neos never had (What? There were previous Neos?). His choice is therefore somewhat different from theirs. There are two doors, one leading to the Source, the other leading to the Trinity. Neo must choose to save the Matrix and humanity or to save the one he loves. What was behind door number 2 for the other 5 Neos? No matter!
Of course, Neo saves Trinity, then tells Morpheus that the prophecy is a lie. But the film slips into a hint of hope. Neo kills a few machines with his mental magic, suggesting that there may be some providence at work outside of the Matrix. So faith is not entirely dead… just faith in the consistency of this trilogy.
The Matrix Reloaded wants to be a philosopher after a semester of philosophy courses. He is driven by big ideas, but he doesn’t pursue them. Instead, it presents a convoluted cacophony of scenes that don’t fit together. Machines that become sensitive are interesting; However, machines choose their autonomy when it suits them, so there is no explanation for such situations as Agent Smith’s ability to think freely, the architect’s inability to understand choice and knowledge. of choosing the Oracle without having autonomy itself – all at the same time. This is all very confusing, and as we will see in my review of the third installment of the trilogy, Matrix revolutions, the third try does not help matters.
Did the fourth attempt, Matrix resurrections coming December 22, help it all make sense? Stay tuned!
You can also read: Will The Matrix Resurrections (out December 22) break the mold? The culturally influential trilogy (control by evil aliens) gets off to a fascinating start – but a thud! end. Can we really escape a world of illusions just by following our most fundamental influences? If wisdom can’t help, why should instinct be the answer?
How can we be sure that we are not just a simulation of ET? A number of books and films are based on this Planetarium assumption. Should we believe it? We make a decision based on the belief that logic and evidence together are reasonable guides to what is true. The logical possibility alone does not make an idea true.