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Time for a new Matrix discussion

post #1 of 245
Thread Starter 

Haven't been any recent threads so I'm making a new one. Some dude on Reddit posted his personal fanwank theory about the films.

 

 

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Matrix nerd here.

 

It's pretty clear if you watch the whole series and pay attention. The Machines real plan is to devise the perfect life form. The whole series plainly lays out that both Humans and machines have huge downfalls, humans progress, but to the point of self destruction, machines do not possess creativity to progress. The Matrix is a testing level for creating the perfect life form, IE: The Ones. The machines analyze humans in an attempt to create a perfect amalgamation of the two. The largest variable and most difficult part was analyzing love for them so they create Neo (Who is obviously a machine, think about it next time you watch them) to fall in love with a human (Trinity) in an attempt to study it. They break the rules multiple times, Neo dies and Trinity, a human professes her love for him and they realize they have a perfect opportunity and bring Neo back to life.

 

Now we get to the important part, Sati. Her two parents, a machine who programs other AI and a machine who manages human power plant farms create the perfect being, a combination of Human and Machine which is the young girl and most important character Sati.

 

Everything that happens in the story goes down and Sati escapes, the Matrix is destroyed but the machines use her to create the perfect world. So in the end it's a pretty good ending it's just confusing as hell the first couple times.

Edit: I wrote a further explanation of the meanings of what I said and the series as a whole in another comment below.

 

 

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Absolutely! I go on to my friends about this for hours to my friends.

 

First of all you've got to make clear a couple things. The war of the machines started after some key things. The machine war didn't start from the machines simply turning on their masters. It started from one machine murdering its owner who was mistreating it. This caused the humans to fear the AI machines and isolate them to a single machine city called 01 as destroying all of them once they had become self aware would be immoral. The problem was that the machines society became so efficient that they were seen as a threat to the world economy and the humans had to destroy them but we all know how that ended up. (The Animatrix)

 

This scene is easily one of the most important scenes for understanding the mystery behind the series. The architect outlines the biggest flaws of humans and what will ultimately lead to our doom. Like Smith said humans are the only species that will outgrow our sustainability, never finding harmony with our environment the way that animals such as ants do. one absolutely key point you need to remember is Machines are not evil, never have been and are actually the "good guys" of the series. The Matrix is essentially what the humans wanted the machine city 01 to be. A way to contain and regulate the humans. It's a cage to keep the humans in check but like the architect says a simulation like the Matrix can never be perfect, the architect made a perfect world but humans rejected it since it's not natural, so the machines created the Oracle, a machine specifically made to better understand humans and think in different ways, where the Architect sees everything as a mathematical equation that needs solving the Oracle sees it in a more human way and together they planned to create a more sustainable Matrix for the humans.

 

Zion is not a resistance at all. Zion is a necessity to the Matrix, it is built off people who reject the Matrix and if left inside would corrupt the Matrix and ruin their system. Now you might think why wouldn't the machines just kill those people then? Well the answer is that they are also part of the machines study of humans. As I said both humans are machines are imperfect in their ways, machines cannot advance as a species without human ingenuity and humans will eventually destroy themselves. One hugely eye opening scene for me was the one where Neo speaks to Councilor Hamann because it becomes quite clear that Hamann is a machine placed in Zion as a machines way of keeping tabs. The night Neo can't sleep he gets up to find Hamman in the lower levels of Zion watching the equipment that recycles the humans waste and turns it into water and energy, renewable energy. This is huge because it negates the machines very supposed cause for keeping the humans trapped as batteries, why does no one put this together? Why Hamman answers it himself. *That's how it is with people - nobody cares how it works as long as it works. * Almost as a mockery of the humans who believe they are fighting for a cause to save other humans when really all they are is a part of a larger human experiment. Both machines that Neo talks to, Hamann note that he is still human, he must remain "Human" for the experiment to work and by that they mean think 100% that he is a human and not a machine. Even though Neo finds himself not sleeping and walking around at night like the other Machine does as they have no need for it, but he still does sleep somewhat, showing that he still at least thinks he is. Another interesting note is the illusion of choice, Smith sees it and even points it out to Neo. Neo never had a choice in any of this, he is following a gracefully laid path the machines created for him to serve his purpose. Watch the movies with this in mind and you'll be amazed at the how clear it becomes. Smith understands everything by the end of the series when he absorbs Neo, the plot of the machines, everything but he can't quite handle it.

 

Neo is a machine part of a study.

 

To put it simply, the goal of the machines in the end is to create the perfect world, what they learn from their tests is that neither humans nor machines are capable of such a thing. Every Matrix has been an experiment, tests at perfection and all have failed and each "One" has been a way for the machines to study various aspects of human emotion. At the point in which the series takes place the machines understand everything except for one key, fascinating aspect of humans, Love. The Architect watches in astonishment as Neo leaves, dooming his people to save the one person he loves. Love is pretty ridiculous in that way. They mean to study love in a perfect way by creating a machine AI, and having it fall in love with a human, and that is how we get Neo. When we're introduced to him we see him sitting in his apartment with no social life, a pathetic job essentially no life except for computers. That alone makes him sound like a machine created life form to me. But as such he carrys on, meets the resistance unknowing that he was created to fall in love with Trinity, he does, and she loves him back, she does not realize this however until he is dead. The way I see it he was going along with his experiment but it fails when he dies. That is until the machines hear Trinity say she loves him. Wow, They've succeed! a human loves their machine, so what do they do? Bring him back to life to continue the study. That is why he comes back to life after being killed. Now we find ourselves in Matrix Reloaded, Trinity shot and dying in Neos dreams planted by his machine creators and essentially the situation is reversed, they are testing to see if their creation can feel love in the same way that he was loved by Trinity. After all this happens and the machines study of love is complete the whole point of of the series comes together in the discovery of the perfect lifeform, a cyborg, a combination of the the positive aspects of both Machines and Humans, they come together to create Sati.

 

Sati is the key to everything

 

We find Neo in the trainstation talking to Sati and her parents. One parent representing machines, the mother who programs other machines and AI, and the father who is a power plant systems manager who represents humans (Power Plants are where humans are kept). They merge their two resources in their newly discovered resource, love, to create Sati who is the perfect being, a cyborg who can think with the logic of a machine and the creativity of the humans. She is the reason for all of it, when she finally escapes and the sixth Matrix, the one from the movies is destroyed by the integral anomaly, Agent Smith. A new one must be created, the difference this time instead of being created by The Oracle and The Architect, it will be created by the perfect life form and she will create the perfect world. It really is the happiest ending possible.

 

And there you have a small part of my massive analysis of the meaning behind the Matrix, a fascinating sci-fi story mixed with a very flashy entertaining action movie. I'd be more than happy to address any other points if anyone is interested.

 

***Extra notes.

The Machines using humans as a battery is a simple motivator for the humans in Zion have a goal and continue their study, they are told "These machines are keeping our people hostage and we need to save them" even though the humans don't piece together that the Machine created Zion, including Zions renewable energy sources so it's obviously with the machines power. Like Neo said "Either no one told me, or no one knows"

 

I strongly believe the Wachowski brothers wanted to audience to take a step back and look at the movies beyond face value, think about all these puzzle pieces and have a sense of "Waking Up" similar to what Neo did in the movies. The humans in the movie are not putting together that the machines are guiding their path and controlling everything, and neither does the general audience unless you step back and think about it the way the characters had to to escape the Matrix in the first place. The Wachowskis really are brilliant men and it's such a shame that so many people call them lazy and dismiss them, failing to look beyond the obvious, but then again. 99% of people in The Matrix fail to realize that they are just part of a system and don't care about the real truth, they are given a simple life they are happy with and don't think beyond it, as the audience who don't think about it are given a simple meaningless action movie that is still entertaining in that right. Fucking brilliant.

 

More to be found at the link.

post #2 of 245

I'm not entirely sure what he's on about because I switched off the third one when humanity's "creative" defense against the machines turned out to be machine guns mounted on forklifts.


Edited by Lightning Slim - 2/16/12 at 11:56am
post #3 of 245

The Matrix movie deserve lots of credit for getting Hugo Weaving to the Hollywood forefront.

 

I get stymied at the idiotic conceit of the "scorched sky" to force the whole human batteries thing.  The machines can't use nuclear power?  Geothermal?  They're machines, they won't care about radiation!

post #4 of 245

Why a human battery, anyway? Why not rabbits or elephants? Less need for a complicated Matrix system.

post #5 of 245

Elephants don't look good in skin-tight black vinyl...or so I've heard.  

post #6 of 245
Because elephants didn't try to destroy the machines.

Besides, Ganesh would be harder to conquer.
post #7 of 245

Aren't humans a net energy drain?  Isn't the amount of energy you could pull out of a human less than the amount needed to keep it alive?

How can you use humans as batteries then?  This movie makes no sense.

post #8 of 245

Some of you guys are so god-damned literal.

post #9 of 245

The Animatrix short The Second Rennisance gives a good theory on why the machines went about using humans as batteries, and even going so far as to create a virtual world for them to live out their lives without having to know the horror of their existence, actually: that the machines are still trying fulfill their initial program and serve the humans, albeit in a way that doesn't involve them being destroyed.

post #10 of 245
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Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

Some of you guys are so god-damned literal.


At first I read it as 'liberal.'  Hahahaha

 

post #11 of 245

Both are accurate.

post #12 of 245

It really wasn't the time for a new Matrix discussion.

post #13 of 245

I'm not sure there will ever be time for another Matrix discussion. It happened, it was fun the first time around, it overstayed it's welcome, and now it's over with.

post #14 of 245

It's really very simple. Some people were down with the type of allegorical, metaphorical, symbol-laced, multi-media saga the Wachowskis were trying to tell (or at the very least admired them for even attempting such a thing within the context of a major Hollywood blockbuster film franchise) and some found it overloaded, pretentious and that story was sacrificed on the alter of symbolism.

 

I fall into the former camp, but can see how so many fell into the latter. They're still amongst my very favorite film franschises tho I don't mind admitting.

post #15 of 245

Evidently not, as this immediately became the last Matrix discussion I remember seeing here.

 

SROZLY GUYZ WHY DOES THIS MOVEE HAVE THING THAT MAKE MOVEE HAPPENS???

post #16 of 245

I'm sorry you guys.  :(

post #17 of 245
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Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

It's really very simple. Some people were down with the type of allegorical, metaphorical, symbol-laced, multi-media saga the Wachowskis were trying to tell (or at the very least admired them for even attempting such a thing within the context of a major Hollywood blockbuster film franchise) and some found it overloaded, pretentious and that story was sacrificed on the alter of symbolism.

 

I fall into the former camp, but can see how so many fell into the latter. They're still amongst my very favorite film franschises tho I don't mind admitting.



What can you do, Rain Dog?

 

Some people just aren't Matrix fans.

 

bennett+2.jpg

post #18 of 245
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Originally Posted by neoolong View Post

I'm sorry you guys.  :(


Go to your room.
 

 

post #19 of 245

The story I heard was that the Wachowskis actually wanted the machines to be using humans (or more specifically their brains) as giant computing parallel processors but that executives thought the audience wouldn't understand that and forced to make it that they were using humans as battery power, which of course no end of scientists have been debunking from the very beginning. I have no proof for this but I'm inclined to believe it as the problem with using humans as power was obvious from the outset (as well as so many obvious and better alternatives like nuclear, geothermal, wind, tide etc etc) and I'm sure they knew that from the start.

 

Also, they do manage to wind that back somewhat at the end of Reloaded when Neo says to the The Architect that the machines need humans to survive, he replies that there's levels of survival they're prepared to accept without them which makes me think it something other than just a power source that humans bring to the machines but something more abstract that must be useful to them like our way of thinking which they can't directly duplicate and is quite unique in that respect.


Edited by Shan - 2/16/12 at 10:26pm
post #20 of 245

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Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post


Go to your room.
 

 


Shut up!  You're not even my real mom!

post #21 of 245
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Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

 

I get stymied at the idiotic conceit of the "scorched sky" to force the whole human batteries thing.  The machines can't use nuclear power?  Geothermal?  They're machines, they won't care about radiation!

 

Did you read the article?  The guy theorized as to why the machines do that.

 

He raises some interesting things in that piece.  The first film is brilliant, the sequels were letdowns, but I've moved past them enough to enjoy the philosophical merits the brothers were trying to express.  Of course, every film is open to interpretation.  

 

post #22 of 245
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Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

Did you read the article?  The guy theorized as to why the machines do that.

 

He raises some interesting things in that piece.  The first film is brilliant, the sequels were letdowns, but I've moved past them enough to enjoy the philosophical merits the brothers were trying to express.  Of course, every film is open to interpretation.  

 



Not the whole thing, I couldn't help hearing it in Tom Cruise voice from his Matt Lauer interview.

 

Where does he address why the machines couldn't use another power source?  Or is it because they needed the humans, and were trying to take care of them?

 

Must have been a republican administration in office when the humans decided to kill the whole biosphere so that the machines couldn't use solar power.

post #23 of 245
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Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post


Where does he address why the machines couldn't use another power source? 

 

He theorized the machines use humans for batteries to motivate zion to fight, continuing the A.I. experiment.

 

post #24 of 245

They should have just thrown in somewhere some sort of methane composting power generation to go along with it.  And/ or "Human's are also delicious!".

post #25 of 245

I like theory and it also makes me want to go back and watch the series again.

 

One of the things that irks me from the series was the role of the Merovingian and Persephone.  Were they supposed to be Neo and Trinity's negative?  I never understood their inclusion. 

 

My view towards the series itself is it's cool.  I can watch the first over and over and it's just as fun t me then as now, also little clues that the Matrix was inspired by though not in Chicago was also pretty neat.  The R-Series, while many almost want to deny their existence I found them entertaining but both seemed really stiff.  For movies talking about love it seemed extremely dry and humorless, unlike the first which had a couple funny moments of snark.  The extremely long dance in Reloaded still makes no sense to me and Neo being transported to Mobil Ave. Station seemed out of left field as was Smith's arc to being an unsatisfied program to multiplying himself to becoming the very virus that he dogged humans being.  Like I said it's entertaining but after 13 years since the first and 10 since the last I'm still at a loss over the philosophical aspects.

post #26 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

Did you read the article?  The guy theorized as to why the machines do that.

 

He raises some interesting things in that piece.  The first film is brilliant, the sequels were letdowns, but I've moved past them enough to enjoy the philosophical merits the brothers were trying to express.  Of course, every film is open to interpretation.  

 


I don't think I ever rewatched any of the movies in the series completely but there's definitely parts of the sequels I liked to watch more than once. What I did like was how it went from a situation where it was simply man vs machine in the first movie to being revealed that it's much more complex than that.

 

My favourite part of the whole series was the part with the Architect, when it's revealed that actually the machines won completely and their victory was absolute, humanity is in fact just one piece of a battle in factional machine politics.

 

My interpretation of it is that the machines didn't need humanity (hence the response of "There's levels of survival we're prepared to accept when Neo said the machines needed humans to survive) but there was certainly some sort of benefit in keeping them around. Zion and The Matrix was set up and whatever it is humans provided was evident in The Matrix somehow.

 

The problem is that the system is unavoidably imperfect and accumulates errors and hence needs to be rebooted periodically and hence the need for The One. Rather than being the saviour for the human race, the analogy I like to think of is it's just like having to defrag your computer periodically. This cycle has repeated many times.

 

However, at the time of the movie, The One this time around was different (because he was the first one to have a girlfriend says the Architect) and presumably there'd never been anything like Smith being able to replicate like this was also something that had never been seen before. I think the Oracle decided to change the status quo and gambled everything, success would lead to a new paradigm that she thought would be fairer but failure would lead to the end of everything, somehow she set it in motion and helped make the end result come about.

 

It seems like Smith was just as manipulated as everyone else, the humans and machines was put in a situation had to change and all sides were forced to make a new deal. I noted that the machines always kept their word regardless of their personality, be it the Architect, the Merovingian or the Oracle. I presume that Smith would have kept his deal with Cypher too.

post #27 of 245
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Originally Posted by Gen. Bulldog 54 View Post

 

One of the things that irks me from the series was the role of the Merovingian and Persephone.  Were they supposed to be Neo and Trinity's negative?  I never understood their inclusion. 


More or less. They're the first two programs to question and recognize their roles in the system and opt out of it entirely in favor of pure hedonism, whereas Neo and Trinity have no idea, but play their parts blind. The first meeting with the Merovingian is all about trying to suss out whether Neo and Co really know what it is they're after or whether they were simply "sent here".

 

post #28 of 245
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Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post


More or less. They're the first two programs to question and recognize their roles in the system and opt out of it entirely in favor of pure hedonism, whereas Neo and Trinity have no idea, but play their parts blind. The first meeting with the Merovingian is all about trying to suss out whether Neo and Co really know what it is they're after or whether they were simply "sent here".

 



I thought the "accepted" place of the Merovingian was that he was the first Neo.  Merovingian kings and all that jazz.

 

*EDIT* And that Persephone was the first Trinity and that's why she wanted to kiss Neo because the spark was gone from her relationship.


Edited by TzuDohNihm - 2/20/12 at 6:13am
post #29 of 245

The Merovingian and Persephone are both definitely programs. Otherwise, there's no way they would have survived the Matrix being rebooted 7 times.

 

Persephone goes along with the whole "programs doing what they're not supposed to" think the Oracle talks about. She feeds off human emotion and sexual energy. She's a succubus.

post #30 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post

The Merovingian and Persephone are both definitely programs. Otherwise, there's no way they would have survived the Matrix being rebooted 7 times.

 

Persephone goes along with the whole "programs doing what they're not supposed to" think the Oracle talks about. She feeds off human emotion and sexual energy. She's a succubus.



Is The One a program?  If so then the Merovingian would survive and could also, given his ability to change the code himself(which speaks to his survival even if he isn't a program but was the first One), keep Persephone around.  His whole speech about the illusion of choice speaks to his disillusionment that arose from his own meeting with the Architect, no?

 

I know Persephone is a succubus when we meet her but has she always been that way or has her time with Mr. Cause and Effect left her without the love that Neo/Trinity have now that she used to have?

post #31 of 245

The biggest problem with the series is Neo.  The brothers basically blew their wad in the first Matrix by having him become an all powerful god at the end, giving him no room to progress in the sequels.  Neo spends the rest of his time in the sequels just looking confused, not knowing what to do, and playing around with his god like powers, but he's Superman and Superman has no complexities and its a boring character because of that.  One of the best things about the first Matrix is seeing Neo try and fulfill his potential...at the end he essentially accomplishes that, and the sequels become boring because he doesn't have anywhere to go.  The only vital thing he does in the sequels is kill the rogue Agent Smith, but he could have done that while also in the process of gaining his One like powers...developing over time in each film.  You could still include the architect, and I feel it would've been an even more powerful scene if Neo had no yet achieved his god like One status yet, throwing a kink into the proceedings. 

 

The first movie should have ended right after Neo saved Trinity from the helicopter.  It was a powerful enough statement that he'd started his journey to becoming The One by knowing she'd grab onto the rope with his intuition...coupled with moving as fast as the agents with the slow motion bullet dodging shot, this was PLENTY and showed that Neo had promise.  Morpheus goes "do you believe it now Trinity?" at the end of the helicopter explosion.  It was a powerful scene, and I don't understand why they couldn't just end the movie there.  Trinity also professes her love for Neo and they spend the sequel as a boring couple because, again, the wad had been blown and there is nowhere for the relationship to progress.  A better alternative would have been for Trinity and Neo to have romantic chemistry, but leave it at that, and allow their relationship to blossom into love in the sequels.  Trinity's death in the third movie would have been more tragic that way because they'd have just recently fallen in love...not been in love since the first movie and having nowhere interesting to go with that relationship.

 

If the brothers truly had sequels in mind from the beginning, they would have waited to give Neo the complete "One" treatment in the sequels, giving him room to progress.  It's like if Luke became a fully fledged jedi at the end of A New Hope, which would've been silly...Luke was shown to have extraordinary talent by blowing up the deathstar, but he was not yet a jedi, there was simply no need for it then.  The first movie had plenty of action, adventure, excitement and promise of things to come, without throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in the last act, much like The Matrix.  The sequels left plenty of room for Luke's development and they were vastly more interesting films because of that, especially Empire (Jedi was silly, but the throne room stuff is amazing).  I feel like The Matrix trilogy could've truly been on the level of the Star Wars original trilogy, but the brothers really blew it.  Such a sad, missed opportunity there.  The scripts were terrible I believe, because they no longer had an interesting journey for the main character to undertake...

post #32 of 245


I agree to an extent, though I don't think it was the biggest problem per se. I'm also willing to forgive them somewhat because I don't think the brothers were guaranteed the next two if the first one flopped, so they wanted to pull out all the stops on the movie they were making at the time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

The biggest problem with the series is Neo.  The brothers basically blew their wad in the first Matrix by having him become an all powerful god at the end, giving him no room to progress in the sequels.  Neo spends the rest of his time in the sequels just looking confused, not knowing what to do, and playing around with his god like powers, but he's Superman and Superman has no complexities and its a boring character because of that.  One of the best things about the first Matrix is seeing Neo try and fulfill his potential...at the end he essentially accomplishes that, and the sequels become boring because he doesn't have anywhere to go.  The only vital thing he does in the sequels is kill the rogue Agent Smith, but he could have done that while also in the process of gaining his One like powers...developing over time in each film.  You could still include the architect, and I feel it would've been an even more powerful scene if Neo had no yet achieved his god like One status yet, throwing a kink into the proceedings. 

 

The first movie should have ended right after Neo saved Trinity from the helicopter.  It was a powerful enough statement that he'd started his journey to becoming The One by knowing she'd grab onto the rope with his intuition...coupled with moving as fast as the agents with the slow motion bullet dodging shot, this was PLENTY and showed that Neo had promise.  Morpheus goes "do you believe it now Trinity?" at the end of the helicopter explosion.  It was a powerful scene, and I don't understand why they couldn't just end the movie there.  Trinity also professes her love for Neo and they spend the sequel as a boring couple because, again, the wad had been blown and there is nowhere for the relationship to progress.  A better alternative would have been for Trinity and Neo to have romantic chemistry, but leave it at that, and allow their relationship to blossom into love in the sequels.  Trinity's death in the third movie would have been more tragic that way because they'd have just recently fallen in love...not been in love since the first movie and having nowhere interesting to go with that relationship.

 

If the brothers truly had sequels in mind from the beginning, they would have waited to give Neo the complete "One" treatment in the sequels, giving him room to progress.  It's like if Luke became a fully fledged jedi at the end of A New Hope, which would've been silly...Luke was shown to have extraordinary talent by blowing up the deathstar, but he was not yet a jedi, there was simply no need for it then.  The first movie had plenty of action, adventure, excitement and promise of things to come, without throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in the last act, much like The Matrix.  The sequels left plenty of room for Luke's development and they were vastly more interesting films because of that, especially Empire (Jedi was silly, but the throne room stuff is amazing).  I feel like The Matrix trilogy could've truly been on the level of the Star Wars original trilogy, but the brothers really blew it.  Such a sad, missed opportunity there.  The scripts were terrible I believe, because they no longer had an interesting journey for the main character to undertake...



 

post #33 of 245
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Originally Posted by bendrix View Post

 I don't think the brothers were guaranteed the next two if the first one flopped, so they wanted to pull out all the stops on the movie they were making at the time. 


I've thought about that, but it's no excuse.  The Matrix would've still been a perfectly wonderful movie and a huge hit without Neo becoming a god.  Again, I go back to A New Hope...Lucas knew there were possible sequels, but he still made a totally satisfying film without tossing everything into it.  I'd have more respect for the Wachowskis if they showed some restraint.  

post #34 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


I've thought about that, but it's no excuse.  The Matrix would've still been a perfectly wonderful movie and a huge hit without Neo becoming a god.



Indeed, what Hero's Journey epic would not be improved by having the Hero not confront and defeat the main villain, not get the girl, and only sorta halfway fulfill his destiny?

post #35 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Indeed, what Hero's Journey epic would not be improved by having the Hero not confront and defeat the main villain, not get the girl, and only sorta halfway fulfill his destiny?


That all happens in the sequels.  My point was that they essentially made Neo a "jedi" at the end of the first movie, leaving no room for progress in the sequels.  Neo does get/rescue the girl in the first movie when he saves Trinity, and their embrace immediately after is a visual symbol of the guy getting the girl, without them necessarily falling in love, it was a great start to a potential relationship...Tank even says "I knew it...he's the one."  It was a hint that Neo probably is the savior of Zion and it's a satisfying conclusion up to that point.  And Neo does not fulfill his destiny at end of the first movie, he merely becomes all powerful, which seems cart before the horse to me.  His destiny is part of the prophecy, that stated the One would free Zion, which Neo does in the sequels, but he's already a god, so he has no progression between the end of the first movie and the end of the third.

 

Not to mention the first film did a poor job of establishing the love aspect because there is virtually no chemistry between Neo and Trinity and no buildup of a romance...she just professes her love for him at the end because he needs to come back to life.  As far as confronting the main villain, Neo could have done that without defeating him...they bring back Agent Smith in the sequels anyway.  Same happened in A New Hope, Darth Vader is not defeated and plays a bigger role in the sequels.

 

post #36 of 245


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


That all happens in the sequels.  My point was that they essentially made Neo a "jedi" at the end of the first movie, leaving no room for progress in the sequels.  Neo does get/rescue the girl in the first movie when he saves Trinity, and their embrace immediately after is a visual symbol of the guy getting the girl, without them necessarily falling in love, it was a great start to a potential relationship...Tank even says "I knew it...he's the one."  It was a hint that Neo probably is the savior of Zion and it's a satisfying conclusion up to that point.  And Neo does not fulfill his destiny at end of the first movie, he merely becomes all powerful, which seems cart before the horse to me.  His destiny is part of the prophecy, that stated the One would free Zion, which Neo does in the sequels, but he's already a god, so he has no progression between the end of the first movie and the end of the third.

 

Not to mention the first film did a poor job of establishing the love aspect because there is virtually no chemistry between Neo and Trinity and no buildup of a romance...she just professes her love for him at the end because he needs to come back to life.  As far as confronting the main villain, Neo could have done that without defeating him...they bring back Agent Smith in the sequels anyway.  Same happened in A New Hope, Darth Vader is not defeated and plays a bigger role in the sequels.

 

 

There's several different things here, which I will try to separate out for clarity's sake.

 

1)  While Star Wars is a great model for a series that allowed its bumpkin hero to step up at the climax while still leaving him room to grow, it's not a perfect analogue for The Matrix.   Luke and Darth Vader never even meet face-to-face, so its not as emotionally important for them to have a direct confrontation.  To really emulate Star Wars, you need to rejigger the early portions of the film to establish Smith as a more personal enemy of Morpheus (aka Obi-wan), and give Neo a more concrete sub-boss to triumph over at the end (aka a Death Star), otherwise his journey becomes too esoteric.  Sure, maybe the characters understand how unprecedented it is that he reached Lvl. 50 and unlocked the Electric Boogaloo Achievement, but it's hard for the audience to really feel that in the way we do when the bad guy blows up.

 

I know you weren't suggesting it was a 1-to-1 translation, just pointing out that it's not as simple as grafting Star War's ending on The Matrix's body.

2)  I think you're selling the romance short, in that they share several small moments throughout that build their rapport.  It's not Casablanca by any means, but for an action movie with especially stoic leads, it's pretty solid.   Mileage obviously varies on that one.

 

3) You're right in that one of the bigger problems the sequels faced was that Neo became too powerful at the end of the first film.  However, that can be fixed without scuttling the resolutions to the hero's relationships with the main villain and love interest.  Why stop after the helicopter rescue?  Why not after the subway fight?  He defeats the villain without killing him permanently, doesn't demonstrate the abilities (flying, telekinesis, invincibility) that require them to bend over backwards to find ways to challenge/sideline him in the sequels, and you can easily move up the squiddy/profession of love stuff in the real world from when he gets shot to when Smith is choking him out on the tracks.  

 

 

These are changes to The Matrix suggested for improving the sequels, however.  The main thing I think you're overlooking is that The Matrix became a phenomenon because while it was innovative in many ways, it married its genre mash-ups and filmmaking techniques to an extremely traditional heroic structure.   Saying that "movie X is good, but it would be even better if it just didn't have an ending" sounds suspect to me in general, but suggesting that this particular one would've found the same success without providing the standard emotional payoffs seems especially iffy.  And that's to say nothing of the question whether it's ever a good idea to pad out an original story in anticipation of sequels to begin with.


Edited by Schwartz - 2/20/12 at 1:23pm
post #37 of 245


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

 

There's several different things here, which I will try to separate out for clarity's sake.

 

1)  While Star Wars is a great model for a series that allowed its bumpkin hero to step up at the climax while still leaving him room to grow, it's not a perfect analogue for The Matrix.   Luke and Darth Vader never even meet face-to-face, so its not as emotionally important for them to have a direct confrontation.  To really emulate Star Wars, you need to rejigger the early portions of the film to establish Smith as a more personal enemy of Morpheus (aka Obi-wan), and give Neo a more concrete sub-boss to triumph over at the end (aka a Death Star), otherwise his journey becomes too esoteric.  Sure, maybe the characters understand how unprecedented it is that he reached Lvl. 50 and unlocked the Electric Boogaloo Achievement, but it's hard for the audience to really feel that in the way we do when the bad guy blows up.

 

I know you weren't suggesting it was a 1-to-1 translation, just pointing out that it's not as simple as grafting Star War's ending on The Matrix's body.

2)  I think you're selling the romance short, in that they share several small moments throughout that build their rapport.  It's not Casablanca by any means, but for an action movie with especially stoic leads, it's pretty solid.   Mileage obviously varies on that one.

 

3) You're right in that one of the bigger problems the sequels faced was that Neo became too powerful at the end of the first film.  However, that can be fixed without scuttling the resolutions to the hero's relationships with the main villain and love interest.  Why stop after the helicopter rescue?  Why not after the subway fight?  He defeats the villain without killing him permanently, doesn't demonstrate the abilities (flying, telekinesis, invincibility) that require them to bend over backwards to find ways to challenge/sideline him in the sequels, and you can easily move up the squiddy/profession of love stuff in the real world from when he gets shot to when Smith is choking him out on the tracks.  

 

 

These are changes to The Matrix suggested for improving the sequels, however.  The main thing I think you're overlooking is that The Matrix became a phenomenon because while it was innovative in many ways, it married its genre mash-ups and filmmaking techniques to an extremely traditional heroic structure.   Saying that "movie X is good, but it would be even better if it just didn't have an ending" sounds suspect to me in general, but suggesting that this particular one would've found the same success without providing the standard emotional payoffs seems especially iffy.  And that's to say nothing of the question whether it's ever a good idea to pad out an original story in anticipation of sequels to begin with.


I see your point.  My thing is that the sequels DID happen, whether or not they knew the first film would be successful, the brothers always said they planned 3 movies.  And if that's the case, I feel they could have found a better way of having their hero triumph at the end of the first movie, while leaving room for him to develop.  Basically in the sequels, Neo has almost no character development, mostly because he's already achieved 90% of his hero's journey goal.  The rest happens in the final moments of the third movie.  Since the Matrix series is basically Neo's journey, it sucks that most of his essential progress was shoehorned into several minutes at the end of the first film, simply because the brothers were afraid there wouldn't be any sequels(?)  

 

post #38 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

I see your point.  My thing is that the sequels DID happen, whether or not they knew the first film would be successful, the brothers always said they planned 3 movies.  And if that's the case, I feel they could have found a better way of having their hero triumph at the end of the first movie, while leaving room for him to develop.  Basically in the sequels, Neo has almost no character development, mostly because he's already achieved 90% of his hero's journey goal.  The rest happens in the final moments of the third movie.  Since the Matrix series is basically Neo's journey, it sucks that most of his essential progress was shoehorned into several minutes at the end of the first film, simply because the brothers were afraid there wouldn't be any sequels(?)  

 


I don't think it's necessarily that there wasn't any more room for character development, but just that the sequels botched it the way they did with so much else.  Their best move from a story perspective, revealing the entire purpose of The One to be a sham, is great because it means Neo's ascension doesn't have to be the narrative dead end that you point out.  Unfortunately, we spend half of the sequel runtime just getting to that point.

 

I don't know, this is all speculative obviously, I just think that the original film is a near-perfect action epic on its own, undiminished by the lackluster sequels.  Could those sequels have been better by lifting some of the bits that made the original so effective?  Sure.  Would doing so have improved the series as a whole?  Debatable, but it still seems like in the best case scenario you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

 

post #39 of 245


I can see your point Ambler, but I think one of the the Wachowskis' main goals with the sequels was to deconstruct the idea of the all-conquering Campbellian hero. The films hammer the point home time and time again that this is all part of a wider game played by the machines, and that The One is really not much more than a recurring prop that they use from time to time when they want to cull the herd of free humans.


I think they made Neo achieve his full power at the end of the first movie not just to make it a self-contained narrative in case they never got to do the sequels, but to lull the audience into a false sense of security. We see neo become The One as expected, and we expect the sequels to follow convention and depict him being awesome and kicking the shit out of the bad guys.


Instead, he finds out that this isn't going to be the case, and what looked like messianic destiny turns out to be him essentially being the friendly face of genocide. Neo's powerful, but it's the reasons he has that power and how he deals with it that becomes the driving force behind his story. It's why I'll always have time for the sequels despite their flaws, the fact that they took the time-worn 'Chosen One' trope and essentially pulled it inside out.

post #40 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

I can see your point Ambler, but I think one of the the Wachowskis' main goals with the sequels was to deconstruct the idea of the all-conquering Campbellian hero.


Yeah, they just didn't go about it satisfactorily IMO.  Several more drafts of the scripts would've solved the problem.

post #41 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post


Yeah, they just didn't go about it satisfactorily IMO.  Several more drafts of the scripts would've solved the problem.



I diagree - in my opinion, it worked like gangbusters. You're looking at this as a screenwriter and deciding the story you would have written - but you didn't write it.

 

You seem to be judging the sequels on what you wanted them to be and what you wanted them to achieve rather than on what they actually are and what the Wachowskis were setting out to do.

 

I dunno, it smacks of hubris to me.

post #42 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

I diagree - in my opinion, it worked like gangbusters. You're looking at this as a screenwriter and deciding the story you would have written - but you didn't write it.

 

You seem to be judging the sequels on what you wanted them to be and what you wanted them to achieve rather than on what they actually are and what the Wachowskis were setting out to do.

 

I dunno, it smacks of hubris to me.


I'm getting flashbacks from the mid 2000s.  

 

godfather_part_3.jpg?w=604

post #43 of 245

And like the mid 2000's it'll come down to what it always has - some people dig what the Wachowskis were attempting, plenty don't.

post #44 of 245

I totally dig what the Wachowskis were attempting.  Still think the sequels were frustrating affairs that could've used more discipline in the writing stage.

post #45 of 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

I totally dig what the Wachowskis were attempting.  Still think the sequels were frustrating affairs that could've used more discipline in the writing stage.



But discipline to be what exactly? A more straight-forward tradtional heroes journey sequel?

 

These films are attempting to subvert that classic structure while simultaniously exploring themes and concepts as vast and varied as Baudrilliards philosophies, Platos The Cave, Descartes, Hinduism, Gnosticism, Messianic mythologies, existentialism, nihilism while simultaniously referencing books, films and a wealth of other pop culture besides.

 

I can see how some people are turned off by the sheer array of thematic, symbolic and allegorical elements on offer, I for one am simply stunned they were able to fit as much in there as they did without it becoming a total mess.

post #46 of 245

Not more straight-forward...  because I love all the subversion that they're going for thematically.  It's certainly impressive how much of that itch they were able to indulge in with the sequels and I admire the balls they had to do it.

 

When I say discipline, what I'm talking about is the fact that the film had a sense of "we're going to do whatever we want YEAH!" now that the brothers had been given a blank check.  It had a lot of issues similar to that of the prequels, where it suddenly felt like the visual FX sequences were the point.  The films really do become a series of characters sitting/standing around and talking to each other (with awfully TV-level blocking).  And they're not really two characters talking.  It's more like one is going off on a lecture while the other character nods and goes, WHY?  HOW?  THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE! 

 

Of course, the first film had this too.  It had to, since Neo was being inducted into this world along with the audience.  It immediately has the advantage of being that 'origin' tale.  But it still took the effort to make all of that exposition VISUAL and DRAMATIC. 

 

The first film had a fantastic mix of blending the cool action and the narrative.  The sequels had those two things almost completely separated.  They might've had some thematic relevance to concepts the Wachowskis wanted to explore, but that doesn't excuse how boring and pointless they often felt (while still being cool... I guess).  

 

So that's what I mean by 'more disciplined.'  Now, of course that balance between subverting expectations and telling a satisfying story is almost an impossibly tricky thing to accomplish.  It just feels like they didn't bother striking that balance at all.  After all, they didn't really have to after the impact the first film made.

post #47 of 245
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Of course, the first film had this too.  It had to, since Neo was being inducted into this world along with the audience.  It immediately has the advantage of being that 'origin' tale.  But it still took the effort to make all of that exposition VISUAL and DRAMATIC. 

 

The first film had a fantastic mix of blending the cool action and the narrative.  The sequels had those two things almost completely separated.  They might've had some thematic relevance to concepts the Wachowskis wanted to explore, but that doesn't excuse how boring and pointless they often felt (while still being cool... I guess).  

 

So that's what I mean by 'more disciplined.'  Now, of course that balance between subverting expectations and telling a satisfying story is almost an impossibly tricky thing to accomplish.  It just feels like they didn't bother striking that balance at all.  After all, they didn't really have to after the impact the first film made.



I dunno, I'm just never gonna get onboard with this because the 'pointless' and 'boring' bits you mention I find utterly fascinating and gripping. 

post #48 of 245

Then here is where we part ways!

post #49 of 245

On this one I've kinda accepted I'm walking a rarely trodden path. The Matrix Saga for me is like the sort of high and low art mashup I never thought I'd see in a major Hollywood blockbuster - let alone three of them. It's a philosophy lecture and a religious studies class in the format of a live action anime-styled cyberpunk action epic extravaganza. It's not for everyone, but boy-howdy does it push my buttons.

 

lonely-man.jpg

post #50 of 245

Where's Diva???

 

She's be with you all the way, RD!

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