TankGrrl - Annotations On Life

November 07, 2003   (You probably expected to be here.)
  Matrix Revolutions  

Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie! Trust me!

We saw Revolutions tonight and were, well... underwhelmed. I don't want my money back and I will end up getting them all on DVD, but... I was ultimately disappointed. I was promised answers, dammit. Not more riddles. I was told that this story arc had a beginning and end and basically 'all would be revealed'.

The Wachowskis, in the end, couldn't decide if this was a deeply philosophical movie or a kung fu movie. In the end they really only delivered the latter. While pundits on the Net are crying out for all to hear how the philosophy was this and the philosophy was that, from down here these vpoices sound just the same as when any teenager discovers some new school of thought; they're taken with it in breathless abandon and they think surely they're the first to grasp it. There is no new deep and thought-provoking philosophy here, kids. There's Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, some more -isms and a little Descartes and Kafka thrown in (yes, Smith's comment that the purpose of life is that it ends -- that's pure Kafka).

So while people are decrying our lack of vision and imagination for accepting the plot holes left, large and crater-like much like the aftermath of a Neo/Smith fight, and not using our imaginations to fill them in, I say, "hogwash". For some, probably most, of us there was nothing new and revelatory here. There were no new ideas that we couldn't have gained from a day at the library. We didn't need to go away and ponder any deep new ideas. We were given a story, a sci-fi kung fu movie, nothing more and we expected the story-tellers to finish that story. They said they would. But ultimately they did not. Those holes were not left there in some grand master plan. Don't give me that. They were left there because of, if you'll indulge me, 'human error'. I know it will be tempting for those true believers, who insisted after Reloaded that everything would be explained in Revolutions, to take up the 'open ended' mantle and run with it but in time they'll loosen their grip on this tenuous explanation. In the end the brothers did a good job overall but failed to deliver on some promises. But, wow weren't those some amazing fight scenes? ;) The did do one thing; they raised the bar on action (and CGI) movies to dizzying heights.

After the dust settles, the Wachowski brothers will have given us some grand film-making and social events and will go on to new and interesting works in the future. And we'll love them for it no matter what our gripes. In the interim there will be many fan fictions, probably comic books and maybe even a novel or two to fill the gaps in the Matrix story. This will benefit both the brothers and the audience because they will make money from them and, maybe eventually, one of these ancillary outlets will answer the questions the movies never got around to. We can hope. Meanwhile the new 'super chop socky'* genre has been firmly established.

And, before someone jumps on me and says I merely lack imagination, let me assure you that if I wanted to have to fill in a bunch of blanks in someone else's story, I would just sit and daydream my own. No one twenty years from now is going to be talking about the religious/philosophical gumbo that came from the Matrix movies, they'll be talking about 'the super chop socky movies from the 2000s'. Kill Bill, The Matrix Trilogy, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, these will all be corralled together for, in the final analysis, they're all kung fu movies of one sort or another.

The only real and lingering confusion, apart from "what was the brothers' explanation, not what can I imagine to fill in the holes" is this: How in the hell did they manage to make such a dull and lifeless couple out of Neo and Trinity? Every time they started kissing or screwing around I just wanted to look away until it was over. Maybe that's just me...

One last observation (strictly my opinion):
We do not see one real human in any of the movies. People asking why Neo can do all this whack shit in 'the real world' might want to consider that "that ain't the real world, baby". I don't think we ever see the real world. The whole 'struggle' is the people in the real world,plugged in to the real Matrix, dreaming about the Matrix. Their dreaming of it isn't supposed happen. It's just like the first movie, except a couple of layers deeper. Zion is populated with people dream about the Matrix instead of what they're supposed to be dreaming of. Neo can 'do whack shit' in both the dream Matrix we see and Zion because neither is truly real.

* Super Chop Socky: I just coined that. I hope it gets around. I like the sound of it.

Posted by Maggie at November 07, 2003 09:05 PM Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

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