The Matrix Reloaded

I'm just back from seeing The Matrix Reloaded at the Rideau Centre, after evil Zedric asked me what I thought about it at lunch last week. I should note that it was a memorial lunch for Brian Fultz, former Carleton U tech support person and lunchtimer, who died of cancer Friday a week and a bit ago. The movie is a lot like the reviews, maybe a bit better. Other than the overly long dance club scene in the cave, it was interesting.

However, it seems to have been imagined by artists; the Matrix allows some operations but not others that you'd expect to find in virtual reality - you can't suddenly create a motorcycle to escape on. I'm surprised that nobody (AI or Human) has hacked it to do that in a whole century of operation. Drama dictates, I guess. On the other hand, former agent Smith was able to make copies of himself, while other agents could only take over an existing body. Maybe that's another reason for his exile, or quarantine - he violated the art direction rules of the Matrix.

I liked the explanation of Neo being "the one" as just a socialogical trick by the system - he was created to suck up the malcontents. Fits. Though he finds that out in an odd scene at the end where he goes through a lot of effort to get to The Source, and ends up talking to the architect (serious declamation in action) for quite a while. He then chooses door A or door B to leave, filling the film's philosophical theme of Choice or Cause and Effect or free will. Of course, opening one door will result in the destruction of all Humans (or maybe it leads to unpredictability and that is just a worst case prediction by an unimaginative computer system) and the other door leads to the status quo.

There was definitely lots of action in the rest of the movie to make up for that declamation scene. I wonder how much of those stunts was done live and how much was made from post-production digital images. Worth seeing alone for those visuals.

The final fight scene, where Neo turns back the AI combat machines by thinking at them, makes it seem like this is a virtual reality nested in another virtual reality. I'll have to see the third part to find out if that's true.

- Alex

Copyright © 2003 by Alexander G. M. Smith.