In preparation for when The matrix: resurrections drops, December 22, I reviewed the Matrix trilogy (1999-2003) which provides a foundation (links below). Last time I offered a map of what happened in The Matrix: Revolutions, the third film in the trilogy. Now for the details of this movie:
There is an important scene that must be mentioned before Neo is saved from digital purgatory. Looking for Neo, Morpheus and Trinity visit the Oracle, and we get much needed exposure regarding his relationship with The Matrix.
The Oracle turns out to be – more or less – an avatar of chaos, or variables, and the Architect, is an avatar for order, or probability. Thus, the film balances its conflict between nihilism and belief by appealing to dualism. The goal of the Oracle is freedom and peace, and the goal of the Architect is to maintain the status quo. This does not mean that the Architect necessarily wants war, but he is ready to do whatever is necessary, provided that the order of the Matrix is maintained.
We also learn that the Architect did not know that the last human city, If we, was going to be destroyed. He was basing his statement to Neo on probability. But the Oracle is willing to bet on the human element to compensate for this probability. Now it’s unclear how the Oracle could possibly want something that is contrary to what the Machines want, but let’s no longer spend time berating this trilogy for picking and choosing the Sensitivity of Machines. This dead horse is pulp at this point.
So, once Neo is saved, he visits the Oracle and leaves the Matrix. We have no idea how it got off since it wasn’t plugged in initially. He just woke up. As the other characters prepare for the final battle for Zion, Neo concludes that the only way to end things is to go to Machine City and deal with the Machines directly.
Remember, the prophecy is not real. So at this point the viewer is left with one of two conclusions. Either chaos reigns, and it’s a coin toss as to who’s going to win, or there’s a divine hand guiding things outside of the matrix. To the credit of the film, it takes the second position. The theme of belief returns to human characters in the real world, but the theme of dualism remains in The Matrix.
It gets confusing because there is no character that serves as a moral compass. Morpheus falters, and the New Believer who starts a cynic, Morpheus Niobe’s kind of girlfriend, receives his divine revelation from the Oracle who once again predicts things outside of the Matrix. But if the Oracle is just a computer program, then how is it… whatever.
Ultimately the message of belief is confused and the question “believe in What?” is never discussed. The characters keep saying that they believe in Neo. But why? Prophecy doesn’t exist, so why should they be?
Either way, Neo and Trinity take another ship and approach the city. Along the way, they are assaulted by an army of machines but Neo blows up most of them with his… mental magic… Matrix Wi-Fi? Either way, he and Trinity still crash inside the city and Trinity is killed. Neo continues and confronts the Chief of Machines.
It proves Agent_Smith from previous films has infected the whole matrix, and Neo is the only one who can stop it, so he makes a deal with the machines. He will destroy Smith if the machines stop their assault on Sion.
Now, how this happens is probably the most confusing part of this whole trilogy. Agent Smith and Neo have a giant final fight. While I am a huge fan of a Dragon ball z show as the next guy, the purpose of this fight is unclear. Did Neo really think he could defeat Agent Smith on his own but didn’t understand how until Agent Smith gave him a final statement that was somehow programmed into Smith by the Oracle? Or had Neo planned to sacrifice himself from the start?
Either way, Neo lets Smith infect him, and once that happens, the machines send some kind of energy into Neo’s body. Then Agent Smith explodes. And that’s all. The other infected bodies return to normal in The Matrix, but Neo disappears. Presumably, he died because his body was washed away by the machines.
So, in the end, the machines cease their attack on Zion and a treaty is introduced where the humans who wish to be freed from the Matrix are freed. The Oracle and the Architect have a good conversation, and the Oracle ends the movie by hinting that she thinks Neo will return someday.
Maybe it will happen on December 22. I’ll give my final thoughts on the trilogy in the next review.
To familiarize yourself with the Matrix series: 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? (Gary Varner)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) just didn’t load properly. While Part 2 of the Matrix Trilogy offers some interesting ideas and gripping action, the puzzling plot obscures the concepts it should explore. Free will is difficult to explore when, among AIs, Agent Smith can think freely, the Architect cannot grasp the idea, and the Oracle understands but does not have it. (Gary Varner)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003) is spiraling out of control. In the first part of this review of the third film in the Matrix trilogy – anticipating The Matrix: Resurrections (December 22) – we let you know the story. The plot continues to confuse: how did Neo end up in digital purgatory? How can machines fall in love and produce a child? Responses are awaited.