The new “Matrix” movie coming out this holiday season is a bit of a disaster, but while it boils down to the action, characters, pacing, visuals, and most of the other bars, it pulls off a surprisingly good: have something compelling to say about our relationship with technology.
(âThe Matrix: Resurrectionâ spoilers ahead, but reallyâ¦ it’s kind of messed up.)
The original “Matrix”‘s The premise that the world we live in isn’t real wasn’t entirely original, but its deep sci-fi twist – a ‘Terminator’ robocalypse using simulation to appease the masses – was compelling and well. executed. Back then, people had not yet developed the healthy fear of technology that we now see on a daily basis: smartphones did not exist (and therefore our unhealthy dependence on them either), robots were rudimentary, l ‘AI was still science fiction and social media meant ICQ and chat rooms. blessed ignorance!
This meant that the fears and threats were only superficially technological: They were machines that had turned the human race into living batteries, but ultimately the paranoia was about an Illuminati hiding the truth of the world from you, an idea that goes back. for centuries. .
âResurrectionsâ is different. In the two decades since the release of “The Matrix”, smartphones, AI, and social media (among others) have become not only influential technologies, but defining characteristics of this era, both in terms of what they allow and the new terrors they inflict. .
The fundamental threat described by “Resurrections” is not that of total deception but of targeted disinformation – perhaps the clearest and most current danger of our time. The proposed solution is not simply to pierce the veil, which as shown in the previous films is only partial, but to live sincerely and humanely, in harmony and in dialogue with others.
The situations in which we find the main characters – as they are – at the beginning of the film represent different traps that we can fall into. The initially compelling, meta-revamp of the original trilogy into a game series is the half-truth more convincing than a lie; Neo, acclaimed but professionally and creatively stuck, is in therapy to treat his unhealthy perception of games as a reality. Trinity had a comfortable routine as the path of least resistance. And the (new) Morpheus lives in an unmissable echo chamber.
It’s not at all difficult to relate these ideas to the gravest threats inherent in social media: self-delusion, doomscrolling, and radicalization. Machines are machines of influence, making their ideas resemble his own.
It is no longer so much that “this is not the real world”, even if it is not, but rather that “my thoughts are not my real thoughts”. Well if not yours then who? Responnse this question, and you find your oppressor.
Elsewhere, we find failed approaches to thinking for oneself. Outside, in the real world, humanity is at a standstill. The original revolutionary Morpheus is gone, and the new leadership is hampered by risk aversion in the face of the doomsday threat. Here we see echoes of an ineffective government, unable to take the bold steps necessary to move forward.
In the warehouse, we have – even clumsily rendered – a sort of neophobic (pun intended and intentional) mentality of baby boomers of total rejection in the wild man Merv: “We had grace, we had style, we had a conversation, not thisâ¦ beep-beep-beep! Art, movies, books, it was better! Originality mattered! He wants to return to a bygone era of perceived greatness: a whiny, tainted barbarian blaming technology for its own inability to adapt.
And finally, there is the presence of a civil war among the machines: nuances of technology, unsustainable but unable to stop, begin to eat each other.
What âRÃ©surrectionsâ proposes as a way forward is in a way a âlet’s all work together! But the subtext enriches it with a specific message: the common enemy is technological in nature, but not technology itself. And escape is an illusion if you are trapped in the prison of your own mind.
What is important in the film is the rejection of the programming that we adopted as our own, whether it was mischievously and deliberately designed by a high-tech opponent or whether it happened more naturally for lack of self-reflection.
Coexistence is the path we need to take, and to get there, we need to challenge our own preconceptions about each other. That humans and the hated machines can even work together is shocking to Neo. Let’s not go too far on the political side – I don’t think this is an allegory of bipartisanship – but rather consider the new terminology introduced. They are not robots but “synthients” – a pretty coat rack, offered in a soft correction that reflects the issue of pronouns and labels. Gender is a spectrum – why not consciousness?
In “Resurrections”, it is the coexistence with the other which is the only realistic way, both in the “real world” where the robots and the humans have to share the planet, and in the Matrix, where even the AI. become irritated under the authoritarian management of their roles. and agency.
In the end, after the requisite amor vincit omnia moment and subsequent exaggerated action scenes, the final showdown is one perspective. The “analyst,” who gave humanity the cord with which to bond, says people are happier this way. Neo and Trinity propose that the technological treadmill that people supposedly choose to walk on only works because the system was designed to prevent real connections and real joy.
Far from solipsistic barbarians or comfortably passive leadership, ‘Resurrections’ endorses an inclusive and collaborative world where people are free to learn and grow – because the tools and entities that have kept them ignorant and divided are the same that provide illumination and connection.
As an action flick, Lana Wachowski’s flick barely sticks together – it’s a mess (I watched “Commando” as a palette cleaner). But beyond his questionable execution, the mess he portrays is the message. We can see ourselves and our modern dilemma painted with unsettling precision in the film, and the director’s belief that we are capable of doing more if we don’t question the world but our own self-imposed limits is the “Red pill” that she suggests we take.