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The Matrix: Exposed

"Revolutions" reveals that underneath the philosophy, allegory, and intellectual pretension of "The Matrix" is a great big wad of nothing.

11:00 PM, Nov 4, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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*The same can be said for the process of jacking in and out of the matrix. In the first movie, much of the drama concerns finding safe lines to jump into and out of the matrix. This process has become such an afterthought in "Revolutions" that jacking in is done smoothly, quickly, and always off-screen.

The list of glaring inconsistencies goes on.

WORSE STILL, is the way "Revolutions" abandons the larger thematic issues. The climactic moment in "Reloaded" comes when Neo meets the Architect and learns that Morpheus has his chronology wrong, that there have been several matrixes and Zions. The Architect then gives a long mathematical explanation of what Neo is:

Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here. . . .

The function of the One is now to return to the source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program. After which you will be required to select from the matrix 23 individuals, 16 female, 7 male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the matrix, which coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.

Pretty big news. In "Revolutions" barely a word is spoken about any of this.

In the end, "Revolutions" settles down to a fairly explicit Christian allegory, but even here the Wachowski brothers are confused: Neo is a warrior and if you strip out the symbols, he resembles Muhammad as much as Christ.

IF THERE IS ANYTHING GOOD to be said about "Revolutions," it's that attempted intellectual extrapolation based on "The Matrix" trilogy will probably grind to a halt. After "The Matrix" was released, a fleet of books appeared, with titles like "The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real," "Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in 'The Matrix,'" and "The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in 'The Matrix.'" "Revolutions" will cause many of these authors to blush.

Concerning "Attack of the Clones," Alexandra DuPont (the best movie critic you've never heard of; find her reviews here) wrote:

If these last two "Star Wars" movies have taught me anything, it's that all my prior rantings about "Star Wars" needing to be mythologically and thematically coherent and profound no longer apply. Those rantings were, in retrospect, most likely the justifications of a young adult who wanted to explain why she'd liked a pulp sci-fi/fantasy series so emphatically--and who gleefully adopted as her own the "Power of Myth" mental gymnastics handed to her on a platter by Joseph Campbell and the Lucasfilm PR machine.

"Revolutions" has provided the same valuable lesson for "The Matrix" crowd.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard.