HOME

MOVIE REVIEW OF

THE MATRIX

Seeing is believing

4/2/99

I've tried four times to write this review for The Matrix. I realize now that I failed because I was intellectualizing this movie, researching its thematic elements (which go back to Plato and Buddhism), analyzing its visual sources and ... This is stupid. What I should have been writing is this:

Aaaaahhhh! The Matrix is the coolest movie I've seen in years! The coolest movie since Raiders! Wahhooo! I've seen it now twice in the last 24 hours - top that! - and if someone came up right now and said, Hey, let's go see The Matrix, I'd plunk down another $7.75! Whooooosh! I wanted to see this movie since first seeing the preview - wanted VERY BADLY - and I wasn't disappointed. It has a helluvalotta visual panache, the action scenes are exciting - the sound effects track rivals that of Saving Private Ryan (well, not really, but it's close) - the helicopter explosion is the most gripping I've ever seen on film. And Keanu? He's fine - he's the same guy we saw in Speed and Johnny Mnemonic, convincingly saying things like "Whoah" and "Yeah, sure" and even "Get me the hell out of here!" What am I talking about? I didn't see this flick to see Keanu! I went to see federales punching out fistfuls of marble and concrete with their bare hands - to see kung fu with ridiculous 3-D freeze-frames of a beautiful woman in tight black leather flying through the air - to see racks of uzis and AK47's appear out of nowhere - to see Keanu have no mouth when he must scream. Man, this movie rocked the house.

Pant, pant, pant.

Now, I should try to collect myself. A friend asked me a couple days ago if I thought the movie would be just a triumph of style over substance, just another brainless Hollywood action movie, with big dumb Keanu instead of a big dumb rock or a big dumb dinosaur. Well, having caught my breath, I am pleased to report that this movie, in addition to its truckloads of stylistic chutzpah, has a lot of substance, too.

(Spoiler warning! If you don't want to know how this movie justifies all its stylized mayhem, don't read anymore. Instead, do like Harry Knowles says and (I'm paraphrasing) stop fooling with your computer, get off your tush, and walk 20 miles, steal a bicycle, hijack a bus, quit your job if you have to-- but get yourself over to a movie theatre RIGHT NOW, because THIS is the movie we've all been waiting for!

Let me catch my breath again. OK. Now. A problem with science fiction movie reviews is the critics' expectations. Some assume science fiction = fluff. Others compare every new SF movie to 2001. Some reviewers called Dark City simplistic and cartoony; others, overly complex and convoluted. Surely some reviewers will be bored with the exposition in The Matrix, but I found it an intriguing contrast to the action - something for everyone. [I like some meat in my movies. For me sci-fi = science fiction minus ideas. I like science fiction, not sci-fi. Now you know.]

The movie's central idea is this: it is now around 2199, and back in the early 21st century, a war broke out between humanity and an artificial intelligence (AI) and its mechanized minions. Because AI used solar power, the humans scorched the atmosphere to block the sun. In response, the AI found that it could collect power from the electrical impulses in human brains and BTUs generated by body heat, combined with a form of fusion. After winning the war, AI grew people artificially, like crops in a field. People are cocooned in vast arrays, where they mentally exist in a shared virtual world (much like a group of sci-fi geeks all simultaneously reading the same Star Trek novel, snicker snicker). The virtual world, called the Matrix (doncha know) looks just like 1999 earth, but like Star Trek's Nexus is an alluring drug, an illusion, a dream, shadows on a cave wall. In essence, each human is a slave living meaninglessly in a virtual environment - nothing more than a Duracell. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) is a leader of a band of "unplugged" humans who've escaped the Matrix, and he thinks Neo (Keanu Reeves) is the new messiah, called The One, who will likewise rescue all humanity. Morpheus, Neo and other humanized rebels can re-enter the Matrix and can run up walls and dodge bullets because the Matrix is virtual and physical laws don't count. Heady stuff this, for an action movie.

What am I talkin' 'bout? Ahhh! I've got off the main topic, which is why this movie is so darn cooooool. Cool! Cool! Cool! Like Fishburne says in the preview, you have to see it for yourself. And when you do you'll see visions that burn themselves into your consciousness... The image of billions of human beings cocooned in arrayed hibernacula that recede into infinity - this is an image I will carry with me until the day I die. This is the sort of roller coaster movie that breaks you down, pommeling your head with loud music, blinding you with intense images, numbing your senses, and the only thing you can say afterwards is, That was cool. I want to see The Matrix over and over again until it becomes my Matrix. Gimme another hit.

Scoring:

Style: 9/10 (I would have gotten a 10 if the bad guys didn't look just like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black - but the good guys' hovercraft Nebuchadrezzar and the robosquid sentinels are nifty designs.)

Substance: 7/10.

Overall coolness level: 8.5/10. [After seeing this movie again on DVD, I have to change my score to 9.5/10. This flick was uberkewl. FW, 11/7/99]

Sequel probability: High, considering the large and enthusiastic crowds. All signs point toward a visit in the sequel to Zion, the last remaining human city, which AI is desperate to find and destroy. Can't wait to go there. So, hey you guys, you made a great movie, now make another one! I want more more more!

 

Agree or disagree? Let me know.

 

Comments from Duncan Long (April 12, 1999):

I agree... The Matrix was fantastic. I've seen it twice -- something I don't think I've done with a movie since the very FIRST Star Wars back more years than I care to remember (almost 20!!!!). I found it interesting that the basic plot is of a Christ figure who gives his life for his friends and is raised back to life with a kiss from a character named "Trinity." And that the last human beings are safe and hidden in a town named "Zion." In the end the Christ figure then leaps back into Heaven.

It's also interesting that this same basic plot was the basis of The Day the Earth Stood Still -- and (of course) there were the many religious points in the recent 5th Element.

Plot holes -- there were some in Matrix. For one thing, if the bad guys can make a guy's mouth go away, why wouldn't they do that with his eyes when the fight got to going against them? We didn't see anything else involving this "power" -- making it feel like a cheap gimmick in retrospect (albeit, an effective one). Ditto with the "bug" in this stomach. I suspect that these two effects were created by the writers BEFORE they'd set up the parameters for the abilities of the Smith programs. (I've done this sort of thing myself when writing -- ideally you try to go back and change things so they fit, but these were such neat effects, I can see why they left them there and most people forget the scene by the time we get to the middle of the pic anyway).

Second, the power given off by a human being compared to the energy needed to feed and care for them HAD to be coming up for a deficit. And that the AI couldn't come up with geothermal, nuclear fusion, or whatever seemed a bit hard to buy.

Finally, it was a little hard to see how you could pull the plug on an operation like this. Imagine all those folks suddenly waking up in their "coffins." What next? Billions of deaths. You'd have to leave most plugged in for the rest of their lives, I would think (not THERE would be a dilemma).

BUT... These are pretty small drawbacks. The movie more than makes up for it. Just the shoot-out scene is going to be hard to beat in years to come. And the scene of machines "picking" human embryos, the rows of coffin containers for as far as the eye could see, and the squidies cutting into the hull of the Nebuchadrezzar was worth the price of the movie.

Hey, and don't forget the new Star Wars trailer that we got to see as well.

Keep up the good work. Always fun to visit your page.

-- Duncan Long

 

My response to Duncan's comments:

Yeah, Duncan, I thought about the religious aspects of The Matrix, too. Neo - interesting name: Neo meaning "New" as in "New Testament"; Ebert also pointed out that Neo is an anagram for "One." Trinity, Zion, .... Hmmm. Can't wait to see Zion in the sequel (if there is one).

I hadn't thought about the idea that Agent Smith could have made Neo's eyes "go away" during a battle - I guess I was mainly thinking that the scene with Neo's disappearing mouth was a reference to the Harlan Ellison story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" - just kind of a throwaway gimick/reference. Have you read it? If you haven't, I STRONGLY urge you to.

I also thought that human beings would be an inefficient generator of energy - but, as in Ellison's story, perhaps AI might be keeping people around basically so that it can torture and fool with them - like the archetype child (AI) overthrowing the parent (humanity), but keeping it a prisoner, the way that the Olympian gods kept their parents the Titans locked in prisons deep inside the earth.

I think though you're also right about certain images being hard to beat for years to come. I heard someone say that The Matrix is going to set the standard for actiony science fiction movies for a long time, and I believe it.

In the final analysis the thing I really liked about The Matrix is that virtually no opportunity for coolness was missed. To think... In baseball, every at bat is a chance for greatness... When making movies, every frame is a shot at immortality, a chance (which hardly any of us are given) to make something startling, searing, mind-bending. In all of The Matrix, there were plenty of times when they could have been on auto pilot - but they weren't. The squiddies, the harvester robots, and the Nebuchadrezzar could have been throwaway designs - they were on the screen only briefly - but they weren't - they were cool. The way Agent Smith lands after his jump, holding his gun, the way Trinity falls down the stairs and then pops out two guns, the sheer number of acupuncture needles -completely unnecessary and completely cool.  They didn't have to make Keanu Reeves' mouth go away, but it was cool that they did. That was the thing about Star Wars - no opportunity for coolness was missed. In the costumes, the music, the editing, the details that fleet across the screen... If you weigh plot-cohesiveness v. coolness on the balace scales, I always say go for coolness. I think that's what the makers of The Matrix did. No opportunity for coolness was missed. It's an idea I try to live up every day, and fail every day. Gotta keep trying.

Frank

 

Comments from Charles Hill

The reason the agents could seal Neo's mouth in the beginning was because he was still part of the matrix. They have control of the people in the system but not of the people who have been unplugged.

 

Comments from S.M. White

Oy.

Not only are you all reading into this too much, you're looking past the obvious faults of the plot.

1: The entire concept of aliens projecting a world for the humans is without purpose. If the aliens are so ruthless, why be so considerate of human psychology?

2: There seems to be a great mystery surrounding how exactly the first of these Matrix rebels happened upon the system. They proceed through the elaborate process of awakening someone who possesses the strength to rebel against the system, and then have them awaken in the very world they were in whilst in the pseudo-cryogenic slumber.

3: Once again, we have an interesting plot with a great deal of intellectual potential which is blown on cheap, catchy dialogue and one-liners that sound like something out of a 70's B-movie. So, instead, they fill dialogue that remains with cryptic, almost Zen-Buddhist statements. A shame.

4: The fashion. Why is it that fashion is so important while you're trying to save the world?

5: The entire sequence with the robotic navel insect-like creature is a rip-off of the "Custodian" which appears on the animated series "Aeon Flux". In the end this is another overblown science fiction movie which further explains why science fiction is STILL not a respectable literary field. It's a terrible shame and a great burden on SF writers like myself. Our image is constantly being distorted by films like this.

S.M. White

 

Comments from Claude Felizardo 5/11/99

Subject: the matrix - book?

just read your review (and follow ups) about the matrix. loved it. the movie, the reviews i agreed with for the most part.

anyway, have you heard anything about a novelization? thought it would be kinda neat to see how someone tried to explain stuff though i noticed that you and the others discussed some of the things i was wondering about as well, ie, the bug, mouth tricks before and after, etc.

cool site.

 

My response to Claude Felizardo:

Hmm. Thanks for your email. I just checked Amazon.com. Nothing - no novelization of The Matrix. Did a quickie HotBot search too. Zip. Now that you mention it, I would be really curious to read a novelization, too. IF ANYONE OUT THERE KNOWS OF ONE, LET US KNOW.

Thanks for visiting.

Frank Wu


Comments from Jeremy Sullivan 5/13/99:

So I saw the Matrix last night. It was un-freaking-believeable. One of the best sci-fi flicks I've ever seen. I was thinking about it in comparison to Blade Runner. I like Blade Runner, both the original and the director's cut, but I've never really been sure why I liked it. As good as it looks, there's really not much of a story that interests me, you know? Rutger Hauer's speech at the end was fantastic (he ad libbed that whole thing by the way) but I just don't think it's a great sci-fi movie.

The Matrix is just as cerebral as BR, but then you throw in much, much, much better action, and OH MAN! I cannot think of one thing that I thought was weak in this flick. And still, I don't know if I want to rush out and go see it again. I was really paying close attention to everything that happened on the screen, and I don't really feel like I missed anything. This may be the first movie I purchase when I get a DVD player though.

Jeremy

 

Comments from Douglas N. Stewart 6/11/99:

Subject: response to S.M.White

White writes:

1: The entire concept of aliens projecting a world for the humans is without purpose. If the aliens are so ruthless, why be so considerate of human psychology?

My response:

The agent describes in detail that the humans needed to be imbedded in the matrix to be kept conscious, to be kept alive. The world that existed in their slumber prolonged the duration of their electrical value.

 

White writes:

2: There seems to be a great mystery surrounding how exactly the first of these Matrix rebels happened upon the system. They proceed through the elaborate process of awakening someone who possesses the strength to rebel against the system, and then have them awaken in the very world they were in whilst in the pseudo-cryogenic slumber.

I respond:

The first "one" had the ability to "remake the matrix as he saw fit." This is an allusion to the lengthier story of how he first broke out. Secondly, they had to release him in the "real" world to train him, and did so based upon the recommendation of one who could see the future.

3: Once again, we have an interesting plot with a great deal of intellectual potential which is blown on cheap, catchy dialogue and one-liners that sound like something out of a 70's B-movie. So, instead, they fill dialogue that remains with cryptic, almost Zen-Buddhist statements. A shame.

I respond:

This was their attempt to show the audience that they didn't take themselves too seriously. Let down your hair, put on some old jeans, and watch they Playboy channel on Sunday while smoking a cigar the size of a Buick, and drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Don't take yourself so seriously. The cryptic aspects of the movie keep you guessing what "the Matrix" is, and I'm sure there weren't many that envisioned the elaborate explanation thereof.

4: The fashion. Why is it that fashion is so important while you're trying to save the world?

My response:

It's 1999. Would you prefer polyester leisure suits? It shows an almost fanatical devotion to make each and every part of the movie as cool as @#$%ing possible.

5: The entire sequence with the robotic navel insect-like creature is a rip-off of the "Custodian" which appears on the animated series "Aeon Flux". In the end this is another overblown science fiction movie which further explains why science fiction is STILL not a respectable literary field. It's a terrible shame and a great burden on SF writers like myself. Our image is constantly being distorted by films like this.

My response:

The lightsaber, storm troopers, and Darth Vader all reek of modernized ideas taken from the BBC series "Dr. Who". Guns that "pop-out" of people's sleeves are copied from old westerns. The "Get kung fu punched, step back, rub your mouth with the back of your hand, look at it, and say Uh?" maneuver is such a kung fu stereotype that Jim Carrey makes fun of it in "Dumb and Dumber". Science fiction movies use modernized devices like these to charm Science fiction fans, to give them a new version of something "classic". It's the same reason Hollywood remakes films like "Psycho" and "Great Expectations". For God's sake, almost everything that Quentin Tarantino does is from some old "B movie". As far as the bad reputation that it gives sci-fi writers... well, I know the guys that wrote The Matrix are depositing their million dollar checks with a very heavy heart.

 

Comments from mmstermi

Well, I'll say a few things about this movie. I thought Keanu was HOT as usual. I enjoyed it so much I saw it twice. About all the reviews, I am so glad I have a mind of my own to decide what I think of a flick, and don't depend on someone else to tell me whether or not I'll like it. It seems to me the reviews that bash Keanu the most are the ones who never cared much for him in the first place. So do yourselves a favor, GET A LIFE! For those of you who like Keanu, and some action, and some really cool effects, go see the movie, judge for yourselves, and make your own opinion. After all, you do have your OWN mind, do you not?

 

Comments from Stephen Friedman
Subject: Whoa...

Your review is one of the best (read: most in tune with my own sentiments regarding this film) I've ever read. Very few people seem to be giving this film a bad review and, gee, I wonder why? Could it be that the movie simply kicks some m/n ass?! F/n a! I've seen the film eight times and I am still not sick of watching it! I have NEVER seen a movie in the theaters as much as this one, ever. I've heard of people doing stuff like this, but this is a first for me. I still get pumped up every time I see the theatrical preview on my computer or read a review or even look at some images or visit the web site. I know sequels usually suck, but I'm eagerly awaiting the matrix sequel. It is actually STILL PLAYING at a theater in Cambridge, Mass., so perhaps I will go see it again this week. hehe. Also, according to movies.excite.com, it's playing on an IMAX theater in San Antonio Texas. Wow. I've almost considered flying out there to see it on that big beautiful IMAX screen.
 
I dunno. I don't have much to say other than I'm with you 100% ... oh, cept I'd give the movie a much higher rating given my stupid fervor-blinded love for the film. Anyway, must go. Hey, if you're in Mass anytime soon, gimme a call and we'll go watch the Matrix in Boston.
 
(PS) To further magnify my insanity, I've actually considered renting/purchasing a theater in order to  continue to show the Matrix in its proper format, film. Watching the DVD left me thoroughly disappointed and with a deeper appreciation for film than I have ever known.

Stephen Friedman 413-545-1848

  


From Thom Brisson 11/7/99

I loved the flick. It has been a fascination with me ever since I saw it this spring. But only after I rented it a few times did the deeper meanings in it really hit me. You and Duncan Long both talked about the religious points in it and that's what I really saw that fascinate me.
 
I am a Christian and the Bible teaches that the ruler of the world here on earth is satan. He has been the ruler ever since Adam and Eve fell. So the world we live in is ruled by him and I believe he creates a form of the Matrix for us to live in. Think about it, our society teaches people to become slaves. From our teachers in school to our bosses at work, the media, the government. We are conditioned to go along with the group, don't think for yourself, don't work for yourself, don't stand up for what you believe, just go to school, listen to what they tell you there, get a good education (even go into debt to get it), get a good job for somebody else and be an employee for the rest of your life. Working for someone else is nothing more than voluntary slavery. But we go out and do it because we are all slaves to our own mental images of who we are capable of. Ideas that we have accepted about ourselves that were programmed into us by the environment around us.
 
 The society that we live in here at the end of the 20th century is nothing like the world that our country's founding fathers would have wanted. What does this have to do with The Matrix? Morpheus had a team of people who were "unplugged" from the Matrix. They could all go into the Matrix and act as free agents to some extent although Neo was the only one who ultimately was able to be totally free. We also have, deep inside, the ability to act as free agents in our own Matrix. But just like Neo had to be shown the true nature of the Matrix, we must also be shown the true nature of our Matrix. And after Neo was shown the Matrix by Morpheus, he had to accept it as the truth. Remember when Neo flipped out and then puked that cool white crap all over the wires and the floor grates of the Nebuchadrezzar? Then back in Neo's room Morpheus says to him "I'm sorry, We never unplug a mind after a certain age because sometimes it has a hard time letting go." Neo accepts the TRUTH and then he can begin to grow and learn. I believe that it's only when we accept the TRUTH about our world can we begin to grow and learn to change our world around us. Then you future is in your hands, your life story can be written by you alone if you choose to.
 
But it's not easy to go forward and change your world, your Matrix. It's easier to stay in your comfort zone, your predictable world in the Matrix. And even after your "unplugged" there's the desire to be back in that old comfort zone. That's why the traitor (can't remember his name) sold Morpheus out to Agent Smith. So he could be plugged back in and forget about all the
struggle. 


That's just a few point that I thought were interesting in the story line. I loved the visuals and I don't think we will see some of the effects that were used in very many other movies because the way the story line had them doing things that were outside the laws of physics was cool but most movies will have to stick to those laws. 
 
I'd be interested to hear if you agree with me or think I'm a nut.
 
Sincerely,  Thom Brisson           

My reply to Thom Brisson:

 

Hey, Thom, thanks for writing.  If I wasn't clear, I too am a Christian.
 
I think you have a really good point there.  Yes, Satan is, in a way, the ruler of this world (at least for now), and he makes it pretty darn appealing - the world is full of distractions - power, sex, money, even art - which distract us from the real situation, which is that we are put here on earth by Christ to love God and love each other.  Too true.  I think you have a really powerful point there.

 

More from Thom Brisson [mailto:briss642@inreach.com] 11/10/99

Hey, Frank. Great to hear from you. I'm glad to hear that your a believer too. I've been really encouraged by the movie "The Matrix" because as a Christian I've been feeling lead to a study of the Ephesians 6, Armor of God.
 
I guess it comes from the fights that Neo has with the Agents. The Agents can do things in the Matrix that you shouldn't be able to do in the "real world" because they run the program. But they still have limitations. Like Morpheus said, " They can bend some rules and disregard others but they still have to operate within a world based on limitations." Neo was able to beat them ultimately because he was outside the system. He could use his imagination, the unlimited powers of his imagination to do what he wanted to do. He was only limited by what he could believe. If he could believe it, he could do it. And at the end when he destroyed the Agent, he finally realized that and then anything he wanted to do was possible. That's what the bald kid who was bending spoons at the Oracle's house was saying, "Don't try to bend the spoon, that's impossible. Simply realize that there is no spoon." Put another way, "Don't try and bend the rules, simply realize that there are no rules except the rules that you accept for yourself." 
 
That leads me to see that the Agents/demons that we must battle all have limitations too. Those limitations are only self-imposed on us though because we have Christ. With Christ, all things are possible. Mark 9:23 says "Everything is possible for him who believes." The forces that we face know that, so they try to make us feel useless and without hope. They attack us at the one point that they know is the most critical, our belief. That's why God gives us the Shield of Faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Satan wants to keep us locked in his Matrix, believing that it's ok, don't worry. Don't question the authorities, or the media, or political correctness or peer pressure. Don't worry about your loss of personal freedom, the government can do for you what you don't want to do. And as you accept his Matrix, you begin to "settle for" in life and you begin to justify where your at and what you have. You loose any dreams you ever had of doing anything great. Your expectations of life are slowly lowered to the standards of average. You look around and say, "Well, this is as good as it gets. And you know, were doing pretty good compared to most people."  I think most people are living like that, just like the people in The Matrix were living out there lives, completely unaware of what was happening to them. Remember when Neo was riding to the Oracle's house with Trinity and Morpheus? Neo was looking out his window and realizing that his whole past was a lie. He asks Morpheus what does it mean, what should he think about it and Morpheus says, "It means that The Matrix can not tell you who you are." And I think that the world can not tell us who we are. God is the only one who can tell us who we are and he does through his Word and the Holy Spirit. That's why the Bible is filled with things like Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any  longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." and Ephesians 4:22-24 "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

 

 

Comments From MARK ASPROYERAKAS [mailto:chieftatelli@compuserve.com] 11/18/99
Subject: Matrix movie review

MATRIX SYMBOLISM KEY
MATRIX is a positive and realistic exposť of several Biblical Doctrines concerning; the Angelic war, belief and subsequent spiritual rebirth, Faith and how it develops, the power of Faith and how it develops, demonic possession and  demonic control of humans, the relationship of the Church to the world, the relationship of believers to non believers, and the coming replacement of Satan's world system with Gods system.

In MATRIX the character Neo is cast as a Messiah. Katzinzakies in his book 'The Last Temptation of Christ' and the subsequent movie based on the book by Scorsese, developed the character of Christ as not knowing and or doubting that he was the Christ. This is the same model used by the filmmakers. This of course is not the Biblical Truth. The Messiah without doubt knew who He was when He came 2,000 years ago. When He returns, and in the case of MATRIX it is an depiction of the return visit, He will destroy this world system and set up His system of Truth.

So, the basic plot is as follows.  I will use  " "  marks to tie a plot idea to Biblical Doctrine. A man known as Neo lives in a large city working in a software company. He has for a long time believed that there was something behind what most humans take to be reality. This thinking/exploration has drawn the attentions of personalities on both sides of the  "angelic conflict" who contact him.  He has encounters with both. Neo by makeup is of the "Truth". So when he again encounters the character Morpheus and is "witnessed to" by him, Neo makes the "conscious intellectual decision" to believe. That decision is illustrated by the ingestion of a colored pill. Neo then undergoes the process of being "born again". This birth takes place in a coffin like apparatus when he is disconnected from the mechanical connections that have been sucking his energy while his true consciousness is actually asleep. His true self had been asleep while his mind was occupied by the Matrix. As part of this sequence he views millions upon millions of other coffins of sleeping humans before being expelled into a sewer like tube. He is then plucked from the sewer and raised aloft in what is a visual pose of crucifixion. Now as a new man among the company of Morpheus and the other "saved", he sees himself and the world as it really is. They are a church. He then begins the process of absorbing information, "Doctrinal Truth", through "the Churches" computer system that can be directly linked to his mind through a plug in his neck. Having absorbed a sufficient amount of Doctrine, his next step in growth is to learn what "Faith" is. This development of faith starts in martial arts training and is ongoing throughout the film  continuing right up to the end.  As Neo develops in Faith, he then begins to manifest the relationship between Faith and power in the physical world. Little by little he comes into himself and the power that flows through him because of his faith.

The "Church's" opponents are called agents, "the Devil and his demons". They are the "rulers of the world" and they rule it by maintaining the veil of a "great lie" in front of the eyes of humans, also called the Matrix. In the words of the character Morpheus (and St. Paul), "all humans are born into slavery". The demons create the illusion through the Matrix that the humans are in control of their lives, progressing forward in a free world. But in reality the humans are being kept from reaching their spiritual potential. They are trapped in coffins, both mental and physical, oblivious to their true selves. This lie/Matrix allows the demons to suck the life energy out of the humans until the human no longer creates energy, i.e. "physical death". They are then  flushed into a sewer. The body, along with the human soul by implication, is then discarded and lost forever.

Some additional parallels in the plot are: The Church holds the codes to a hidden city named ZION. Zion is a city of Truth and will be the future habitation of all believers of the Truth. The demons are after the code in order to destroy Zion because it represents the one system, "Gods system", that will defeat and replace the Lie/Matrix with a system of Truth.

There is a Judas figure who, as the real Judas did, consciously chooses to live in darkness instead of the light. At one point he states that he prefers the lie of the Matrix to having to accept the authority of the church and its leadership by Morpheus. The perfect example of the pride that caused Lucifer's fall and keeps  humans in slavery.

The ship where the Church resides is named Nebuchadnezzar. Who as we know from the book of Daniel, was an instrument of God. Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon eventually became a believer in the God of Abraham. He provided a temporary and comfortable housing in Babylon for Judah until their eventual return to the Holy Land.

The jump sequence illustrates  Matthew 14:24-32 where Peter walks on the water towards Christ. Peter only  begins to sink when he looks down and focuses on the waves, the darkness, and his fears instead of Christ. Christ then pulls him up and says "you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

The women in red sequence and the later explanation of it by Morpheus depicts the believer's relationship to other non-believing humans in the present world system. She is also symbolic of the multitude of distractions in the world that lead one away from themselves.

The final short scene in a phone booth with monologue has Neo describing the potential of regenerated man. He then emerges  from the booth and flies up into the sky illustrating the freedom from limitations of his new person and body both physical and spiritual. It is the same type of "Glorified body" that Christ now has and the Bible promises all believers will receive
when He returns.

When looked at closely in relation to Biblical revelation, there are holes and inconsistencies in the plot and behaviors of the MATRIX characters. But I think most will agree that in general it is refreshingly, and powerfully close.
Asproyerakas 4/99 revised 7/99 (The Bible not religion)

 

From: Soulis Aslanidis [mailto:soulis67@otenet.gr] 1/11/00
Subject: ?

?...................Do we believe in The MATRIX ?

My response:

Yes!!!! Yes!!!!! Yessssss!!!!!!!!!

 

From Katrina Coolbaugh 12/15/01:

When The Matrix first came out, I really didn't care about it. But one night, about 10 mos. ago, I was babysitting and the movie was sitting there, so I decided to give into the hype and watch the movie. When I saw it I was amazed. It was one of the best movies I have ever seen. The movie was on DVD so I began to watch the movie with the commentary.  This just sucked me deeper into the hole. When there was a nearby movie rental place going out of business, I bought the DVD and have watched it around 150 times since (literally). When The Matrix Revisited came out, I bought it. I have been looking into all of the little details that have been carefully placed. When reading your review, I was amazed that you did not give it 10's across the board. This movie is and will be one of the best movies of all time, as I am sure that the sequels will be just as good. Well, that is my comment on your review and I hope that you appreciate my input.  If there are any profound things that you have noticed about the movie, or if you have heard anything about the upcoming movies, email me and let me know.

Thanks,

Katrina Coolbaugh

 

From Ryan and Jacob, June 27, 2002

There is something extremely wrong with every single person in this world. They seem to be part of a pointless simulation.

"The Matrix" has portrayed this idea somewhat, yet we watch it and go back to our daily lives.  Yet in this
very life, underneath the seeming diversity in people's opinions, values, talents, and interests, there is something that makes everyone the same.  It is as though this planet is populated only by mindless fakes, objects that provide the appearance of intellect on the surface but are based on only mechanical reflexes and primitive thought patterns.

I don't really care if anything I say has been said before, if it was portrayed in movies, in books, or in the lyrics of some useless song. With 6 billion people covering the globe at any given time, thousands and thousands of years of written literature, probability dictates almost any combination of words has occurred numerous times. Yet there is clear evidence there was no action, so those words, just like the people who spoke them, must have been just more fakes. I am forced to use this language (also created by the fakes) because there is no alternative, so everything I write here could be misunderstood to make me sound like one of them, but it will be the action that I take and the dedication that will separate me from them.

In my estimation the fakes that occupy this planet don't make up 99%, but more like 99.9999999% of the population. I know this because I've searched, and in my search have so far only found one true ally (I have found him via the internet as well). But even with those numbers we would not give up because there is no
logic in giving up.

The people on this planet are all fakes because the societies have made them this way. Ideas that populate people's minds have no logic or purpose. Concepts such as religion, god, morality, individualism, freedom,
identity, happiness, love and billions of others are all just memes. Like parasites they infect the minds and spread from one person to the next. They have no point or purpose; they exist without any logical basis or foundation. The fakes are completely controlled by them, and they will never see beyond them. To not be controlled by them one must do more then just realize that they exist. One must resist any ideas that have no point, endlessly question, and never accept imperfection or compromise in any answer.

We (myself and my ally) are different though. While we have had the limitation of existing only in these societies, something has made it possible for us to resist being indoctrinated into becoming one of those fakes. We have no arbitrary wants, needs, desires, or preferences.

If this world continues to exist the way it is then nothing in it will ever have a point. It will always be just a product of random evolution, one with no importance or relevance. The only logical goal is to dedicate our lives to increasing our numbers, those that aren't fakes, so that in thousands of years our numbers may be such that the fakes would no longer be a threat to progress.

Those that join us must see every other person occupying this planet as the enemy, and us as their only allies. Like us they must have dedication only to taking the most logical action, and to nothing else.

To tell you more about us, we've posted some personal information about ourselves on a website. You'll also find past responses to us on that webpage.

Obviously anyone reading this email is most likely just another fake. Do not simply reply to this email, if you do your message will almost certainly be ignored. If you do wish to communicate, first demonstrate your interest by taking the effort to find us online, one of the ways to do that is described below.

Use a major search engine to search for every combination of any two words from the list below. The order of the words shouldn't matter as long as you do not search for them in quotes. Also when you pick the right combination you shouldn't need to look at more then the first matches.

There is no trick to this and this isn't meant to be quick, it should, however, be fairly clear if/when you find the right site. The following search engines were verified by us, please use any of them as other search engines may simply not list us correctly: MSN, Lycos, InfoSeek, FastSearch, LookSmart, HotBot, InfoSpace, Ask.com, AllTheWeb, Teoma, WebCrawler, AltaVista.


perfect
theory
endless
eternal
desire
ambition
driving
perpetual
idea
logical
infinite
dream
final
best
escape
objective
thought
only
logic
clue


If this can't be solved, or if you never reach us, there should be no reason for you to give up as we will never give up and thus there will always be some way to find us.
--------------
Ryan and Jacob



OTHER MOVIE REVIEWS: Austin Powers (References), Being John Malkovich, Blah Witch Project, Deep Blue Sea, Dogma, Dune, eXistenZ, Iron Giant, The Matrix, The Mummy, Princess Mononoke, The Sixth Sense, Sleepy Hollow, Smallville, Star Trek IX: Indigestion, Star Wars: The Turgid Menace, Thirteenth Floor, Toy Story 2, Trekkies, Vile Vile West, The World Is Not Enough


Back to Science Fiction Art

Back to Kitsch Tour U.S.A.

Back to Official Frank Wu Homepage