David Bruce
The 'Saving the world' action in the Matrix is like watching 'The Men in Black' meet the 'Spaghetti Westerns'.
-Review by David Bruce

T
HE MATRIX
(1999)

Keanu Reeves: Thomas Anderson/Neo,
Laurence Fishburne: Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss: Trinity,
Hugo Weaving: Agent Smith,
Gloria Foster: Oracle,
Joe Pantoliano: Cypher,
Marcus Chong: Tank,
Paul Goddard (I): Agent Brown,
Robert Taylor (II): Agent Jones,
Julian Arahanga: Apo,
Matt Doran: Mouse,
Belinda Mcclory: Switch
Ray Anthony Parker: Dozer

Directed by: Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski

Writing credits: Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski

Review by David Bruce

The film takes us to the year 2199. The world has been taken over by the Matrix, and is now being run by an artificial intelligence. As in Dark City, humans are living in a computer-generated dreamworld. Humans are being harvested like plants to be part of the Matrix. Humans live their lives in an artificial reality never realizing that they are slaves of an evil system that has a false claim on the world.

A few rebel humans discover the horror of the Matrix.   They believe that computer programmer Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), who by night is a computer hacker nick named Neo, is "the one," who according to prophesy, will save the world from cyber-slavery.

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    The story begins as the rebel humans start recruiting Neo to defeat the evil Matrix. Neo, after some convincing, signs on with the rebel forces. (There is a very interesting tip of the hat to Alice in Wonderland at the start of the film, with the use of a mirror to introduce Neo to the other world of reality.)
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Creating two worlds.
Director of Photography Bill Pope: "To distinguish the Matrix from 'reality', from the Nebuchadnezzar and the pods, reality was given a cooler look, a bluer, more normal, less sickly look. The future in the film is cold, the sun is blotted out, there is no real warmth unless it is artificial heat, so that is whey they went for the cool side. Whereas the Matrix, created by the computers, is a decadent, decaying world, so it has a green hue. These are the two different colors -green and blue. The Matrix should make you feel sick, and in 'reality' you should feel a little more at home, but never comfortable. If you make it gold and warm you know that it is home, a safe haven."
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     All reviewers that I read missed the very obvious biblical connections!

     The hero, Thomas Anderson, is the Everyman who also has a dual identity under his hacker name, Neo (=new man). We later learn in the film that he is the chosen One (= the messiah). He dresses in a black duster, sort of a cross between the angels in "City of the Angels" and the mystical hero in all of Clint Eastwood's westerns.

     Morpheus (= I will be what I will be) is the father image, the champion of Zion, leader of the rebel forces.  He is determined to set his people free through the chosen one. Not only is he a father figure, he is also a forerunner to Neo, announcing his coming, in this way he is a type of John the Baptist.

     Trinity is capable of supernatural fight and flight! If Morpheus can be the father/God image, and Neo the dual-nature/Son image, then Trinity is the Spirit. As her name implies, the three are inseparable. One for all and all for one. Trinity is also the name of the Terence Stamp character in his 1970s western series called Trinity, which is part of the modern mythology from which this picture borrows. Also, as a follower of Neo she serves as a Mary Magdalene type.

     At the center of earth is their 'holy city,' Zion, which in the Bible is Jerusalem -the city of God. The rebel forces, called Zionist, defend Zion from the Matrix.

     The two worlds, one visible and the other not, is a running theme throughout the Bible. In both Matrix and the Bible, dreams can connect a person to the other dimension.

     The rebel ship is named after the biblical Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings.  His name means, "Nebo, protect the crown!" or the "frontiers." A perfect name for the rebel ship.

     The term AI, means artificial intelligence. In the Bible Ai was the scene of Joshua’s defeat, and afterwards of his victory - in the film as well.

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     Saving the world seems to be the major preoccupation of super heroes in recent cinema. As Jesus once said, " I have come to save the world."  The 'Saving the world' action in the Matrix is like watching 'The Men in Black' meet the 'Spaghetti Westerns'.

As Richard Schickel of Time magazine says about Matrix, "A lot of what they (the heroes) do and endure consists of spins on the sci-fi past. There are references to everything from the Alien movies to The Terminator to Soylent Green, but that's what we have for a living mythology these days, and the (writer, director) Wachowskis (brothers) are bold and knowing in their deployment of it. They're acknowledging a tradition, not ripping it off."

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The biggest biblical parallel comes at the end of the movie when Neo is shot dead and then is resurrected to life again. A direct reference to the life of Jesus Christ.

  The resurrection scene also borrows from "Sleeping Beauty" with a twist. Instead of the male prince kissing the woman, Trinity kisses Neo. Clever twist. The resurrection transforms Neo. He now has the ability to render the Matrix useless: System failure. The Neo man, like Truman, Jesus, and Superman defeats the system.

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