MATRIX RELOADED
Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the crew continue to battle the machines that have enslaved the human race in the Matrix. Now, more humans are waking up out of the Matrix and attempting to live in the real world.
Review by David Bruce


MATRIX RELOADED
(2003)


This page was created on December 22, 2002
This page was last updated on November 6, 2003

2. MATRIX RELOADED 2003
—Review by David Bruce
Review by Mike Furches
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3. MATRIX REVOLUTIONS 2003
Review
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—About the Crew
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1. The Matrix 1999ReviewReview 2

 

CREDITS

Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Writing credits: The Wachowski Brothers

Click to enlargeKeanu Reeves .... Thomas A. Anderson/Neo
Laurence Fishburne .... Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss .... Trinity
Hugo Weaving .... Agent Smith
Matt McColm .... Agent Thompson
Jada Pinkett Smith .... Niobe
Monica Bellucci .... Persephone
Lambert Wilson .... Merovingian
Harold Perrineau Jr. .... Kain
Harry J. Lennix .... Lock
Clayton Watson .... The Kid
Daniel Bernhardt .... Agent Johnson
Christine Anu .... Lazarus
rest of cast listed alphabetically
Steve Bastoni .... Captain Sorren
Nona M. Gaye .... Zee
Lachy Hulme .... Sparks
Roy Jones Jr. .... Captain Ballard
Nathaniel Lees .... Mifuno
Sing Ngai .... Seraph (as Collin Chou)
Adrian Rayment .... Twin One
Neil Rayment .... Twin Two

Produced by
Bruce Berman .... executive producer
Grant Hill .... executive producer
Joel Silver .... producer

Original Music by Don Davis
Song "Wake Up" by Tim Commerford, Zack De La Rocha, Tom Morello and Brad Wilk
Cinematography byBill Pope
Film Editing by Zach Staenberg
Casting by Mali Finn
Production Design by Owen Paterson
Art Direction by Jules Cook, Mark W. Mansbridge, Catherine Mansill and Charlie Revai
Costume Design by Kym Barrett

Rated “R” by the MPAA for “sci-fi violence and some sexuality.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

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SYNOPSIS

What if the Prophecy is true?

What if tomorrow this war could be over? Isn’t that worth fighting for? Isn’t that worth dying for?

Thomas “Neo” Anderson (KEANU REEVES) made a costly decision when he chose to ask the question that Morpheus (LAURENCE FISHBURNE) and Trinity (CARRIE-ANNE MOSS) had asked before him. To seek and accept the truth. To free his mind from the Matrix.

Everything begins with choice.

Now, in the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Neo assumes greater command of his extraordinary powers as Zion falls under siege to the Machine Army. Only a matter of hours separates the last human enclave on Earth from 250,000 Sentinels programmed to destroy mankind. But the citizens of Zion, emboldened by Morpheus’s conviction that the One will fulfill the Oracle’s Prophecy and end the war with the Machines, rest all manner of hope and expectation on Neo, who finds himself stalled by disturbing visions as he searches for a course of action.

We can never see past a choice we don’t understand.

Strengthened by their love for each other and their belief in themselves, Neo and Trinity choose to return to the Matrix with Morpheus and unleash their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the systematic forces of repression and exploitation. But there exist powerful figures within the Matrix who refute the artifice of choice, evading the responsibility it brings as they feed on the emotional truths of others.

Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.

Meanwhile, there are exiles like Agent Smith (HUGO WEAVING), whose inexorable connection to Neo compels him to disobey the system that has called for his deletion. Driven by the humanity he once despised, Smith will consume everything in his path on his quest for revenge.

What do all men with power want? More power.

On his treacherous journey toward further insight into the construct of the Matrix and his pivotal role in the fate of mankind, Neo will confront greater resistance, an even greater truth and a more impossible choice than he ever imagined.

You didn’t come here to make the choice. You’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.

At the confluence of love and truth, faith and knowledge, purpose and reason, Neo must follow the course he has chosen. “What if I can’t?” he asks. “What if I fail?”

Then Zion will fall.

REVIEW BY DAVID BRUCE
Web Master, HollywoodJesus.com

Click to enlarge
Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the crew continue to battle the machines that have enslaved the human race in the Matrix.
Click to enlarge
Now, more humans are waking up out of the Matrix and attempting to live in the real world.
Click to enlarge
As their numbers grow, the battle moves to Zion, the last real-world city and center of human resistance.

The Matrix film series is about a revolt against modernity, post modernity and closed religious systems. The Matrix itself, is the established norm that has been forced on present day culture without its permission. The film series chronicles the journey from bondage to liberation and freedom.

The Boomer generation (b. 1946-64), literally owns and controls everything! --From DreamWorks/Disney in Hollywood, to Bill Gates at Microsoft, to the Clinton/Bush government, to "Boomer fellowship" churches.

An entire generation yearns for new systems, new ways, new ideas, and its voice! An entire generation longs to be born anew to new realities. It wants to die to the old system, just as Trinity and Neo did, and be resurrected into a new world/reality. Matrix speaks to this need.

Matrix means womb! It is the journey or re-birthing from the 20th century into the 21st. It is about a take over by an awakening giant that can not be stopped. The fact that the first Matrix film came out in 1999 and the second and third episodes come out in the new millennium is no coincidence.

Modernity -the Modern age- has run its 500 year course. The Boomer's 50 year Post Modern Era has ended. The Bohemians are at the gate. A new understanding is crying for birth from the Matrix of the old order. The Creative Age -the new system- is upon us.

Definitions:
Modern Era (1450-1950) = Science, literature, technology viewed as saviors of the world.
Post Modern Era (1900-1990) = Deconstruction, everything shaken. "This is the world that existed at the end of the twentieth century," -Morpheus.
Creative Age (1990-future) = An exciting time of rebuilding through imagination, creativity, and new ideas.

World War 2 generation connects to Modern Era (radio era, lecture -non visual- types)
Boomers (1946-64) connect to Post Modern (Protest, Eve of Destruction, Late Great Planet Earth, no future types)
Gen X (1965-1983) and Y (post i983) are the most creative generations that has ever existed on planet earth (read Holes: Creating paradise out of desert).

Star Wars is about the Boomers deconstructing Modernity (Darth Vader).

Matrix is about Gen X rising out of the ashes of deconstruction.

Matrix is about the birthing of a new system. Matrix is about waking up and refusing to go back to into the service of the old way.

Click to enlargeMr Smith calls Morpheus (meaning change) the most dangerous man in the world. Reason: Morpheus represents new ideas -change. Neo (meaning new) is "the one" -a Christ figure- who represents the New Humanity -fully born anew -new creations!

Click to enlargeTrinity is the female face/side of God. Together, Morpheus (father), Neo (son), and Trinity (holy spirit) represent the new creative spirituality. Morpheus is also a big bad John the Baptist type. Trinity is also the non-virgin mother Mary type --a co-redeemer--Click to enlarge helping to give birth to a new humanity and a new spirituality. Mr Smith (a common modern era name) is the devil himself. Cypher is the betrayer Judas, Zion suggests the holy city of God. Welcome to a very creative time for spirituality. They represent a new spiritual understanding and the death of the old fixed non-creative religious orders. Matrix spirituality evolves. Its complex yet simple. The times they are a-changing!

Click to enlargeThere are so many creative threads that come together in the Matrix Reloaded. Nothing is exactly as it seems and everything is flexible. All archetypes can be transformed into other archetypes. For example, in this episode Neo becomes Superman and Morpheus becomes Batman. And Mr Smith creatively clones himself -becoming both the devil and all the demons of hell at the same time! Anime (Japanese comics) lend Matrix its ultra-violence (which is comic at the same time). In the Matrix, Blade Runner, Terminator, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz--movies, television, literature and graphic novels all come together in a highly creative way that knows no contradiction. It is Christianity and Buddhism, new birth and reincarnation, Gnostics and mystics interlaced. This creative blending of types, stories and religions is a hallmark of Gen X (over 18) and Gen Y (under 18).

Click to enlargeHere is sexuality expressed in spiritual terms. The love making between Trinity and Neo is a form of God's (trinity) romantic love with the new (neo) humanity (see Bible: Song of Solomon, Hosea). This scene is intercut with the celebration (worship service) of the liberated humans. An unforgettable scene of celebration and passion, of spirituality and liberation.

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone;
But I am the dance and I still go on:
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
--SYDNEY CARTER

The basic themes in The Matrix Reloaded are amazingly resonate with a Biblical and mythical understanding of truth. Consider:

Morpheus = the mythical Orpheus, who descended into the underworld to be a savior. Clear Biblical connections here. Also the holy name of God, YHWH (meaning: I Am The Becoming One) connects to Morpheus -the changing one.

Enlightenment = in Buddhism this is a state of entering nirvana. In Jesus's teaching this is spiritual new birth.

Violence = the difference between strict Buddhism and the Matrix. Violence is prohibited by Buddhists. Violence is part Jesus' understanding of life: "The kingdom of heaven has been coming violently" (Mat 11:12 NRSV footnote). The violence against the crucified Jesus liberates the world. Also, spiritual warfare against powers in Paul's writings. Etc. Life-as-isolation Thomas Kinkade type Christians will not get it.

New Life = Both Trinity and Neo have a death and resurrection to new life. The idea of life through death is a clear biblical insight.

Zion = The holy city of God. The kingdom on earth. "On earth as it is in heaven" (Mat 6:10). "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mat 16:18). Also, Isaiah 14:32 (MsgB): What does one say to outsiders who ask questions? Tell them, "God has established Zion. Those in need and in trouble find refuge in her."

Thomas Anderson = Neo's other name comes from The Gospel of Thomas (about Jesus), and Son of Man (Ander + son) the title of Jesus in the gospels.

Providence, destiny, choice = The Matrix series finds balance between choice and destiny in the context of providence. This is a very Biblical understanding of life. So many religions view life as set, and fixed (as the machines represent). Life, however, is dynamic with ebb and flow, reaping and sowing, choices and consequences. Yet, all this within a specify destiny. Life is like its creator, its creative.

Bottom line:
New Life comes through a leap of faith, through death to the old self and re-birth into a new life. This is exactly the message of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "...Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."
-- John 3:3 (MsgB)

I thought the best way to conclude this review was with some insights from the forum, enjoy:


SOME COMMENTS FROM POSTERS:
more here

ABOUT PROFANITY IN THE MATRIX RELOADED
From Post-Newtonian Pastor

The minute you start talking about what is profane and what isn't remember the message of Tony Campollo as he spoke to a group of baptists about profanity when he said.

"You want to know about what is profane? I will tell you. Right now there is 500,000 children dying of starvation in Africa each and everyday and you don't give a DAMN about it! And the most profane thing I can think of is that right now you are more concerned with the fact that I said a cuss word than the fact that I just told you about the death of 500,000 innocent children"

Don't get too caught up in self righteousness folks because only Christ makes you righteous and only in his name does the grace and love of God come to any of us.
Keep the Faith
Sempre Fi (Forever Faithful)
The Passionate
Post-Christiandom
Post-Newtonian Pastor


KIERKEGAARD EXISTENTIALISM
From: -Perry Onorio (perryonorio@yahoo.com)

The premise of The Matrix bases itself in an existentialist worldview, implying that we have individual control over the world around us. The term itself suggests one major theme: the stress on concrete individual existence and, consequently, on subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice. In this worldview, existence precedes essence; that is, the way you live, the beliefs you have, and the actions you take determine your life's course. The mind is a powerful enough tool of control such that what one believes to be true about the world around, becomes true for that person. Once this realization is ascertained, you can begin to have more control, taking the power of your own mind and harnessing it affect the path your life follows.

The Matrix takes these age old ideas and throws them into a computer world, an idea not at all original to the film, but for the first time The Matrix sets out to create a definite answer through the action instead of just posing a question inside the story.

Though its been often reinterpreted since, Kierkegaard was the first to state the belief that one must choose one's own way without the aid of universal, objective standards. Therefore the end is determined already, yet Neo's choices must be his own in order for that inevitable end to come to pass. In his specific existence those decisions must be made apart from anything said or done by anyone around, including Morpheus or the Oracle, though their actions may affect his choice.

The most prominent theme in existentialist writing is that of choice. Humanity's primary distinction, in the view of most existentialists, is the freedom to choose. Existentialists have always held that human beings do not have a fixed nature, or essence, as other animals and plants do; each human being makes choices that create his or her own nature and destiny. Choice, as often described in The Matrix, is central to human existence, and it is inescapable; even the refusal to choose is a choice. How then the end already be determined for us, and for Neo?

The premise of 2 changes from the original, only in expounding on the itself in a seemingly contradictory fashion. Why is the control suddenly out of Neo's hand? If the "there is no spoon" philosophy is true, why is the spoon now reverting to having an affect on Neo instead of visa versa?

Appearing in a bit of a film twist is the question usually postulated by religious scholars... how can we have free will if the choice has already been made, if the end has already been determined. It then, as an even larger aside, states that the choice has been made, and our only response is to understand it, which in our minds is interpreted as making the choice itself. I guess this is kind of an enigma to me...

The other thing i don't understand is the obviously intentional tie in with religion. Morpheus' belief in something greater, faith in the unknown and in a prophecy seems to be at odds with the philosophy, though in this film the two instead work hand-in-hand towards the same eventual goal.

I guess everything puzzling me will be answered in the final film. I'm trying to guess the authors point... do we determine our future? is it decided for us? are we just on a constant eternal cycle intentioned toward a specific unattainable goal whilst we live in a constant bliss derived from ignorance and the safety of the illusion of control?


MATRIX THEMES
From: Chris Utley (utz_world@yahoo.com)
It took me two showings in two days to figure this movie out but I think I have it figured out.

Each of the Matrix films have a singular theme:

Matrix 1: FREEDOM
Matrix Reloaded: PURPOSE
Matrix Revolutions: DESTINY (If the filmmakers get it right, this should be the final theme. If not, it'll ruin the whole series.)

The big question that everyone was trying to answer in this flick: WHY? Neo was desperately seeking the answer to this question. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Agent Smith was obsessed with the question...especially in his first confrontation with Neo: What is my purpose?

From the Oracle to the Marovingian to the Keymaker, the overall theme of this one is Purpose. I totally see this (again) as a parallel with our walk with Jesus. He came to make us free. But the battle wasn't over with the freedom given to us by the Cross and the Resurrection. It's not enough for me to celebrate the fact that He saved me and set me free. There's the next level...the next big question:

Why did He save me?
Why did He set me free?
What is my purpose here on Earth?

I also think that the Architect was a metaphor of Satan...who, like the Architect, was given dominion over the world. Satan is always trying to define our purpose for us just as the Architect tried to define Neo's purpose. And every other incarnation of "The One" who followed the Architect's directions led to the destruction of Zion. But Neo didn't. Because of love. Love was the one thing that the Architect didn't factor into the equation...neither does Satan.

I think that by Neo's choice to save Trinity and not to follow the Architect, he ascended to the next level of power...the power to control even the Sentinels themselves.

Here's the deep part. Neo is The One just like Jesus is The One. But Morpheous thought that Neo's purpose was to end the war and free Zion...just like Israel thought that Jesus's purpose was to free them. But I think Neo has a different purpose: reconciliation. If I'm correct, then we shall find in the 3rd film that Neo will indeed end the war between man and machine...but not through violence. He shall create a balance in which the two can co-exist.

Just like Jesus. He came to bring reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, so we would all live in perfect harmony.

I totally love this film. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! November 7 will not come fast enough for me!


THE THEOLOGY OF RELOADED
From Bill (humble@brightok.net)

Caught the movie last night. Although the story went in a direction I wasn't expecting, I still see a strong Christian metaphor expressed in Reloaded.

The dancing scene was a scene of worship, not blasphemous, pagan worship, but rather a celebration to God (Zion is the people of God) for being released from the Matrix (the world system) and celebration of what makes them different from the machines (i.e. Love and the ability to have intimacy). The love scene between Neo and Trinity is a beautiful portrayal of the type of intimacy that exists between God (Trinity) and those whom he loves, those represented by Neo, the "New Man").

The great topic of this movie centered around Choice-Fate, Destiny-Purpose. Whenever I think about the fight between the machines and humans in this movie I think about the fight for liberty and freedom. God is interested in freeing us from the slavery of the system in which we were enslaved, that is to say... the World. In the Bible we are told to be in the World but not of the World. We all have a destiny, but "Everything begins with a choice".

Many have expressed a great deal of trouble dealing with the changing themes in this series and how it relates to the Christian worldview of the film. But I see nothing in Reloaded to convince me that the themes of this are being diluted in any way, after all it is heavily shrouded in metaphor, just like Lord of the Rings is shrouded in metaphor, and history has shown that Tolkien was a great man of faith producing thought provoking christian truths in a highly stylized way.

Almost sounds like The Matrix to me.


ON A PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE
From Cam (cjl_23@hotmail.com)
Some very interesting thoughts so far in this forum about the Matrix:Reloaded! Keep up the good thinking guys!

Anyway, since I am interested in philosophy, I tend to find more philosophical references rather than theological ones - although there is definitely that element in the movie as well. I guess my comments will be along a philosophical-theological line.

One of the biggest issues in the movie (and one that ties directly to the Christian tradition) is that of free will and predestination. Are we free to choose and guide our own existence, or are we fundamentally guided by forces outside of ourselves? In the Christian tradition, the debate arises over our free will and God's sovereignty over the world and the outcomes within it. Does God's foreknowledge of our choices, and His ability to carry out His plans in spite of those choices, actually nullify our choice? Are we free within certain parameters or are we completely free? Or, are our lives fatalistically determined? This means that we think we have choice, but we are hopelessly at the mercy of fate (or, in the Christian worldview, God). All of these questions are raised in the movie....

more comments here

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