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 May 23, 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
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1. The Matrix 1999ReviewReview 2


Dial up modems will take a few moments

REVIEW BY MIKE FURCHES
mike@furches.org
Web site
www.furches.org


Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66."

The Matrix Reloaded

Over the course of history, literature has had a tremendous impact on the world. Over the last couple of hundred years, no form of literature has had a greater impact than the form called Science Fiction. Science Fiction is a form of literature that attempts too seriously predict certain aspects of the future. A future laced with realistic and potentially real issues for the people of the time that the piece is written. Often times those issues are allegorical as much as physical and/or spiritual and the social issues and concerns of the time are addressed. In part, good, and quality Science Fiction becomes a parable.

Movies have become the most widely used form of contemporary literature and carries on those same characteristics as the print form. The characteristics of what makes that literature good is no different but the way of seeing it in a movie is much different. Because we depend more on visuals as opposed to words, often times we are forced to do more interpreting of what we are seeing and hearing. I personally enjoy layers of thought in a movie of this nature so I can think of the meaning far beyond the time I have spent seeing the movie. This forces me to go see the movie repeatedly looking for the deep meanings. I enjoy great Science Fiction, especially Science Fiction that looks at the social issues of the time as well as has spiritual overtones and undertones, becoming as author and friend of the book The Reality Within The Matrix, Kristenea LaVelle calls "a futuristic parable." Much like the stories of Jesus that was laced with meaning beyond the surface of the story The Matrix Reloaded gives us insight and challenge into finding our own meaning in life.

LaVelle best interpreted the first movie of the trilogy, The Matrix, with a spiritual connection in her book The Reality Within The Matrix. I had seen the original movie no less than three times before reading her book and seeing layers and layers of spiritual meaning behind the story. She even goes over numerous other symbolic meanings on her website http://www.realitywithinthematrix.com/. Her interpretations have been discussed recently in the New York Post and numerous other forms of media around the world ranging from print to television and radio. Her interpretations are the most in depth that I have seen and are highly recommended to understanding this trilogy. The search for spiritual significance within our world is without a doubt, one of the reasons for the success of this venture.

Click to enlargeWith all of the above being said, The Matrix Reloaded, is a deep, inspirational, and thought provoking piece of literature. I will see this one repeatedly to catch on to all of the meaning that The Wachowski Brothers have put into this story. From the God like character of Morpheus played by Laurence Fishburne, the character reminding us of the Holy Spirit, Trinity, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, to the Christ like Neo played by Keanu Reeves we see the mixture of spiritual and reality all through the context of this story. From the Biblical names like Lazarus to Zion one can't help but notice the Judeo Christian values being presented. The truth is that Mrs. LaVelle and others will have ample material to use to write new books. Whether those views written about, or even mine, are the actual views being addressed by the writers is not as important as the fact that we are searching for meaning. For those searching for meaning however, this movie, and series will offer ample opportunity to think about the meaning portrayed in various issues from individual choice, faith, purpose and after life to many others. One of the beautiful things about this movie is, is that there is so much intent put in this to address Judeo Christian values that one who adheres to those beliefs will be extremely pleased. It is not a stretch to say that this is in part the intent of the writers, and directors, The Wachowski Brothers, and the producers Bruce Berman, Grant Hill, and Joel Silver and even some of the actors like Laurence Fishburne have stated so. They have gone as far as of recent too specifically speak of the association in various interviews and comments on various DVD interpretations and features on the original The Matrix and recent print forms.

Click to enlargeThe movie starts where The Matrix finished, and I will not attempt to give large degrees of interpretation here due to the space that would be required. Just as in The Matrix, the viewer will see innovations in film making that are state of the art, from set designs, costumes, fight sequences, and special effects. This movie will establish new guidelines for years to come. I will say here that Matrix Reloaded, has the best fighting and martial arts sequences ever filmed, surpassing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the car chase scene is superb, surpassing the chase scene in The French Connection and Bullitt. Each character portrays their roles extremely well and to absolute perfection. The things mentioned above with the exception of the acting are beyond what has ever been done in any movie. There are some twists and turns through out the movie and some meanings, which will need some mention without giving a spoiler review. The need for each individual to self examine Matrix Reloaded is one of the things I would highly recommend. Do not depend on any critic, reviewer, or movie attendee to do that for you.

Click to enlargeMatrix Reloaded takes the relationship between Neo and Trinity much further than the original. We see the love that these characters have for each other. They want to be with each other all of the time and are willing to represent the other and be with the other to the point of supreme sacrifice. I could not help but be inspired by the love that Jesus and the Holy Spirit must have for each other. While Matrix Reloaded explores some of that in a most intimate way, including sexual activity, I must say that I struggled with that portrayal as well as the portrayal of the celebration in Zion. For parents wanting to take children, you might want to note here that there is nudity here as well as sexual activity and in some scenes, scenes that resemble orgy activity. While this is not necessarily the visual images that I would have used, I realize two things; One is that the movie is rated R for a reason. The other is that the story is not complete yet and there may be interpretations that I have not thought of regarding the reason for this type of portrayal. I only mention this because I know that this will be the number one reason that many "Super Spiritual Giants" will criticize this movie for. Is it worthy of criticism on this point? The truth is probably, yes, but let us hold out on the stones that we throw until we know the full meaning behind the reasoning.

Click to enlargeAnother theme explored here is the importance of choices. The theme of Predestination or foreknowledge is explored, just as in the Bible. We saw this to some extent in the movie Serendipity but at the same time here, is the concept of choices and the fact that those choices can change the future. We see this in choices throughout the film, choices as to which door that Neo will choose? One that follows the heart and love of another or one that looks out for the perceived benefit of the world around him? We see it in the choices of the Key Keeper/Maker; will he subject himself to danger to open the door that will lead to potential salvation for all humanity? Will Trinity sacrifice herself to save the one she loves in order to save the world? While there are choices to be made in life we see that we are the one making those choices. Just as Neo must make the choice as to which door to open we must also make the choice as if we are to open the door. The movie uses the allegory of doors all through out. I am reminded of Jesus also using in two specific passages speaking of searching for meaning behind doors:

Luke 13:22-30 - As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he taught the people in the towns and villages. Someone asked him, "Lord are only a few people going to be saved?"

Jesus answered:

Do all you can to go in by the narrow door! A lot of people will try to get in, but will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and locks the door, you will be left standing outside. You will knock on the door and say, "Sir, open the door for us!"

But the owner will answer, "I don't know a thing about you!"

Then you will start saying, "We dined with you, and you taught in our streets."

But he will say, "I really don't know who you are! Get away from me, you evil people!"

Then when you have been thrown outside, you will weep and grit your teeth because you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of the prophets in God's kingdom. People will come from all directions and sit down to feast in God's kingdom. There the ones who are now least important will be the most important, and those who are now most important will be least important.

The other verse:

Revelations 3:20 - (Jesus Christ speaking) Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.

(Both verses from Contemporary English Version, CEV)

The comparison here is that we all have our own individual doors to choose, will we choose Christ or will we choose our own way? Much like Neo, both of those doors have consequences. It is important that we base that choice on the thing we love most though. The twist in Matrix Reloaded is one that will certainly make the audience think. If we make our decisions based on the one thing, we love most we can possibly have a tremendous impact because that one thing we love most is the one thing that has the potential for change. It is here that something must be said about many of the discussions about The Matrix regarding the potential to promote violence.

Click to enlargeMy comment is that the movie represents a classic battle between good and evil. I believe The Matrix and Matrix Reloaded both represent a spiritual battle. A battle where the decisions that are made are made ultimately, in love. Those decisions are often made because of the love of one or in some cases because of the love of many, but that does not change the fact that they are made in love. It is only the machines, which I believe represent evil and Satan that violence occurs. This is one of the ways I believe the movie represents the classic Judeo Christian beliefs of specifically Jesus Christ. He did the things he did, the sacrifices, and the things to come, based on the love of each individual on this planet. The decisions Neo makes are also ultimately for the good of the earth and the people caught up in the trap of the Matrix. To get them to a place of control and freedom does not necessarily result in all things being beautiful and perfect. There will ultimately have to come an ultimate battle where evil is defeated for that to take place. I'll go out on a limb here to say that I believe that is what the third part of the story will tell, the ultimate battle that is yet to come where all people who put their faith and trust in Christ, just as the characters will have to in the movie, in Neo. There is one will bring ultimate freedom in both the movie and life. There will be a battle that ultimately brings that into fruition.

One of the beautiful portrayals in the movie that might be overlooked is the story of the Key Keeper / Maker. In many regards, he represents all of humanity. There is a wonderful thought here that we all have a purpose on this planet and that we have specific gifts to carry out that purpose. The concept of all being unique and with specific purpose is wonderfully thought out in the movie. We all have a contribution to make in life and The Key Keeper / Maker is one that also has a specific purpose. His purpose mirrors each of us in that we can have an impact for good on the world around us if we use our gifts, and talents, and stay focused. It should be noted here that while another tried to access those talents they are only of value when used for the one who they are intended for. The other uses death while Neo uses life and love. Neo is the one who those talents are to benefit in the movie just as Jesus is the one they are to benefit in real life.

1 Corinthians 12: 1-6 - My friends, you asked me about spiritual gifts. I want you to remember that before you became followers of the Lord, you were led in all the wrong ways by idols that cannot even talk. Now I want you to know that if you are led by God's Spirit, you will say that Jesus is Lord, and you will never curse Jesus.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do. (CEV)

Matthew 7:7-12 - Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law of the prophets are all about. (CEV)

There are numerous other parallels that could be mentioned. Issues of false prophets or messiahs are addressed when we find that Neo is another in a line of numerous "chosen ones." However, he is different, he chooses a different path, and he is in the form of a man while at the same time divine. Does this sound anything like Jesus? He has the ability to bring the dead back to life, and his power is not just for the imagined world, it also exists in the real world. Just as the previous predecessors before Neo kept the people in bondage and slavery, we cannot help but believe that Neo will be the one to deliver them from evil and to promise and hope. Rest assured, there will be deception and war that lay ahead but the purity of the one, NEO while working with those who love him and are a part of him will ultimately be the factor that sets the captives free from the Matrix.

The thoughts could go on and on, and I am sure they will in the forums but I must give my concluding thoughts. I do not know the exact details of how the movie trilogy will end. Just as in life, people will make predictions and be proven wrong regarding this movie. While the final part of the trilogy is filmed, many edits and other things can be done to change the ending. That does not change the truth behind the spiritual connections though. I challenge anyone to look at this deliverer, Neo, and not see the ultimate deliverer and savior, Jesus Christ in some form or manner. While I have not seen the final chapter, or the script I do believe that if done as well as the first two films, and if answering many of the questions that many of us have, this trilogy has the potential to go down as the best piece of Science Fiction ever written. For that reason, alone I would recommend seeing it, as well as The Matrix, if you have not already.

On a scale of 1-10, for the one scene that I still have issues with I give this one an almost perfect score of 9.

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