Quote:To be honest I have never understood the hate that some have of the sequels.
I guess I've always gone against the grain and I liked the sequels better than the first movie, although none of them are perfect.
I think it's about expectations. When the first movie came out I was in college and everyone I knew was talking about how it was such a game changer, it was going to change movies forever. I was expecting so much more. So it's about 30 minutes in when we finally learn what the Matrix really is: the world we know is just a simulation and the real world is something else, humans are controlled by machines. Since the Matrix isn't real, the laws of physics can be broken. Okay, that's all fine. Now we spend the next hour watching Neo slowly try to comprehend what Morpheus explained and the audience understood at the 30 minute mark. He's still trying to understand "there is no spoon." Morpheus keeps saying that Neo is "the one" who will do something no one else has ever done. When Neo visits the Oracle she tells him that Morpheus has got it all wrong. I kept expecting Neo to come up with some huge revelation, like that the world Morpheus thinks is real is just another simulation or something. But no, the movie doesn't challenge us like that. It turns out Morpheus is right, the Oracle was just testing Neo, and at the end of the movie Neo's understanding of things finally catches up to what Morpheus and Trinity understood at the beginning of the movie. And then Neo dies and comes back to life -- somehow -- and that's the party trick he can do that no one else can do. Then I realized this is not a deep, philosophical movie, it's just an action flick with a coat of paint on top that tries to look deep.
So with that expectation I went to see the second movie just to see a slick action movie with no real point, and it delivered that. I still kept wondering why they spent so much time in the Matrix when the real fight needed to be fought in the real world, but of course only in the Matrix can they do the bullet-time thing and that's their whole gimmick. I liked that they brought back Smith, he was the best character from the first movie, and they upgraded him, so I was left wondering where they were going with that. They gave us a new danger that the machines were now tunnelling down to Zion to kill all the freed humans. Why now? They tell us that too, when Neo meets the Architect, who is one of the most annoying characters in any franchise with his circuitous vernacular. It's a cycle. Certain humans will reject the reality of the Matrix so the machines created a solution. Give them a prophecy and a chosen one to believe in, let them organize and build up their resistance to a certain point, and then before it becomes a threat, wipe them all out and then start again. It's just something to keep them busy, to keep their rebellion manageable.
Then we get two little nuggets of interest towards the end: Smith manages to overwrite a human's "program" (brain, consciousness, whatever) and upload himself into a human body in Zion. And Neo learns that he has some kind of powers in the Zion level too -- he disables a Sentinel with his mind, or something. And then a cliffhanger ending. So to me part 2 was basically the same slick action movie as the first with a couple of extra little nuggets thrown in, so I liked it slightly better.
And I liked the Merovengian. I was just watching that scene with my son, 12, when the Frenchman makes the woman at the restaurant aroused with his specially programmed cake ... my son was like "what just happened" and I had so say "uh, I'm not sure ..."
So then there's part 3, and it wrapped things up so that was appreciated. The fight between Neo and Multiple Smith in part 2 showed the futility of them just punching each other to no effect, so I'm glad they didn't keep running into him throughout part 3, they just saved the rematch for the end of the movie. And Smith wins, which was nice and I guess unexpected. Unfortunately this leaves a good chunk of part 3 in the hands of the Battle of the Dock or whatever, a bunch of warmechs fighting a bunch of robo-squids. Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and Niobe pretty much sit this one out and we're left with a bunch of third-stringers. Apparently there are a bunch of other scenes with Niobe and Morpheus and the Trainman and such that weren't used in the movie but rather in the video game which I haven't played, so that's unfortunate. I'd rather see more Trainman than Sentinel fighting.
But Neo travels to the machine city to broker a peace with a giant baby head. Overall I liked the conclusion. Neo, Trinity and Smith die, the humans and machines create a truce, and the Architect and Oracle tells us that the cycle will begin again, setting themselves up for a remake trilogy when everyone's career begins to sag. Wachowskis, I'm looking in your direction ...
This franchise also gave us the Animatrix which was arguably the most interesting installment of the whole thing.
Quote:Now Smith....I don't think his actions were a part of the overall plan. He was upgraded to fight Neo but assimilating the entire Matrix I do not think was part of the plan.
I don't think he was upgraded by the machines, though. It was a fluke, and it gave Neo a bargaining chip. Or mabye it was part of the plan for that reason. Who knows?