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The Matrix | Part #1

Posted by Psychopath - January 10th, 2015

Often times people will say that Reloaded and Revolutions killed a potentially smart, deep and intricate series, but that's assuming a little much isn't it? I mean, to say that the original Matrix was better than Reloaded and Revolutions is the equivalent of Superboy Prime moaning that everything was better in his world, that is to say, we're assuming a little much by stating that the Matrix was at all smart, deep and intricate to begin with; when you really think about it, this is a fundamentally and monumentally stupid movie. One of the best science fiction films in recent years? Bitch please, this is actually one of the worst. 

For those who don't know, The Matrix is a hamfisted and modernized regurgitation of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, a story which comments on the human condition in which we assimilate reality and what alternatives and truths we'll accept based on what we've already accepted as cemented fact and the possibilities of rejecting new information as it comes or becoming accustomed to it. The Allegory of the Cave starts with the first act establishing a group of men chained upward to face the wall of a cave where they've been held captive since early childhood; they've never seen what's behind them a day in their life as they're bound not just by their arms and legs but also their necks to do so. Additionally, there's a fire ongoing behind them, managed and sustained throughout the time they've been there and because of this fire, they can see shadows of people flickering up against the walls from behind them. The most intellectual their conversations get is by guessing what shadow will appear on the wall next and a person who guesses right is considered clever among them. They know no higher standard of living and thereby they know no pain from their solitude; this is what life is to them. The second act proposes that should one of these people be brought down from their shackles and dragged out into the sunlight to view the real world, one of two things would occur; they'd either reject it as a false reality and go back the cave to continue staring at the wall or they'd grow begrudgingly and reluctantly accustomed to their new environment and concept of reality. The third act proposes that if the latter should occur, suppose what would happen if he went back to the cave to tell everyone that their reality is a lie? They'd hold him into the same viewpoint as our society holds homeless people who were released from insane asylums after they were closed down.

The Matrix runs on the same basic principle as Plato's Allegory of the Cave; the year 1999 is a simulated reality in which everyone is oblivious to the reality that they actually exist in where the machines they built had turned Skynet on their assess which ushered into war. The humans decided to block out the sun with constant cloud cover effectively killing all life on Earth in an effort to stop the machines from receiving electricity via solar panels. Whatever's keeping them from just readjusting their solar panels to go up above the clouds is beyond me, which is one of the many, many fundamental flaws with this movie, but I digress. In retaliation, the machines resort to cloning humans so they can use them as batteries as a bizarre alternative to, you know, any other much more effective resource that they could use for electricity, but I digress. Singular individuals thought of as worthy are ejected from the Matrix from an outside source of freedom fighters who had also escaped the Matrix. These individuals will either embrace reality or they'll resort to going back to the Matrix. Most of the people attached to the Matrix identify with it so heavily that they would reject reality immediately and attempt at getting back into the Matrix believing that reality is a lie.

The movie's protagonist is Thomas "Neo" Anderson who works for an unnamed software company and also spends his downtime violating computer hacking laws in every figurative orphis conceivable, eye sockets included. If I understand correctly, he also leaks lines of code from the software company he works for to third party individuals through underground circumstances. He's approached by Trinity, a character we know too little about yet see too much of, because despite the fact that she's one of the central characters, I know nothing about her, I couldn't care about her and her core reason for existing is so retarded that it makes me want to punch my grey meats out with a piece of led projectiled toward the roof of my mouth via gunpowder. She tells him about how she knows all about him, the fact that he's become aware of the Matrix and by extension, Morpheus. Now, here's the thing, Morpheus is the leader of the freedom fighter group or at least just this unit of Zion's military; Trinity works underneath him and all Morpheus is concerned about is finding "the One", freeing him from the Matrix, training him to manipulate and destroy the Matrix. With that being said, can someone explain to me why his course of action is to not approach Neo directly as soon as possible, but rather have his cronies beat around the bush with him until he's put into situations the could compromise his health and make him useless to their cause? Seriously, Trinity doesn't take Neo to meet Morpheus right away, she just tells him about how they're aware of his presence and what he knows and the next thing that happens is that Neo wakes up in his bed late for work. Don't try to feed me that crap about how it would've been unsafe for Neo to meet Morpheus that night because it was apparently safe enough for Trinity to compromise her situation by exposing herself to Neo, so why the fuck not? Not fifteen minutes in and I've already exposed a plothole. Strap in folks, this is gonna be a bumpy ride. A very, very bumpy ride.

The next morning Neo arrives at work late and getting scolded at for obvious reasons. After which, Neo receives a phone in the mail which rings upon him dispensing it from the envelope, he answers and the person on the other side of the line knows everything about him and reveals himself to be Morpheus. Morpheus also reveals that there are some men in black out to get him and he pin points their location on the floor Neo works on to prove it. Morpheous then proceeds to instruct Neo to get onto the scaffolding outside the building and have him climb his way to the roof of the building. Neo, not being the self destructive insane man willing to risk his life in trade for not being held in custody over the potential prospect of only being interrogated, decides to surrender to the men in black.

The men in black, if you've never seen this movie, are programs designed as a type of anti-virus software meant to kill hackers whenever there are any. During the interrogation, it's revealed by the programs that since Neo's affiliated with Morpheus, they want to use him as a plant, claiming that Morpheus is a notorious terrorist and they could really use his help to bring Morpheus' destruction to an end. When Neo refuses, they mold his mouth shut and plant a belly-buster from Alien 1979 into his stomach. You see, this is all Morpheus' fault; even when Neo was actively and intentionally seeking Morpheus out, the programs didn't give a shit and it's only now that he's actually affiliated with Morpheous that they do give a shit because they know that Morpheus has an interest in him well enough to seek him out and guide him. If he had Trinity just come out with truth from the very beginning, this wouldn't have happened, Neo would have crossed over from fiction to reality and the programs couldn't do shit about it. Now, the programs are in a position of killing the guy that the freedom fighters believe is capable of ending the cold war in their favor. Yeah, Morpheus is very smert, you can tell because he almost lost the guy his plan hinges on entirely. Dumbass.

After the fact, Neo wakes up in his bed again screaming himself awake led to believe that the Cthulhu nightmare he was living was merely fiction. But then he receives another call from Morpheus whom informs him that if they knew what he knew, Neo would have died then and there. Neo's told to meet his cronies out underneath the bridge near where he lives. After they pick him up, they keep him at gun point on their way to Morpheus' hideout on the grounds that they're unaware as to whether or not he's a program and they need to make sure he feels as threatened and intimidated as possible as a precaution, despite the fact that the whole lot of them are computer hackers who have an indepth expertise in Matrix coding, so much in fact that they can understand what the code conveys without analyzing or decrypting it and they can clearly see that he's not a program. In any case, they suck the alien out of Neo's gut to which he exclaims "Jesus Christ, that thing's real!?", which is something I really don't think should surprise him considering how EVERYTHING ELSE turned out to be real, which should have been made clearly apparent to him when Morpheus started talking to him about how if they knew what he knew he'd be would be dead, implying that him being caught and the interrogation was real, further implying that what happened to him was real, but I digress.

After they arrive to Morpheus' hideout, they bring him up to Morpheus' room and Morpheus tells Neo that he knows what the Matrix is but he can't put it into words, so he offers Neo a choice of hallucinogenic drugs between a red pill and a blue pill so he can see pretty colors and totally get it maaan. Now, since the blue pill will allow Neo to reject everything he's seen the past few days and let him rationalize the events as he so chooses and the red pill allows him to develop an understanding of everything that goes on in the world around him, what would've happened if Neo decided to go purple? The Matrix doesn't prohibit you from grabbing both, it's not like a video game where taking an alternative is made impossible, it's meant to simulate real life, so what would've happened if Neo took both pills? This choice sounds like it could really backfire in very horrible, horrible ways. Furthermore, why does leaving the situation require taking the blue pill? Does it erase his memory? That's kinda sketchy.

In any case, after Neo downs the red pill they take him to the back room where he starts hallucinating and very much regretting ever having accepted candy from the nice trenchcoat wearing stranger from the back of his van. He eventually gets covered in what I can only guess is unicorn blood from Harry Potter after making contact with a busted mirror. Shortly after he wakes up in an oval water tank filled with red goo and he's attached to the pod he's in via USB cords feeding out of his spine, he also looks on at the world around him to see that pretty much everyone is in the same kind of predicament that he is. A normal person would start screaming "THIS IS NOT FUCKING LIFE! THIS A FUCKING NIGHTMARE! I DON'T WANNA BE HERE! SOMEBODY WAKE ME UP!", but then again, since this is Keanu Reeves we're talking about, his response is that of a slight "meh". Being emotionless is expected when you're Keanu Reeves.

After the fact, one of the sentinels managing the pods spots him and instead of doing the logical thing by sedating him and putting him back into the Matrix, it disconnects Neo and dumps him into the sewers where he's found by Morpheus and his crew. One might think that this particular droid were under the control of Morpheus but whether it is or not is never explained. Speaking of sedation and the Matrix, what necessitates the Matrix? It's explained that the Matrix was basically the next big step in Minecraft or the internet or some shit by injecting people directly into the simulation by hooking them up through ports installed through the back of their skulls and lots of people did not like this idea which is what led to the war between the machines and humanity. Now, even though the Matrix was integrated into their systems since the beginning, why do they still use it for, well, anything? Wouldn't it be more simple for them to just sedate their people-batteries their entire lifespan with drugs? Hooking them up to the Matrix is like locking somebody into a library, eventually they'll assimilate enough knowledge from a book on locksmithing to pick the locks on the doors and escape, matter of fact, that's how people first started breaking out of the Matrix to begin with; Morpheus exposits that the first person to escape the Matrix was a guy who discovered that he could manipulate the Matrix however he pleased and decided to pop the cherries of a select few people to form Zion and the freedom fighter force that followed. Not only that, but think of all the electricity you're wasting in doing so; the Matrix is an extremely complex programming system that would require yottabytes upon yottabytes of storage space and ram just to function, the more people you add on the more space you'll need for the Matrix which means the more hardware you'd need to add on which means the more electricity the Matrix will eat up and then your surplus of electricity goes byebye. As if that weren't enough, the Matrix serves as a gateway for the freedom fighters to get into your systems and potentially fuck you up and forcibly release everybody from your grip, not only that, but they depend on it to find "the One" who they believe will bring you down. By keeping the Matrix around, you're basically asking to be exploited in an otherwise air tight and one sided conflict.

After Neo regroups with Morpheus and his crew on their ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, they use the same kind of technology from the pods to inject information directly into Neo's brain through a cord feeding into the outlet implanted into the back of his skull. They inject him and Morpheus together into a personal server dubbed "the Construct" where they can generate anything they want and bring it over into the Matrix with them such as clothes, weapons, and more... pills... Morpheus goes on to exposit that world peace was achieved when our generation had at long last successfully created an authentic artificial intelligence which ushered in a new age of machines capable of independent thought. It remains unknown who shot the first bullet, but what is known is that the human rebels blocked out the sun which totally backfired and the machines resorted into cloning human beings to use them as a substitute energy source which is then used to power the Matrix which is used to--  yeah this plot is fucking stupid. Here's the thing, I looked it up and as it turns out, putting solar panels up above the stratosphere actually makes them eight times more effective than they would be if they were stationed on Earth's surface due to the fact that there's no weather interference in space, so there's no good reason for them to not have done that. Also, this construct thing raises a bunch of questions, after Morpheus is captured, Neo and Trinity generate a pair of guns that they bring over into the Matrix to help free Morpheus; with that in mind, why can't they just infect the Matrix with a virus? Think about it, if they just designed a bunch of A.I.'s with limited functionality, couldn't they just copy/pasta a bunch of Duke Nukems into the Matrix to just completely corrupt it? That sounds like the perfect alternative to, you know, risking your life by going into the Matrix yourself. I mean, even if Duke Nukem is defeated, you're still alive and you can just throw Master Chief in to compensate. Just rinse and repeat the formulae with slight modifications. Just sayin'.

After the fact, Neo starts to reject Morpheus' exposition by saying "That doesn't make any sense", followed by "Why couldn't they just elevate the solar panels five feet above the clouds? Why do they waste so much of the electricity they siphon out of humans to power the Matrix when they could spend way less electricity on just sedating us into sleeping our entire lives? Why would they use something like the Matrix when it could so easily bite them in the ass? Why is the Matrix based around reality when the smarter thing to do would be to mislead humanity by putting them into an environment where the physics are all fucked up incase someone does escape?", you know, logic verses stupidity. Morpheus rebukes his denial with "Dude, I told you that the red pill would take you places, I never said it'd be places that you wanted to go." This is followed by Neo being released from the Construct and demanding that he be woken up from this bad acid trip and go home. Morpheus tells him that he can never go back because now that he's released, he's on the program's hit list. This is also the point in which he tells Neo about "the One" and how "the One" was the first person to ever figure out the Matrix for what it was, manipulate it and free the first set of freedom fighters who eventually formed Zion. After "the One" died, the "Oracle" prophesized that another one would sprout up out of nowhere and that he believes that Neo is "the One".

They proceed to train Neo by using the same kind of technology from the pods to inject information directly into Neo's brain through a cord feeding into the outlet implanted into the back of his skull and he learns all forms of martial arts after ten hours of assimilation. After the fact, Morpheus decides to spar with Neo in a dojo construct. Morpheus steamrolls Neo's ass, analyzes that "Your weakness is not your technique" followed by asking the question "Why did I beat you?", to which he follows "Do you really think the physical attributes of my body have any real impact in here?" followed by another rhetorical question "You think that's air you're breathing?". Basically put, Morpheus is telling Neo that the problem doesn't stem from his lack of capacity, it stems from his concept of limitation, only instead of telling him this outright, he tells him in the most obnoxiously metaphorical and cryptic manner possible to try and sound deep when the thing he's telling him is just really basic. This scene could have been more than what it is at face value; a character study on humanity's self conflicted tendencies in the inability to grasp the true reality despite having already knowing and accepting it, instinctively clinging onto false information as a response to the jarring experience of being confronted with the prospect that everything we not only knew, but were conditioned to accept, was actually a lie from it's very premise and despite knowing the truth, despite the fact that the truth supersedes the lie, a part of us desperately clings to the lie merely on the grounds that we assimilated the lie first and for that reason the former can't be a lie because it's been the truth for far too long to be untrue; the inner struggle of understanding and coping with reality. But alas, that aspect is barely touched upon, reduced down to a mere footnote and all it amounts to is Neo and Morpheus brawling. Neo nearly kicks his ass, informs him that he knows what he's trying to do and Morpheus replies by telling him that he's only trying to get him to break his limited grasp over his own capabilities and despite his efforts, he can't force Neo to learn how to manipulate the Matrix, he can only show him a visual example. 

Uh, no, that's a massive lie, Neo just learned all forms of martial arts by having the information copied into his brain through an extension cord, that's why the two of them are sparring, so with that being said, why can't they just import the knowledge and understanding on how to manipulate the Matrix into his brain just in the same way as they did with the jujitsu? That means that you CAN force him to learn it, literally. Don't tell me that it's because they have too limited an understanding over how it's done to write it to a disc, obviously Morpheous and most of everybody in Zion understands how it's done, matter of fact, it's Morpheus who teaches Neo the basics of doing it and it's apparently a very important and crucial detail for Neo to learn how to do it or otherwise they'll probably lose the war, so why not? That sounds a lot more convenient and reliable than trying to explain it to him through hamfisted and cryptic metaphors that might not even leave the right impression on him and limit his ability to perform. This isn't the Force from fucking Star Wars where it absolutely has to be learned step by step, they have the ability to pump information into your cerebral cortex through a series of tubes and the fact that despite clearly having, even if it is only the very basic thereof, an understanding of how to do it themselves, you mean to tell me that they can't fucking do it? Bullshit. This one detail holds the key to life and death in the Matrix and you mean to tell me that they never bothered to put the information on how to do it on a fucking floppy drive? But karate tricks are the first things on our "to learn" list? Oh, those are real essential, we gotta have those, especially for when you're going up against gigantic Japanese tentacle monsters from the pits of mechanical Hell and software programs that can teleport by possessing anybody they want who's still hooked up to the Matrix through their system and taking on the actual bodies of freedom fighters whom they've assimilated as hosts so that they can infiltrate Zion and expose your position to the rest of the hive mind that is the army of Japanese tentacle monsters from the pits of mechanical Hell. That's very smert of you. Hey, I've got an idea, while we're at it, let's bring in small, defective handguns over from the Construct into the Matrix as opposed to something useful like one of those guns that shoot lightning that are found during the third act and no, don't tell me that there are rules they have to follow while in the Matrix and for that reason they can't bring in Zeus cannons, the entire dynamic of their cold war against the machines depends entirely on their capacity to break those rules and muscle the programs into submission, so the fact that they rely entirely on machine guns and hand guns whenever they enter the Matrix is fucking stupid.

Well in any case, Morpheus has his tech heads load another program designed for jumping, the purpose of this course is to teach Neo about manipulating the Matrix to allow you to extend your jumping distance to whatever length you see fit. Again, I stress the issue that this is something that they really should have on disc, but I digress. Naturally, Neo fails. See, I told you, but I digress. After Neo falls into the ground which rebounds him like a trampoline, Neo wakes up with a bloody lip from the impact which is pure nonsense considering how the fall should have annihilated his bone matter, but since it didn't this still doesn't make sense because if the rest of his body was undamaged from the fall, why did he get a bloody lip? I would further complain about how you can't have both but this raises another nonsense issue of the fact that this leads Morpheus to tell him that if you die in the Matrix, you die in real life. Okay, maybe I could buy that in the case of the people who are still hooked up to the Matrix through their red gooey incubators attached to the main system because they're hooked up to the Matrix not just from the back of their skulls, but also their spines, limbs and just fucking everywhere in general and that those people are being used to power the machine empire so their dying before they see old age in the Matrix could be explained by them being hyperdrained whenever there's a need for a boost in electricity in the city, but not the hackers. I mean, seriously? What, did they install a poison deposits into their own cords that dissolve the brain for when you die in the Matrix? They're not being used as batteries for the Matrix when they enter it, they're hacking into it remotely. I can understand the concept of a program back-hacking and assimilating a hacker's body but how do you kill someone purely through their mind? Morpheous explains that this works on the grounds that when the mind believes it just got stabbed, it'll force the body into recreating the wounds and kill itself. Uh, no. Granted, a hypochondriac can make his body simulate symptoms of a disease but he can't make himself bleed to death without actually puncturing himself with an object foreign to his own body. Even if you could do that, it wouldn't happen that fast, if it did, then why is it that after all the dreams I've had of dying, including the one where I experienced the sensation of bleeding to death by growing cold and my limbs losing functionality, that I didn't die in my sleep? You know what happens to people when that happens? They wake up, sometimes screaming themselves awake. Well, that's what typically happens, I can only recall waking up from a dying dream once, what usually happens to me is that I reverse the situation up to the point where I die and I take an alternative path from that conclusion. This can happen up to five times before my slight alterations work and yeah, this might seem really grim and dark to you but it's the norm for me. I don't even really consider them nightmares anymore. 

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, right. Hey, you know what this dumbass rule reminds me of? Nightmare on Elm Street. Yeah, if this strange rule seems just as out of place to you as it does to me, that's the reason why, they lifted it from another movie that follows a similar dynamic in it's premise, only in Nightmare on Elm Street that rule made sense because it wasn't a science fiction movie that tried to ground itself in reality and make the premise seem realistically plausible, it was a horror movie.

Morpheus has his tech heads load another program which on it's own really serves no purpose as a learning experience unless Morpheus is there with you to give context. This particular program exists for the purpose of simulating the Matrix which gives Morpheus leverage to segway into another exposition rant on how the majority of these people are so heavily attached to the Matrix that they can't be unplugged or they'll actively sabotage the freedom fighter group in an attempt to go back to the Matrix, which is the reason why new members are so scarce. This is also the point in which Morpheus tells Neo that the programs, or agents rather, can assimilate anybody still attached to the Matrix through an incubator remotely and they can assimilate and possess the bodies of hackers by back-hacking them through means of winning a fight and plunging their fist into the chest of the hacker, I'm not kidding, that's how they do it manually and it makes for an awesome watch. So yeah, jumping into the Matrix is all different kinds of dangerous, so much in fact that one slip up could undermine the entire rebellion and fuck over the inhabitance of Zion, which it eventually does.

After the training course is complete, Morpheus gets a call from one of the hackers managing the ship that there are sentinels crawling through the sewer system they're lurking in so instead of running away from them, they speed towards them as fast as possible. Yeah, these guys are all kinds of dumb. They observe the sentinels by shutting off their hover craft and keeping their hands on the electromagnetic pulse button incase they're detected by the sentinels, in which case they'll let the sentinels crawl up to the ship and they'll trigger their "only weapon" shutting them off immediately. I've gotta wonder, what was the point of coming to this area? If anything, they should be running away from these fucking things because they could get killed by being around them. Furthermore, what do they do with the sentinels they've shut down after they kill their power source anyway? Do they bring them on board and dismantle them for spare parts? I have no idea, so it's very much akin to the rest of the movie. At least it has consistency, I'll give it that.

After they, leave... I guess... Neo stumbles upon Cypher, the soon-to-be traitor of the group observing Matrix code, expositing that he doesn't even analyze it anymore, nor does he have to in order to understand it, he can just glance at the code and understand it's meaning which reinforces my point from earlier when the freedom fighters hold Neo at gunpoint. He also exposits that he sympathizes with Neo's jarring experience after being ejected from the Matrix into reality and that he laments not choosing the blue pill over the red pill. I lament the fact that Neo didn't take both and promptly explode from the dividing by zero. Cypher seems like the only relatively intelligent person here as he exposits that if he sees an agent, it's recommended that he run like Hell, as opposed to Morpheus' advice that he should try and stand his ground and fight. Cypher is also shocked to hear that Morpheus told Neo that he expects Neo to fulfill the prophecy of "the One".

Right after that scene, we see Cypher has somehow gone into the Matrix, on his own mind you, despite the fact that someone on the outside has to be managing and studying his every move to operate his escape, otherwise he can't get in or leave, someone has to help him do it, therefore it's impossible for him to keep his mutiny in secret. Well in any case, we see that Cypher is discussing arrangements with the agent dubbed Smith to have himself put back into his incubator at the cost of Morpheous' capture and the death of his crew members. I don't know how he plans to leave the Matrix to sabotage his fellow freedom fighters with the apparent absence of an assistant but...

Oh, this is a mere tidbit, but, Cypher has them agree to erasing his memory of the past nine years he's been out of the Matrix. Okay, if they could do that, then why didn't they do that with Neo when they put the alien into his stomach? What if it never crossed their minds that Neo was bugged when the hackers were bringing him to Morpheus' hideout? There's a chance that Neo would have remembered and told them about it to have it removed.

Anyways, Morpheus decides it's time that Neo meet the Oracle, a defiant program in the Matrix that's suspiciously assisting the freedom fighters in their cold war. When they bring him into the Oracle's apartment, the infamous "there is no spoon" scene occurs, the point in which Neo finally gets all the psychobabble bullshit that Morpheus was spouting out earlier. For whatever reason, Morpheus decides that it's necessary to bring absolutely everybody, save for the two managers, into the Matrix just so that Neo can meet the Oracle and learn the truth, which ends up biting him in the ass, he should have left three people behind as a contingency plan incase the two operators were ambushed, but then again that's one of the less frustrating among my gripes, so let's continue.