Sunday, November 9, 2003

What am I 'posed to take away from The Matrix? (Part 2 of 2)

And there's my problem.

Your big honkin' duel between Luke and Vader wasn't really about who was going to chop whose head off; it was about Luke's soul -- would he go over to the Dark Side?  (And, ultimately, it was about Vader's too.)  There was a lesson here, something to take away.  That there's always good in all of us.  That you can achieve victory by not fighting and instead relying on the spark of inherent goodness in your opponent (it's vaguely Gandhi-esque when you think about it).

I can't find the lesson I'm supposed to take away from Neo's victory over Agent Smith.  Make a deal with an enemy to get rid of a common enemy?  Cautious equilibrium is better for everybody?  (And what sort of messed up deal was it that the machines made?  "Sure, we will let your pesky independent human civilization continue in exchange for you ridding us of our rogue program who has inconveniently jumped the fence."  Yeah, that's a war strategy I'd like to see the Iraqis try.)

I s'pose this might be easier if I actually understand exactly how Neo took out Agent Smith in the first place.  Closest I can get is it was some sort of attack from within -- somehow once Neo was had been Smith'd, self-destructing set off some sort of chain reaction.  Kinda like a computer virus. (ID4 anyone?)  But regardless of exactly how that happened (hell, once programs actually had an existence outside the matrix I ceased attempting to understand how stuff actually happens in the movie's universe) -- what I'm missing here is the message.  Where's the really cool way Neo used his humanness to defeat Agent Smith (in the same way Luke used his goodness)?  That's what I'm needing here.  It isn't just enough for Neo to kick Agent Smith's ass, he has to win by exploiting some flaw in what Smith is.

Otherwise, it's just another Baddest Ass Wins sort of movie.

4 comments:

andreakingme said...

2 of 3

--> It isn't just enough for Neo to kick Agent Smith's ass, he has to win by exploiting some flaw in what Smith is. >

Smith didn't think he had a flaw, did he? Apparently he would believe in his Vision so thoroughly that he would destroy both The Machine World and all of humanity. So all Neo had to do was to let Smith think he'd won.

We can analyze this from 20 different positions, though ...

andreakingme said...

3 of 3

Maybe a new version of the cycle has begun. Neo isn't the only who stands in The Machine's way, though. He had a lot of help along the way. The Oracle is still alive. And surely, if Neo continues to live, he will grow more powerful. Maybe.

The lesson for me? That the human spirit is indomitable. You can kill a body, but you can't kill the spirit.

andreakingme said...

1 of 3

Great review, NZ.

--> ...we will let your pesky independent human civilization continue in exchange for you ridding us of our rogue program who has inconveniently jumped the fence. >

That's the thing, though. We don't know that this will continue to happen. All we know is that the Ultimate Orchestrator (well, I don't know what to frigging call him) DID want Smith destroyed, and that Neo was the only one who could do it because he was Smith's other half. Or somet

dymphna103 said...

You are right about Luke and Vader there was something to be learned there. In this there wasnt. But it was entertainment...john