the matrix Trilogy is famous for starting strong and then falling apart in the end. Is that going to happen again? We will see. After eleven years it is Matrix Resurrections will be released on December 22nd, 2021. Now is the perfect time to get to the Original trilogy, starting with the first film, The matrix (1999).
The matrix The series begins by tracking down a computer hacker named Neo, who is led into a terrifying underworld by a beautiful stranger. There he “discovers the shocking truth – the life he knows is the sophisticated deception of an evil cyber-intelligence”. He had been looking for the mysterious Morpheus who defends a human civilization from attack by machines. Neo is horrified when he discovers from him that not only is the world he knows a false reality, but that the AI entities have taken over the planet and are using humans as a source of energy.
Morpheus also tells him that his destiny is to destroy the matrix of AI and restore humanity. He has the choice between a red and a blue pill …
The film popularized the term “redpilled” to mean “discovery of inconvenient facts”. A blue pill is one of the vast majority of people who conveniently does not recognize the deception, while a red pill is a rare one who has accepted the red pill (as opposed to the blue one) and agrees to know the terrible truth.
The machines believe that they are the next step in evolution. In fact, Agent Smith, the main antagonist in the story, tells Morpheus during an interrogation: “Evolution, Morpheus, evolution”. He compares humans to a virus, a virus for which he is the cure.
But the core of the story is about belief. Morpheus believes that Neo is the one who will save them all and so sacrifices himself to save him. And Neo believes the words of the oracle who tells him that he must sacrifice himself to save Morpheus. A journey convinces Neo that he is indeed the appointee, which raises him from the dead in a metaphor of death and resurrection (“The Passion of Neo”) that’s about as subtly a religious clue as an oncoming train …
But the film is by no means religious in any recognizable sense. Hedonism is clearly visible: in order to be free, we have to follow our impulses. As one of the crew members Mouse, says: “To deny our own impulses is to deny exactly what makes us human.”
Mouse’s idea is ridiculous when you think about it. Why do so many of these films tell us that if we just listened to what drives us in the physical world, we would be moving into a new reality?
Wouldn’t that just keep us in the physical? Has it ever occurred to these writers that our ability to withstand our impulses is one of the things that make us human? Who has ever heard of a dog resisting its impulses without training? Man’s best friend can hardly stop himself from peeing on the carpet.
And that’s the trap that The matrix The series also falls into the later films. The issues of faith and a world outside of our own are almost disappearing. At the end of the story, hedonism turns into downright nihilism.
Finally, The matrix (1999) asks us to see that the false reality in general is authority. This is a deviation from Plato’s cave analogy. His idea was that our senses don’t tell us the full story. Instead, the film combines individual freedom with instinct, telling us that our senses are the only thing that really exists, a subject that internally contradicts ideas about the necessity of belief and a world beyond our own.
Here is the trailer for The Matrix: The Resurrections:
You may also want to read: How can we be sure that we are not just simulating an ET? A number of books and films are based on this planetarium hypothesis. Shall we believe it? We make a belief-based decision that logic and evidence together are reasonable guidelines for what is true. The logical possibility alone does not make an idea come true.