Douwe Osinga's Blog: The Matrix Reloaded: beyond meaning

Thursday, June 26, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded: beyond meaning

So I went to see the Matrix Reloaded yesterday. In a way I think the movie reached a new level, a level we could have seen coming since the first James Bond movie. In the earliest movies, fights were pretty real. Heroes got hit and hurt. But that couldn't last, because a hero is more. So heroes got hit and should have hurt badly, but didn't because they were heroes. The villains of course, had to keep up; otherwise the movies wouldn't be very attractive. The same thing happened with car chases and other Hollywood action up to a point where the link between action scenes and reality became less and less strong. Fight scene become more like dances as do car and helicopter chases.

In a way, this happened to other parts of the movie too. Everything becomes less likely, because the more likely has been done before, up to a point where the viewer no longer cares about the likeliness of a scene and the scene (hopefully) only appreciate for the visual beauty of it. The Matrix Reloaded is the next level in that the Wachowski's brothers finally have let go of the requirement that the story as such should tell a story. The Matrix Reloaded is series of nicely done scenes with lots of special effects, exploding attributes and nicely choreographed fighting, mixed with mysterious scenes where people like the Architect, The Oracle, The Keymaker and even Morpheus hold little speeches seemingly making some philosophical point.

These mysterious scenes are just like the fight scenes, there is no longer any link with reality or even philosophy. It's the sounds of the words that count, no longer the meaning. What can be said about philosophy in movies, has been said before. It is more like poetry then philosophy. The Matrix Reloaded is beyond meaning. They say its part two and we're waiting for part three, but there is no real reason to assume that this was part two and not part three. It is beauty and action for its own sake, not for the sake of the story or some Idea, because there is not Idea, there is no story.

I had fun though.