The solution Wachowski ultimately proposes to dismantle it seems almost picturesque, and therefore disarming: love, both in the individually romantic sense and in a radical willingness to accept those who are unlike us. In keeping with the rest of the Wachowskis’ quirky and serious work, the supernatural powers of its protagonists are only unlocked when they give up what keeps them from being themselves.
Which is fine in the context of a Hollywood movie, but what does that say about, you know, the real “real world?” “Sheep aren’t going anywhere,” the film’s villain taunts in his climactic speech. “They love my world. They don’t want this sentimentality. They don’t want freedom or empowerment. They want to be controlled. They seek the comfort of certainty. And that means you… back in your pods, oblivious and alone, just like them.
That’s another obvious meta-commentary on the movie itself: opening up against the second weekend of Disney’s final steamroller, the monocultural superhero content “Spider-Man: No Way Home” makes it difficult. to imagine such a gnarly, idea-driven movie. capture the American zeitgeist in 2021 as it did in 1999, even with all the legacy and appeal of the hit series.
But bring back the slow and mistaken co-opting of the “red pill” as part of reactionary symbology, and consider the rest of the film’s anti-social media message, with its overt hostility to future pundits and storytellers looking to ” program ”the brains of their listeners. There is another meta-critical message conveyed beyond the theoretical success of the film: Yes, arts and culture, “The Matrix” included, can inspire, critique and influence their consumers.
But the simple act of receiving and regurgitating their wisdom is a shallow foundation upon which to build a political philosophy or an emotional life. “The Matrix Resurrections” ends with its protagonists soaring on the horizon, mirroring the end of the original film but in a world far different from ours. The “red pill,” as conceived by the Wachowskis and their collaborators, is not an answer in itself, but the freedom to seek one’s own answers.
Of course, it’s the same intoxicating idea that a generation of ideological hucksters grabbed to sell their wares following the release of the original films. The hottest issues of American public life – elections, vaccines, natural disasters and the like – are inevitably followed by a parade of Yarvins and Bannons, promising access to “independent thought” that the architects of our own ” Matrix “proverbial would do. obscure. “The Matrix Resurrections” does not refute them directly, because to miss the point. What Wachowski and colleagues have shown with their unconventional and risky sequel is that in the real world the only real “choice” is to reject such sketchy explanations – and by proxy to throw the whole bottle down the toilet. .