Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Come Unto Me, Neo, All Ye Who Are Weak and Burdened

I just got word from a friend that he scored us some tickets to the Matrix Revolutions premiere down in the city centre. While I'm excited to see it, especially since I'll see something before most of you losers back in the States (heh), I'm slightly ambivalent.

A couple of weekends ago, I saw Kill Bill, and absolutely freakin' loved it. If, as Theodor Adorno suggested, there is no poetry after the Holocaust, I think a contemporary (though, admittedly far more shallow -- and I'm not making an ethical evaluation here) corollary might be that there are no more violent movies after Kill Bill. It was utterly shocking. I'm hard-pressed to think of a way that future movies can present violence in such a way as to compare to Tarantino's vision.

I tell you this for one simple reason: I only see the Matrix movies for the comic book, sublime violence. Nothing else. The mythology is pretty shallow and obvious, and the philosophy is of the popular variety that many a thoughtful person might ruminate upon whilst in the tub, stuck in an elevator, etc. So, let's not be fooled, The Matrix is about crazy violence, executed with absurd, electronically-attuned finesse. This, I think, is the reason I left Reloaded a little disappointed. The fights were, for all their bluster and boom, were pretty predictable (save for Morpheus' sudden ability to kick an agent's ass, and I certainly don't credit that as a good plot turn) -- plus, the movie wasn't helped by that bane of such movies: the moviemakers taking their mythology far too seriously, and thus forcing the gunplay to be muted for some insipid dialogue. Moreover, this is the reason I fear I may dislike the last installment. If the early word is true, while there's heaps of over-the-top shoot 'em up, Revolutions will revel in the Christological pap of its suggested pseudo-allegory. Invariably, you'll have people who will remark at the brilliance of this parallel -- evangelical Christians inviting their 'unsaved' friends, so that they might evangelize over a slice of pizza later, in hopes of ticking one name off their Christian hit-list; and, even more annoying, popular culture seminars in which cool black-clad professors push back their greasy, brown locks, and read the trilogy as some seminal moment in contemporary mythology. Urgh. Meanwhile, that'll be me -- at the pizza joint eating a ham calzone, or at the seminar scribbling down a grocery list -- rolling my eyes and awaiting the second volume of Kill Bill.

Anyway, for now, let's hope none of this is the case. Suspension of disbelief begins now . . . we'll just have to wait and see for how long.