Adam's Analysis of the Matrix: Reloaded
Here are my ideas on the Matrix Reloaded movie. A lot of people find it confusing and decided that it is only an eye-candy film simply because it is hard to understand. I've found that this movie is a very strong compliment to the original and it shows that the "rabbit hole" goes a lot deeper than Morpheus ever knew. So for those who haven't seen the movie, stop reading now! Unless you don't really intend to see it anyway in which case the rest of this article will show you what you're missing.
While the first Matrix film went into the simple philosophical concepts regarding what is "real". "Reloaded" shows that reality is irrelevant and brings the viewer's thought to the next level.
Morpheus and others have faith in Neo because the Oracle (a "prophet") said that he is "the One" and that he will end the war with the machines. They believe the Oracle because she has predicted the future in the past, be it vague or manipulative. One way to predict the future is to cause it. Little do the humans know, she is actually part of the Matrix program designed by the Architect to guide certain humans who strive for something greater than what the Matrix can provide. Something like enlightenment... or the second language of fulfillment through a shared "world view".
Neo can be said to have gained the powers of "The One" through Love. It could be considered that the love of Trinity brought him back to life and allowed him to transcend the laws of nature defined in the world of the Matrix. Or perhaps the Love was just the last thing he needed in order to believe for himself that he could do anything. Everybody else was saying he could... why not believe it?
In Reloaded, the Love between Neo and Trinity feeds his beliefs that sustain his powers. Meanwhile, Zion is under attack from the machines. This gives the humans a shared world view that joins them together in hope and faith. Many put their faith in Neo.. which gives him more confidence and perhaps more mind-power to manipulate his surroundings within the Matrix.
Neo meets with the Oracle for guidance in helping his people to overcome their conflict with the machines. She points him on a path and he follows it, despite knowing that she is not necessarily trustworthy. Finally he ends up in the presence of the Architect.. the one who designed the Matrix. He reveals that the "One" has existed 5 times before, and Zion has been destroyed 5 times and this is the 6th. Clues to this were given in the beginning when Agent Smith says to his clone that everything is happening just as before. The other Smith then says something like, "Well, not exactly." which implies that there is something different this time, be it Neo's Love.. or Agent Smith's renegade freedom and cloning abilities. The Architect also reveals that the first Matrix was a failure due to it's "perfect-ness", which ultimately is not perfect because it did not account for the fact that suffering is part of life and that the inherent flaws in an environment are what make it successful. Perhaps the second Matrix failed, because, while it did account for suffering and strife... did not account for a world view, choice, and enlightenment.
It is presupposed by the programming in the Matrix that choice is an illusion. In reality as well as in the Matrix, all actions are performed in response to previous actions and circumstances. Many humans do not keep track of past circumstances in order to realize the reasoning behind their actions, hence "choice" is assumed to be something that we have control over. If all variables are accounted for, the outcome of an action can be predicted based on established theories or laws that are given to be true by the programming in the Matrix or the programming of Nature. However, there is a certain predisposition that things change. Evolution does not always go by the rules. This opens the door to anomalies, rare as they may be, based on chance and chaos.
Neo is seemingly given a choice by the Architect to allow Zion to fall, free a number of new people from the Matrix who will eventually rebuild Zion as has been done in the past, and integrate some of his genetic coding into the Source mainframe... or go back to the present world of the Matrix and attempt to save Trinity for the sake of Love. If he chooses the latter, the Architect says that this will cause a crash of the system, all humans connected to the Matrix will die, and the Sentinels will destroy Zion anyway. Logic, would dictate to work with the machines and continue the evolution of both races.
He chooses to return to the Matrix... obviously due to his Love for Trinity. The Architect was able to predict this choice. But why would he allow this to happen if it means the destruction of both the machines and humanity? Perhaps this fate is not entirely true, and was only a means to manipulate Neo... or observe his reaction for the purpose of learning.
Perhaps this version of the Matrix has not yet entirely understood the concepts and potential of Love. And that is something that is needed to further the evolution of the Matrix... which is why the machines are interested in studying this and integrating it into their programming. I believe the choice presented by the architect was just another manipulation of Neo designed to reveal more insight to the nature of humans. This is also apparent with Persephone's desire for Neo to kiss her like he kisses Trinity. She too is a program who is interested in learning more about this Love that is so often misunderstood.
It's kind of ironic how Love makes people act irrationally as if they were not in control of their actions at all. Maybe, THAT is the real enemy of the Matrix. Love is not yet something that the Matrix has gained control over and understood.
In the end, Neo and company return to the real world where they are attacked by Sentinels. Neo, realizes that there is something different and he is able to set off an electromagnetic pulse that deactivates the machines in the vicinity.. while also draining him of a significant amount of his life force. Have his Matrix powers been translated to the real world? This is not entirely unbelievable, as it was established in the first movie that when you die in the Matrix, you die in real life, because "Your mind makes it real." Perhaps the reverse can be true as well. Or the simple solution would be that they are still in the Matrix, or in another Matrix that was created for the purpose of giving the humans an illusion of choice albeit subconscious... as well as the opportunity for a greater universal "second language" or shared world view that the humans can unite to fight against.
Then there's also the problem of how agent Smith was able to replicate himself into a renegade's body that was then brought back to the "real" world where Smith is still able to control the body's actions. Again, the possibility here is that the mind makes it real. Smith reformatted the renegade human's consciousness with his own. It is not so unbelievable given many mental illnesses that exist today as well as the ability of the Matrix programming to manipulate the human mind.
Meanwhile, the Matrix Reloaded still had all the things that make a movie great... car chases, motorcycles, hot girls, sex, dancing, music, and extraordinary martial arts scenes. Maybe the plot is a bit over-the-heads of average movie goers, but this only makes you want to know more... to see it again and try to understand.
I totally think this movie was ingenious. But it has yet to be seen whether or not I'm giving it more credit than is due. Perhaps Matrix: Revolutions will answer the questions.
For more information on a shared world view, realizing actions, and authenticity, see: Life and Structure.