May 14, 2003
firing blanks?

David Edelstein's review of Matrix Reloaded seems to confirm my fears about the Wachowskis' ability to follow-up. Of course it's a review and its subjective, but it's nicely written and very witty (had to chuckle at the references to Jayson Blair and Cornel West). Not that I've been waiting, bereft, for the return of Neo, but I harbor the simple hope that it will be good entertainment. From Edelstein's review, it sounds like a technical masterwork without the ontologic mysteries of the original.

I was/am hoping that the Wachowski's would come up with something clever and mind-blowing, which Edelstein suggests they haven't.

I harbor the subversive opinion that Groundhog Day actually beat the original Matrix to the punch. How does the acne-scarred, sarcastic Bill Murray measure up to the smooth-planed Keanu? Punxatawney was no less an inhabited video game than the Matrix. By the second third of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is a super hero. Since he knows exactly how the game works, he can subvert fate by being in the right place in the right time (and even impress Andi MacDowell by quoting Baudelaire). For a dingy little town in Pennsylvania, Bill Murray might as well be "The One".

The dramatic tension in The Matrix came from Neo not being aware of his potential and our slowly realizing that those hours playing CounterStrike on the internet weren't very far from Neo's reality. After that, we could start wrapping our minds around the geek fantasy that facility with CounterStrike or Quake might equate with our abilities in some social universe. So how do you restore that sense of revelation when Neo can do everything already? Bill Murray got so bored with the process that he spent part of the movie thinking of creative ways to off himself.

I guess I'll have to see for myself.

Posted by erich at May 14, 2003 08:34 PM
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