“The Matrix Resurrections” Tries to Un-Redpill America

The answer Wachowski in the end presents to dismantle it appears virtually quaint, and subsequently refreshingly disarming: Love, in each the individually romantic sense and in a radical willingness to settle for these in contrast to us. In step with the remainder of the Wachowskis’ offbeat, earnest oeuvre, its protagonists’ supernatural powers are solely unlocked once they surrender what blinkers them to their true selves.

Which is all effectively and good within the context of a Hollywood movie, however what does it say about, you realize, the actual “actual world?” “The sheeple aren’t going anyplace,” taunts the movie’s villain in his climactic speech. “They like my world. They don’t need this sentimentality. They don’t need freedom or empowerment. They need to be managed. They crave the consolation of certainty. And meaning you … again in your pods, unconscious and alone, similar to them.”

It’s one other apparent little bit of meta-commentary on the movie itself: Opening in opposition to the second weekend of Disney’s newest piece of steamroller, monocultural superhero content material “Spider-Man: No Method House,” it’s arduous to think about a movie this knotty and idea-oriented capturing the American zeitgeist in 2021 because it did in 1999, even with all of the sequence’ legacy and blockbuster enchantment.

However deliver the sluggish, mistaken co-opting of the “pink tablet” as a chunk of reactionary symbology again into focus, and contemplate the remainder of the movie’s anti-social-media message, with its overt hostility towards the would-be pundits and storytellers who search to “program” their listeners’ brains. There’s one other meta-critical message being conveyed past simply the movie’s theoretical success: Sure, arts and tradition, “The Matrix” included, can encourage, critique and affect their customers.

However merely receiving and regurgitating their knowledge is a shallow basis on which to construct a political philosophy, or an emotional life. “The Matrix Resurrections” ends with its protagonists flying off into the horizon, mirroring the ending of the unique movie however in a a lot completely different world than our personal. The “pink tablet,” as conceived of by the Wachowskis and their collaborators, isn’t a solution in itself, however the freedom to pursue one’s personal solutions.

In fact, that’s the exact same intoxicating thought {that a} era of ideological hucksters seized on so as to peddle their wares within the wake of the unique movies’ launch. Probably the most hot-button points in American public life — elections, vaccines, disasters pure and in any other case — are inevitably adopted by a parade of Yarvins and Bannons, promising entry to the “unbiased thought” that the architects of our personal proverbial “Matrix” would obscure. “The Matrix Resurrections” doesn’t rebut them straight, as a result of to achieve this would miss the purpose. What Wachowski, et al have proven with their unconventional, risk-taking sequel is that in the actual world, the one actual “selection” is to reject such pat explanations — and by proxy flush the entire bottle down the bathroom.

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