The real reason Matrix Resurrections got bombed

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Let’s just say for for the sake of argument, of course, that you hate yourself. Given this, we can assume three features of your life. First, you feel nostalgic for a certain period of your past. High school, college, whatever, you miss it. Another is that, in your quest to relive those glory years, you pursue sensory regressions, usually some combination of ice cream, pizza, and computer screens, with shameless, sticky excesses. Finally, you either did not see, or saw and strongly hated last year’s most catastrophically misunderstood box office bomb, Resurrection of the Matrix.

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These things are rather painfully connected. Matrix 4 didn’t bomb because it was bad. He bombed because being himself about self-hatred, nostalgia and the tyranny of screens, he was hated by self-nostalgic netizens. Which should, according to this logic, constitute the main audience of moviegoers. HBO Max Resurrected Resurrection earlier this month for streaming. Did you know it? Or even concern? Absolutely not, and that’s your problem. You, like Neo, fail to understand what you most need in this world, which is the reality of your reality. If a Matrix 4 fails at anything, it is in forgetting that those who hate themselves never want to look in the mirror.

Although he may be aware of it. Lana Wachowski’s film practically burns with mirrors, introspection. The very first frame is an inverted man walking towards us. It turns out that this is a reflection in a puddle. We are in for inversions and inversions, Wachowski signals, and not just cinematically. The first third of the film or so repeats the events of the first part. Matrix, but badly, unconvincingly. “Why use the old code,” asks one of the characters, “to reflect something new?” The film criticizes, even hates, in itself. He looks in the mirror and doesn’t like what he sees.

As did Neo. We see him hunched over at his desk, looking at the old lines of green rain, miserable. In this resurrected Matrix, he is a world renowned game designer, and original trilogy was just a game of his own creation, not real. Once, believing this, he tried to commit suicide. “I’m crazy?” he asks his therapist. “We don’t use that word here,” the therapist replies. Yes, Neo is in therapy now.

It’s just…bad therapy. As soon as we meet the therapist in stylish blue-rimmed glasses, he renews Neo’s prescription for blue pills. Listen to the words the therapist uses: “What are you feeling in that case?” “This attack effectively took your vote“. “His violence launched you.” “We talked about The Importance of Adaptive Anger in Human Trauma“. Therapeutic apps are capable of better dialogue than this, and that’s the point. Soon the truth comes out: the failed Architect of the original Matrix has been replaced by this guy. His name is Analyst. In other words, the being that re-enslaves the masses is the villain Resurrection of the Matrixconsummate therapist.

You begin to understand why you don’t like this movie. Matrix 4 not only makes you confront your own suffering, but also makes it clear that there is no easy way out. Tablets don’t work; neither does cheap therapy. (To escape the Matrix 2.0, you literally have to crack the mirror.) Later, the Analyst explains to Neo how he programmed the new simulation. He uses Neo himself, as well as Trinity, as the basis for a kind of universal mind control. He knows that they need each other, so he makes their relationship impossible, and that’s enough. All it takes to control you, the Wachowskis suggest, is to make what you want most in the world forever out of reach.

This understanding is no less profound than in the original trilogy. Matrix 4 seeks to destroy and remake for a new, self-hating, super-therapeutic age. Technology can be the basis modeling, argues the Wachowskis, but it is human psychology that allows and ultimately accepts this. “You don’t care about facts,” says the Analyst. “It’s all about fantasy.” He is right. You do not know. People choose to hate themselves because the alternative—love yourself and break free—is harder.

Is it even possible? Movie like matrices always there, offers two options. One of them is death, and the Analyst encourages this. In the most shocking episode of the film, he turns ordinary people into bots and orders them to jump out of the window – the therapist drives people to suicide. He calls it “swarm mode”. Even Neo and Trinity, when all hope seems to be lost, decide to jump.

But they don’t die. They fly. Here, the film seems to assert a different choice. When you choose not to hate yourself anymore, when you choose freedom, you choose to live and live with others. Not in the past and not in the lower dimensions of the screens, but in the real, risky, populated, living world. This choice must be made every day, every hour, every second. No wonder you don’t want to do this. No wonder you prefer not to watch this movie. You’d rather hate yourself and die alone.


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