Saturday, 10 February 2007

Matrix Fanatics

Why, specifically, do I dislike Matrix fans, out of the reams of geeky cultists surrounding every significant film or TV series?

Pretense. Ignorance. Philistinism.

I like The Matrix. It's fun, flashy, and exciting in a mindless way. Even the sequels are okay. Silly fun, if a bit waffly in parts, and plagued by unbelievably awful CGI here and there, and occasional pointless, half-baked money-shots, and entirely-too-precious pseudo-religious symbolism.

I like Trekkies. They have some humour about them. Funny in-jokes. Usually (but not always...)they have enough insight to realise that Trek is actually just silly, campy fun. Likewise Warsies (if that's what you call them...) who always have the sense to gang up on Jar-jar. Ringites can be awful, but most of them are entertaining because they can find the inescapable hilarity inherent in the delivery of Legolas' lines. Anyway, I have a certain sympathy toward them because in high-school, I learned how to write in Elvish. I'm over it. I like the book, that's all.

Matrix fanatics, on the other hand, insist that not only is their film a totally original, groundbreaking piece of sci-fi cinema (it's not, but that's not really important...) but it's a valid spiritual/metaphysical/epistemiological document.

I have literally had a stoned, filthy bloody hippy sidle up to me and my date in a bar, and try to get me into a debate about whether or not WE ACTUALLY LIVE IN THE MATRIX. I'm not kidding you.

This is not a new idea. It has been done in countless science-fiction films. Some even a a mere year or two before The Matrix. Dark-city, anyone? The Truman Show? Whatever.

Brain-in-a-jar stuff is, according to my BA-qualified friend, the most elementary part of the the philosophy course. Bloody hell, I remember writing stuff about it in HIGH SCHOOL. Inspired by Philip K. Dick, who was writing it in the fifties. It's not a particularly novel literary conceit, you twits.

It's also poorly acted, lacking in the fun bar-humour quotes that B-grade-cinema usually provides ("There is no spoon"? Thrilling...), and so utterly nonsensical and facile in its utilisation of the possibilities afforded to a GODLIKE BEING CAPABLE OF ALTERING REALITY, that I kept asking myself questions throughout. Bad questions. This is a failure on the writers' part.

Oh, I don't know. Watch Blade Runner. Maybe Total Recall if you're feeling silly, at least it has gore and tits.

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