I realised- during a recent revisit to the franchise – that The Matrix turns twenty years old next year. Whilst not too long of a time in the grand scheme of things, it was during this period that modern CGI was in its infancy. This means that – looking back the majority usage of this early CGI – it’s a little… lackluster.
However, some films established a good relationship with CGI, keeping it to a minimum and utilising practical effects so they look better than their CGI heavy counterparts. One example of this being The Matrix (not The Matrix Reloaded), whilst another is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But oddly enough, it’s not this reason that The Matrix has aged because of technology.
For those who have been under a rock for the past twenty years, The Matrix is a very thought provoking film using the pretense that we live in a computer program. At the time, this was a very new and weird concept that had people scratching their heads to understand, even after repeated viewings.
But nowadays, plugging yourself into a computer program isn’t just feasible, it’s domesticated. Virtual Reality is easily and readily available. We install ourselves into it to escape the real world that we live in. We use it to go to different locations and experience stories that we otherwise couldn’t. Reducing the core themes of The Matrix little more than mundane life.
During the film, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) takes 15-20 minutes to explain what the Matrix is to Neo (Keanu Reeves) because at the time, it actually did take that long to explain. But if you made the film again, surely you could do it in half the time?
And whilst you could, it’s the poetic nature and clever dialogue the Wachowskis use that really enhances the Matrix from a straight forwards action/adventure/sci-fi, into being the clever and thought provoking film that it is.
I know exactly what the Matrix is (the computer program in the film, not the film itself) but I was still hanging onto every word that was being said, trying to discern greater meaning out of everything. Whilst The Matrix Reloaded is for next week’s viewing pleasure, I always look forward to attempting to piece together what The Architect (Helmut Bakaitis) says during his monologue.
In retrospect, it does seem odd. Now that we have the technology to actually create the Matrix and plug people into it, it seems less likely that it might already be happening to us.
But is this because we’re close to a tipping point with AI and robots? Is it because our generation could see the first war against the machines and the Matrix’s initial creation? And if we’re currently less likely to believe we’re in a computer program, would it not be a more beneficial time period for the machines to set the Matrix on?
Now this really is starting to bake my noodle…