This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
Maoist Internationalist Movement

This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

Matrix Re-Loaded puts the message on pause

Re-Loaded makes money the old-fashioned way

"The Matrix Re-Loaded"
2003

See also the review of "Animatrix" animations based on the "Matrix" (2003)

May 18, 2003

We were very worried that this sequel to the original "Matrix" would lose too much or change directions too much. As we read the critics describe all the action scenes and sex, we realized before it opened that this part II would make much money. After making the original, the directors deserved to make a lot of money and gain influence the Amerikkkan way with sex, romance and violence. The combination of dance, martial arts and special effects is once again trend-setting and we won't mention it again in this review.

Rebutting the critics

There was at least one critic who did not like the fact that "Re-Loaded" called on some Christian imagery only to make Zion into one writhing dance and sex party. In contrast, we were thankful for the short prayer, followed by Morpheus's fairly grounded speech, after which sex and sexy dancing were the order of the day.

Morpheus makes a speech to the masses of Zion in which he says he has confidence in face of a massive robot attack, because humyns have been fighting the machines for a long time and they are still alive, not because of any belief that he has regarding prophecies. Thus while Morpheus is zealous, he proves sober-minded.

We will also defend the Wachowski brothers against some critics who nitpicked this and that about superheroes. In contrast with most comic strips and Hollywood directors exploiting the idea of superhero, the Wachowskis show us how Neo came to be from an ordinary humyn step-by-step. Granted, Neo arrives in the future after humyns have learned how to do a lot of things they cannot do now, most importantly, loading computer information into the backs of their necks.

Most superheroes in the arts arise out of pure philosophical idealism and individualism. In "Re-Loaded," we learn that Neo can see all the subcomponent parts of the Matrix and thus we are not surprised that he can fly--the most criticized aspect of the film. We're also not surprised that he chooses to fight the 100 agent Smiths to learn about them instead of just flying away. The enemy does the same thing to him--arranging fights just to learn something.

Odd threads

At the heroes' dinner with one of the enemy computer programs, we learn perhaps some of the rationale behind Trinity's name. The enemy starts by greeting Morpheus, then Neo and finally adds Trinity. It becomes clear that without her there would not be three.

On the other hand, regarding any parallel to the Catholic trinity, at the end of the movie, we see conflict between Neo and Morpheus as Neo spills the bad news that he did not inevitably defeat the whole Matrix as Morpheus thought; although he still has 24 hours --presumably in Matrix III-- to do the job.

In fact, much to our delight, "Re-Loaded" put any fantasies about "oracles" and fate in their proper place. Even the Oracle is connected to computer programs. It turns out that not all computer programs are completely compatible with each other. The only question Neo has to deal with is whether or not the Oracle is a plot against humyns by the machines or not.

In place of the question of fate, the Wachowski brothers now give us the question of causality or "why we do what we do." Unfortunately, the enemy seems to be the rational side in this movie, and Neo takes up the role of the irrational humyn in denial, as the enemy computer Architect points out.

In the past, Neo denied that the humyn was a source of heat energy used in a vast system controlled by robots. He thought his choices in the Matrix were real. However, Neo learned to surpass that attitude of his and accept the truth about the Matrix. In part III, we are hoping Neo can learn something from the enemy in Part II and advance yet further in the spiral of development.

Neo's choices

In part I, Neo chose to sacrifice himself to save Morpheus for the good of his species. It turned out that he survived his altruism.

In part II, he gave up the good of the species for his love Trinity. One could say he made the same choice in Part I, because in both cases he chose the individual he knew over the abstraction. On the other hand, in Part I, he believed the abstraction false, because the Oracle told him he was not "The One." Hence, he never chose between the abstraction and Morpheus. He simply made an altruistic act toward the species by trying to save Morpheus at the cost of what he thought would be his own life. In fact, by sacrificing his own life he was choosing "the abstraction" of the greater good of the species.

The focus on sex and romance in "Re-Loaded" is definitely a downer. Neo chooses his sexual love above everything else and that seems to be merged into some vestigial Christian imagery.

We are not unhappy with how Neo looked inside Trinity as a mass of electrons to save her life. The fact that he does so in connection to love and not as an ordinary duty in combat is what distresses us. It leaves us wondering if he would not make the same effort for others caught in the Matrix. One fellow, the Keymaker shot by enemies in the Matrix before Trinity is not so fortunate: Neo leaves him for dead.

Under-discussed themes

There were a few points that critics I read did not seem to cover. One interesting point is the title of the movie, which makes some sense in light of Neo's discussion with the Matrix architect. Computers keep re-loading altered software in order to control humyns better. Neo's enemies get better in fighting and systems of control expand and vary.

The most important point that seems to have passed by the critics is that Neo ends the movie fighting outside the matrix. He stops robot warriors in their tracks. Trinity picks up Neo in a coma--outside the Matrix--and says she cannot explain what happened.

Perhaps we are in for some explanations of how what Neo learned in the Matrix world is now changing his corporeal self outside the brain connected to the Matrix. In a few months, in part III, we will know.

This does not have to be the only review of "Re-Loaded." Send us your communist ideas about the "Matrix."

Replies from readers:

Kanadian reader writes in:
" I read your review of "Matrix Reloaded" and I think that the movie stank. It lost everything that made the original Matrix so cool. The original Matrix was all about how reality as we know it is a lie. Neo is comparable to a revolutionary fighter (disbelieving what seems to be general knowledge). From the inside, using the tools provided by the evil machine, Neo and his band fight the exploitive machinery of the system that keeps humanity captive with sophisticated lies. You couldn't have asked for a better movie.

But reloaded is lame. The special effects used too much CGI instead of film. There was too much "Ninja-time" and not enough "bullet-time." And the car chase, billed as the most complex in film history, was flat and boring. Those technical details aside, what did Reloaded have to offer? Everyone I know came out of it confused, not like in the original Matrix. Reloaded just offers up a bunch of impoverished philosophical questions that I'm still not totally clear on. It's a major let-down from Matrix. They just thought that by adding sex and more killing, it would blow away audiences compared to the last movie. They forgot what made Matrix good. Hell, the producers clearly didn't even care.

You also missed the fact that GWB was briefly shown alongside Hitler in the scene in the computer core with the Matrix creator. The creator was talking about bad parts in history, and Bush was in the montage! This stirred up some controversy in the states. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32708 That was the one redeeming feature of the film in my opinion.

[email protected] replies for MIM:
If we think of the "Matrix" as one long film instead of two separate ones with a dubious second part, I think we would all be giving the "Matrix" huge praise.

Another reader thinks we at MIM missed the point

How are you doing?

There are quite a few things I like about your website, most recently your review of Mr.Lif's underground "Album Emergency Rations." The reason though I am e-mailing you is cause I really do respectfully disagree with a lot of the opinions placed on the Matrix.

Although I agree with where the site is coming from, I wish I knew who wrote this article. Just cause you take a position on something generally speaking, doesn't mean that you have to come at something with a select 'persepective' all the time, cause that tends to blind a person also (I'm hopin I could articulate these ideas thoroughly). I believe sometimes when someone takes a political stance they get so passionate and adamant, they tend to see things just like someone religiously. Whether it's well intended, it paints the way we see things, and holds us from expanding. Seeing something through someone else's perspective is as big a gift as anything. Don't you think that Dualism in any form handicaps persons and groups before they've even started to mobilize?

I'm talking about this cause "The Matrix" is not intended to come from a communist perspective. This movie comes from religious and phylosophical points of view. Metaphysical point of view.

I'm trying not to make this e-mail long. The Matrix series is such a complicated movie laden with symbolisms, and subtle messages etc. I know as a socialist you might not believe in religion, neither do I. But being spiritual is different and not irrelevant to our laborous struggles: I feel it's VITAL to understand who we are, so we could understand what they fear.

The powers that be are very spiritual, on a negative tip though. This movie is deep and it demands a person to know about The Old Testaments, Metaphysics, the Kabala especially Buddism. It's an amazing piece of work. I'm so shocked Warner Brothers would put so much money behind such a mind altering and revolutionary movie. But as the saying goes. "They'll sell you the rope to hang themselves." A lot of people won't take notice of the messages and symbolisms anyway. But people in this planet are waking up more and more day by day so, you never know.

I think you guys missed the boat on this movie cause you're so caught up in communist terms and referring everything to Maoist teachings you can't see how something hits truth right on the nail (you still gave it props, but you missed it by not explaining what exactly the movie is tryin to express) for example:

"Unfortunately, the enemy seems to be the rational side in this movie, and Neo takes up the role of the irrational humyn in denial, as the enemy computer Architect points out."

Like I said before, unfortunately for who? The Architect does not represent the "man" or the ruling class at all. And Neo does not represent the "proletariat." This movie shows you that those that you think might be one thing turns into another thing. This movie's main message is a manifest message. That everything we have around us is an illusion, ultimatly an illusion within an illusion. And there are forces for their own purposes that would do anything they can to keep us under such an illusion and realizing true spiritual freedom (ex. HARP). It's a metaphysical movie. The Architect is more rational then Neo, because he knows more about the system an the path of the Matrix then Neo does. They are both united more than Neo can even understand.

Neo is New Eon One. He is the manifestation of the matrix. The Architect is Neo, He is the Matrix. Neo is the all is us. The Architect is the reflection of Neo, through the inception. It was the spark of consciousness within the machine. He told Neo, in the beginning the Matrix was perfect. (If it was perfect why did it '''reload''???) This brings upon us the religious theory about God in the beginning God was perfect. And It felt confined by its perfectness and so it created chaos. Now it's experiencing itself. Searching itself out. Through struggle developing higher consciousness of self. As we are doing in our state in this world. All the main religions hold this basic belief that "God is man" "Son of man--son of the collective" "Church/ Body" = we are the temple. So to try and make this as simple as possible, We are humans are the manifestation the charectorized struggle of God. We're linked we are being. There is no dualism, no division, everything is BEING. Once we understand that there is no differentiation between anything else, we reach a higher understanding and it takes us to the next step. As we search God out God searches us out. So is the plight of Neo, and the Architect/Matrix. Get it? We're all forms of energy and frequencies. If you have any more questions you could e-mail me back about it, if I didn't articulate enough about that.

All the characters in the movie have some symbolism (rainbow of human emotions). The Agent represents the purpose. Trinity is the Three. Neo is the ONE. Thats connected to the Condulini (1-3, 3-1). another example is the Merovingian (the name itself has masonic origin) brings an interesting paradox to the Three (Neo, Morphius, Trinity). He says freedom of choice is in itself an illusion. He taps the chocolate cake with an aphrodisiac so the woman could eat it. When you're not aware of the circumstances, you would find yourself as such. He brings into the thought process the study of Cause (cause and effect). The Architect brings the same thing to Neo's perspective. You could see through all that and say "See the cause not the object."

There is so much depth and so much to throw at in the movie, it's amazing. The Matrix movie doesn't put Prophets in their "proper place" at all. Not only that, it's not like Prophets were invented by ruling class, they've been around for millions of years. Since man was put on this planet and before. The intent of prophets is to be proved wrong anyways. But thats besides the point. I'll end by saying that the Matrix movie is as multidimensional as the message it's expressing to us all. We need to wake up and break through the Matrix. There is no other way.

[email protected] replies:
With regard to seeing things through one "perspective," the dialectical materialist method does not blind anyone or prevent any insight. We never said the "Matrix" had intended a communist perspective or that Neo is the "proletariat" and we never said that the "Matrix" is about capitalism--but the above critic makes these stereotyped accusations. In fact, we even said that there was a "battery mode of production," something Marx never mentioned! How anyone could see this movie and not see a battery mode of production is the question relevant to opening of minds.

Yes, the movie is about philosophy, but we at MIM agreed with the choices that the movie made on philosophical questions. Broadly speaking, there is no way so far to construe this movie as "post-modernist," which of course would be the main problem today. When humyns are injecting knowledge with cartridges through the back of the neck, we know we have a very materialist sense of knowledge--one true to the Enlightenment and entirely friendly to Marxism. Not all people who agree with us on the choices in the first movie are Marxists, because materialism and the Enlightenment have a broader influence that is difficult to track down in each individual's life.

As we said in the previous review, we disagree with the easy way out on this particular movie--but not most mind-control flicks--where our critic says the point is "that everything we have around us is an illusion, ultimately an illusion within an illusion." Discussion of such would be the typical image of metaphysics, but there would be no point in all the details about how knowledge is mechanically produced if such easy-going metaphysics and relativism were the point of the movie. There would be no reason to have kung-fu training, helicopter driving, shooting and a host of other forms of knowledge so central to the film, and all injected through known mechanical processes through the neck. In the scene in part I where Neo puts his hand through the goo that is air, there would be no reason to go through a laborious process of reconstructing his body if Christianity, most Buddhism or post-modernism were the angle.

By the way, knowing whether an idea has its historical origins in Christianity, Buddhism, masons or anything else is not a substitute for understanding the ideas themselves-- including what is missing from previous ideas. People of various religious and cultural-historical traditions may see something they learned from their training in "The Matrix." (Not everyone has the time to study the world's history of philosophy and religion.) This may in turn cause some excitement and a sense of ownership. That ownership can then turn to sectarianism. Social-historical origins of intellectual ideas is an interesting subject but distinctly separate from what we are asking at MIM. Post-modernists merge the content and social origins of an idea in order to come to an easy-going relativist conclusion. They try to tell us that it does not matter if we can inject knowledge into the backs of our necks one way or another and that there is nothing measurable about how it is done and what it produces--absurd as that may sound when Trinity can fly a helicopter after certain mechanical procedures. The post-modernists would be telling us "who" made the cartridge and how it's all an illusion instead of noticing how Trinity can fly.

The difference between a post-modernist or metaphysical take on the movie and a materialist take would be this: in a post-modernist "Matrix," there could be people who think we live in a battery mode of production and there could be other people who like to eat steak in the "Matrix." Who is correct is argued in a diffuse reality but not really knowable or central in the post-modernist view. There are plenty of "Alice in Wonderland" movies that exist at this level alone, but the "Matrix" is not one of them.

What places the "Matrix" into a friendly materialist camp for MIM is its attention to causation--on how mind-states are created and how people can tell whether they are in the "Matrix" or not. A persyn can question whether s/he cares or not or whether s/he wants to be on a ship doing a mission for humyns in Zion, but there is no doubt about the before and after of lying down and getting a whole cartridge of kung-fu inserted into one's brain.

Predictions for the future: "Matrix III"
written July 9 2003
by [email protected]

Since Morpheus has no mate and since he's had two very close calls in parts I and II, I'm going to predict that Morpheus dies in Part III and that true to Hollywood happy endings Neo and Trinity both live. Something is also building with regard to Morpheus's ex-girlfriend and her new love. I predict she will suffer somehow in connection to Morpheus's death.

The new agent character, Agent Smith who appears independent in part II will play an important role, because he is a software-machine construction with a difference. He will play some kind of mediating role, vanguard role in machine-to-people relations.

I predict that he will end up facilitating some kind of new peace between humyns and machines. However, this peace will be path-breaking, troubled and troubling, but make a good satisfying end to the movie.

If I am wrong and all of Morpheus, Neo and Trinity live and they destroy all the machines or at least make them quiet tools again, then watch for Disney to take over from there and sanitize everything progressive right out of the "Matrix" and more importantly, its bastard progeny, of which there are already some.

Our second critic above asks "unfortunately for who" and let us respond with "unfortunately for humyns." "Good" is what advances humyns and "bad" is what holds them back. We at MIM are not relativists so we root for the tiny but correct minority to free the people from their exploitation by the machines. Though Agent Smith shows signs of being "intelligent life," as of yet, we do not root for him at all. My prediction is that the movie will not end on a post-modernist note where we learn to take all vantage points equally, that of machines, new machines like Agent Smith, unawakened people and real people like Morpheus. Specifically, I will predict that Neo in particular has some learning to do to deal with the machines, a dialectical progression and there may be some negotiation with the machines, but the people will get substantially what they want.

A great trippy movie would be one where a new species such as Agent Smith or a real life form definitely proves its superiority to the humyn species. In such a case, a communist may hopefully be a progressive first and humyn second. That's for another time.

July 23 2003 postscript by [email protected]:
Some have suggested that it will turn out in part III that Neo, Trinity and Morpheus are also computer programs. That's what we learned about the "Oracle" in the "Matrix Reloaded."

No one ever said the Wachowski brothers guaranteed the world to be philosophically consistent or even to care about philosophy more than exciting plot lines, but such an ending would be inconsistent with part I. If the movie ended with the heroes turning out to be computer programs, that ending would fall in the category mentioned above of "a post-modernist note where we learn to take all vantage points equally."

Even so, there would be a lot of good points to this movie, namely part I standing by itself. Secondly, we would still see what goes into making up the computer programs and simulations, which itself would still be a materialist philosophy; albeit, swamped with other more substantial metaphysics. Thirdly, by making everyone into a computer program, the movie will effectively dodge a question central to the immaturity of post-modern relativism--whether or not the humyn viewpoint is somehow "superior" to others. The post-modernists will say "no," but they do not have to if the movie does not truly have a comingling of robots, programs and people.

I still find it most likely there will not be an easy relativist ending in which all machines and programs are somehow "equal." The people are subject to machines and programs and they fit into the programs and equations of the system constantly remaking itself, but the people are not programs in themselves. When the Architect tells Neo that people are predictable up to a high degree of accuracy and that humyns only depart more or less from what is expected, he is still speaking of humyns. True, with the idea of programs that infect other programs, programs that die, programs that revise themselves etc., "The Matrix" has entered into a zone in which large computer program systems are also at least slightly "unpredictable." If that is true, one may ask what after all is the difference between humyns and computer programs that are unpredictable. The answer to such a question is of undoubted interest, but I still think the "Matrix" agenda includes that question and more that cannot be contained without keeping humyns as distinct and more central than programs.

Mousnonya of MSG comments on Reloaded too

Matrix Reloaded (this review contains "spoilers": you may wish to read it only after seeing the film. The author recommends the film if you like fight scenes, and special effects, otherwise only if you are a big fan of the first movie in the Matrix series).

Matrix reloaded opens with a fight scene - Carrie Moss is in a gunfight with "Mr. Smith," an "Agent" who basically looks like some faceless nameles f.b.i. clo(w)ne. She does a pretty good job of it, and is clearly willing to sacrifice herself to take down the enemy, a military virtue. She gets shot, and then Neo (Keanu Reeves) wakes up from his nightmare. "Neo" has had a "vision" which will haunt him throughout the film.

In the film "reality" the two have become lovers and now are living in "Zion," the mythical underground city of the free human resistance. Unfortunately, real life Zionism long ago mutated into jewish imperialism. Most of the rest of the world recognizes that zionism is imperialism and that i$rael is an outlaw state. However the peculiar brand of religious fascism in Amerikkka because of religious dogma loves to lick zionist boots. Outside the Bible Belt -- that is, outside the u$a, this sort of religious claptrap falls flat on its face and is subject to much deserved ridicule.

Religious superstition haunts "The Matrix Reloaded." When the city "Zion" is about to be attacked by the machines one of "Zion's" government's officials (who is probably a traitor -- but we don't learn that in this film) says a prayer. This again will sell well in the bible belt and looks ridiculous in most of the rest of the world. Then, instead of preparing to defend the city, an orgiastic dance follows. A confident attitude toward sex will say that sex has its place. But that the day before battle is probably not the time or place for it at least not en masse if at all. This part of the film is only interesting for the contrast between the Amerikan bible bangers and the Amerikan thigh bangers. Fact of the matter is, puritanical religious repression of sex, a regular feature of amerikan life, leads to bachannalian backlash, which we see all the time in Hollywood. This contrast is the "Britney Spears" (virgin) "Madonna" (whore) complex played out in all its ugliness throughout amerika. Cinematographically it is not so good, except to note that the inhabitants of "Zion" -- the humans willing to free themselves from lies and oppression -- are, like the real world, majority non-white.

The MIM has said that to avoid cultural vacuum the dictatorship of the proletariat will not ban all bourgeois art immediately. But even if the MIM had adopted a more radical line and decided to yell "CUT!" and censor everything that is reactionary, The Matrix series would probably survive, though perhaps we would ask the producer to rename "Zion" "Leningrad." The film shows a largely non-white oppressed class offering resistance to a ruthless white society. In fact, Carrie Moss is the only "white" leading character (Keanu Reeves is mixed asian-caucasian). Obviously seeing the right people as heroes (the Third World proletariat) fighting the right bad guys (f.b.i. clones) is not enough to explain why I recommend this film despite a very simple plot. It is also important to understand that the "good guys" learn some important scientific lessons. For example, though the films have to this point gone on and on building up a "cult of personality" around Neo, presenting him as "the messiah," and though throughout the film we see shamanistic "lucky charms," prayers, and an "oracle" the film exposes that these are all aspects of the oppressive computer program! "The Oracle" is a computer program. That's why it can predict things accurately. "Neo" is "the one" because that is part of the Matrix's program. The "prophesies" are, as Neo says "bull shit." Similarly "vampires" and "ghosts" are explained by the film to be computer programs created by earlier versions of the matrix. Again, the film is providing scientific explanations (though obviously untrue ones) and thus opposes pre-scientific superstion while playing into it to gain an audience -- which is damned clever. It is also worth noting that the Matrix computer program was designed by a white man who resembles Sigmund Freud. So the matrix is basically a battle of an oppressed non-white majority held down by superstition against a scientific but ruthless white oppressor -- expert, but not at all red. So the Matrix series as basically reflecting the truth should, despite Zionist overtones, survive any censorship the dictatorship of the proletariat will use to muzzle the snouts of the pigs.

Otherwise? The film has lots of fight scenes and very nice special effects. Its plot is not as interesting as the first Matrix film, though new characters are introduced. Romantic relationships among the leading characters do occur but do not interfere with their revolutionary mission. And one of the film's messages, that the power of revolutionary love is greater than the violence of state repression is really important and deserves repeating.

If you're into action films and willing to think scientifically about the film rather than waiting for deep inter-personal relationship issues to be explained and resolved this film is for you. If you're more interested in stories about human feelings rather than human actions this film is probably not for you. The fact that its message is basically progressive explains why all comrades should watch the film if only in order to understand how to present a revolutionary message to an imperialist audience. While MIM has no illusions -- our audience in the First World is the altruistic minority and always will be so long as the fat pig majority is overfed on Third World exploitation -- the fact is that precisely because we are an outnumbered minority we must compensate with scientific thought to correctly apply our minimal forces in the hopes of eventually sparking a chain reaction. Long term protracted popular revolutionary warfare is no dinner party. It will require decades of propaganda. At times we will see setbacks such as the restoration of capitalism in China (1976) and Russia (1954). However if we have two generations of progress -- two steps forward -- for each generation of reaction -- one step backward -- we will eventually reach our goal of world peace and prosperity for all instead of what we have today: death and poverty for the majority of the planet and wealth and privelege for the first world oppressors. In Matrix reloaded we see the humans take two steps forward, vanquishing their superstition and surviving to fight another day for one step back -- the probable destruction of "Zion."

[email protected] replies for MIM:

We do not agree with [email protected] that it is Puritanical sex repression that leads to more open pornographic extremes. We are no longer interested in the Victorian vs. non-Victorian dichotomy. The most puritanical of Amerikkkans would still be considered "loose" and unthinking in most of the world. We need only think about the Kobe case and how it would be regarded outside the U$A.