Follow TV Tropes
The discrepancy is the result of the creators not having actually planned for a sequel to the first movie, i.e. The Matrix was designed as a standalone movie that nevertheless ends on a note that doesn't actually resolve the main conflict (Humans vs. Machine), but sets it on a broad direction (The Chosen One has awakened to his true powers and survives the last fight).
So what is your guys' take on the huge disregard the rebels have for those still locked into The Matrix? It's been brought up a few times on other boards I post on, and I believe on this very wiki, that some people almost view the rebels as villains simply because they have no hesitation to kill any human who is still in the system.
Although I think this is understandable - one of the many great things about the first film was showing that an Agent is guaranteed death to any resistance fighter. The "kill any human" policy is a reaction to their (very justified) terror of running into an Agent.
Having morally-ambiguous heroes who are willing to sacrifice innocents for "the greater good" is an interesting plot element, but when they can callously slaughter people by the truckload, it takes away their sympathy.
It would have been better, in my opinion, if they had said that Agents can camouflage themselves among ordinary humans, revealing themselves when they attack. Or that they can only take over other programs. And for the big gunfight, they could have said, "Everybody in that building is a program." Boom, problem solved.
The Agents can hijack any human they see fit though, so there's that. And I felt they just attacked humans they needed to (such as in the building with Morpheus).
ANYONE still plugged into the Matrix is a potential Agent, and therefore the enemy.
and has it.
Making that point was the reason why the Woman in the Red Dress sequence is part of their training simulation. Anyone plugged into the system can become an Agent at any time, and Agents are such unstoppable forces that all it takes is one time in which the rebels stay their hand and show mercy to an enemy, and then an Agent kills the entire team.
Due to the mechanics of how their enemy works, mercy is a luxury the rebels can't afford.
Think of it this way: for anyone left alive to become an Agent, the best case scenario is that the rebels somehow manage to kill them anyway. The worst case scenario is the rebels getting wiped out. Thus, there is no possible gain from sparing an enemy combatant on-mission.
edited 8th Jun '14 9:21:30 AM by TobiasDrake
The only time they indiscriminately killed a bunch of regular humans was in that security building to rescue Morpheus, and that was supposed to be off the wall and a desperation move. It was either kill their own leader to prevent him from talking, or rescue him. Rescuing him involved collateral damage.
And when they kill an agent, but there is no fighting an agent down to the point where mercy is an option. They don't seem to feel pain (or at least, they don't let pain slow them down), they're insanely strong and fast. You either have to kill them or run away, and running away isn't always an option.
Having said that, a little remorse and/or hesitation wouldn't have hurt, and the lack of it does make them seem kinda psychopathic. Especially for Neo, who is new to the game.
The idea wasn't showing mercy to an Agent, but showing mercy to, say, a security guard in a building they're infiltrating.
My point being that the security guard is five seconds from becoming an Agent once they spare his life.
This discussion reminds me of one of the Animatrix shorts, "A Detective Story", where the titular Detective tracks down Trinity, and in the end Trinity tries to recruit him to the anti-machine cause. However, as they are fleeing, he starts being overtaken by an agent.
Without a moment's hesitation, Trinity shoots him (in a wound that is implied to be fatal) and leaves him to die. That little part highlights just how dangerous Agents can be in that sense: the moment someone starts being hijacked by one, they drop everything (even the prospect of recruiting a new man to their cause) to stop it.
If it makes any difference, once Neo becomes The One, I don't think he actively kills another Agent or Bluepill if he can help it. In fact, I don't think he even fires off a single shot in the sequels. Until the finale, the only people he kills are the Merovingian's goons at the Chateau, and they're programs anyways.
I didn't mean sparing the agent per se, but sparing the person the agent is possessing. I mean, if you manage to kill an agent, you kill whatever guy the agent happened to possess.
And you can't drive out an Agent any way short of outrunning one, which is also nigh-impossible.
Right. I wasn't arguing against the necessity, only that the group should have slightly more than zero remorse for killing.
Though it should be noted that, potential agents or not, the security guards would've rushed in with guns blazing as soon as the alarms went off. So they were still a threat.
Neo: The Architect told me that if I didn't return to the Source, Zion would be destroyed by midnight tonight.
Oracle: Please... You and I may not be able to see beyond our own choices, but that man can't see past any choices.
Neo: Why not?
Oracle: He doesn't understand them - he can't. To him they are variables in an equation. One at a time each variable must be solved and countered. That's his purpose: to balance the equation.
"This explains so much. The Architect makes decisions but does not understand why. He does things because he is designed to do so. He has no choice or option; he acts solely on logical codes and laws. He sees everything as "an equation". An equation has an '=' sign in the middle. What is represented on one side must equal the other side. The Architect's purpose is to make each side of the equation equal each other by any means necessary."
I really do hold The Architect up as one of the best characters in the films. He's certainly the one I'm most interested about.
People hold a remarkable hatred for him solely due his overly elaborate manner of speech, but I actually liked that manner of speech, and thought of him as one of my favorite characters.
Yeah hating the way he talks is just dumb. His entire character is designed around being overtly inhuman and mechanical. The "super-smart" way he talks is just one way in which that is conveyed. Another is in his facial expressions, his general lack of emotion in his voice, etc..
Like I said earlier, not only is the character great, his portrayal is awesome as well. The actor who played him had a little thing in one of my Matrix DV Ds I used to own where I believe he said his direction was "a mixture of God and Devil". I think The Architect perfectly represents that.
I don't really like the agent because his scene (And I'm not even counting the scene where the Oracle talks about him) makes him seem, well, incompetent.
So the systemic anomaly goes more or less as follow -> People are subcounciously given a choice to accept/refuse the matrix. Over time, those who refuse threaten to overtake the system.
Solution: Remove those who threaten the system by letting them go to Zion. Wipe out Zion every few years when a new The One (Himself a culmination of the systemic anomaly) appears. Make the new The One pick the founders of new Zion. To ensure compliance, the Matrix will shut down and kill all its humans, which complied with Zion's destruction will cause the end of the human race.
But as Neo points out, the machines themselves will greatly suffer from the loss of humanity. The Architect says they are prepared for such things "There are degrees of survival we are willing to accept."
Okay, but... why?
That's his ideal solution? A solution based on mutually assured destruction? I mean, the machine had won. why design the matrix so that one individual can bone you out of spite. Like, ignore the techno-babble, that the reasoning for the crash makes no sense, why is the ideal solution one that can end up biting them in the ass?
It's possible, but unlikely, that the Architect was bluffing. On the other hand, he doesn't speak for the entire machine consciousness, so it's possible that the "hive mind" is bluffing, but told him what to say.
But part of the Architect's speech was pointing out that each One was raised in conditions that would naturally incline him to protect the human species rather than crash the Matrix out of spite.
I don't think it was an "ideal" solution, but simply the best solution that was available given humanity's flaws. The system is inherently unstable and it will crash unless periodically rebooted. The Architect designed it to delay the inevitable crash as long as possible. But since the key to keeping humanity under control is choice, he still has to present The One with the choice to save humanity or not. Even a very lopsided choice is still a choice.
Option A: Save the inhabitants of the Matrix. Option B: Kill all of the inhabitants of the Matrix. Either way all of the rebels and Zion will die.
edited 9th Jun '14 7:39:08 AM by Lawyerdude
This. When the Architect told Neo that his failure to comply with the process would result in the extinction of the human race, it wasn't a threat. He doesn't have the emotional capacity to threaten. It was a statement of fact, as far as his capacity to calculate cause-and-effect can predict.
It's like if I said, "If you do not eat, you will DIE." I am not threatening you. I'm stating a fact; this is a consequence of the choice you are making. That's what the Architect meant; if not resolved, the anomaly will eventually result in the utter destruction of the system which, combined with Zion's extermination, will wipe out humanity.
Neo's retort that the Architect wouldn't let that happen was, in turn, a misinterpretation - he also thought it was a threat, that the Architect was saying the machines would crash the system out of spite - while the Architect's response about "levels of survival we are prepared to accept" was another testament of fact; they've had a long time to come up with contingencies for this scenario.
By walking out the door and saving Trinity, Neo called a bluff the Architect never actually gave him. He realized his mistake in Revolutions, which is why he had to travel to the Source and negotiate a new deal.
edited 9th Jun '14 9:21:16 AM by TobiasDrake
Of course it turned out he did the right thing even it if was for the wrong reasons.
I think that's an underlying theme of the trilogy.
I'm watching the first movie right now and its pretty awesome. Pity that sequels are apparently bad. And I think Agent Smith would have been better if he was only in first one. I mean, he kinda seems like trilogy part 1 villain instead of villain for whole trilogy <_<
I always had a fondness for the sequels. Admittedly, the third one is the definitely the weakest, but I think they're still both excellent movies both philosophically wise and action-wise.
And I don't know, Smith is one of the best things of the sequels. His character evolution is really cool to watch.
Imagine Governor Tarkin coming back with super clone powers for the Star Wars sequels!
The thing that weighed down the sequels was the wooden acting...there were way too many scenes where the human actors didn't seem to be sufficiently engaged in what they were doing. The program actors did a much better job, ironically enough. Also, I was particularly annoyed by Trinity's death scene...that dragged on for way too long and her lack of any sign of pain was ridiculous. That said, I loved the Architect scene, too. I also thought that the guy playing Bane did a really good job of aping Smith.
God, Bane's actor did an amazing job at capturing Smith's mannerisms and verbal quirks. I still love the scene where he reveals himself to Neo, especially how he pointedly narrates the thoughts and emotions running through Neo's mind as he slowly realizes exactly what he is dealing with. That entire scene is glorious.
The implications of Bane's character are staggering. It suggests that Smith's overwrite of a person who is plugged into the Matrix actually rewrites their identity on a psychological level. Smith isn't actually inside Bane; that's impossible. But he's imprinted himself on Bane's psyche, overwritten Bane's personality, memories, thought processes, etc. with himself.
What does this mean for the rest of the Matrix? By the end of Revolutions, when Smith has infected the entire system. Everyone is Smith. Every single person plugged into the system is now Smith. Unplug them from the Matrix, set them free, and they will be Smith in the physical world, just as Bane was. Smith has overtaken the entire human race, and is poised to do the same to the machines' network. He must be stopped, at any cost, even if it means crashing the system and killing every human mind that he's overtaken.
Or sending in a Trojan to wipe out the virus, then reformatting the system and starting the Matrix over fresh.
edited 16th Jun '14 12:44:39 PM by TobiasDrake
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?