Monday, May 26, 2003

Your opinions are wrong

A number of people who I respect and admire have announced they actually quite like The Matrix Reloaded. I no longer respect or admire these people.

This is the first time that I've ever felt so strongly about a film in the face of such widespread opposition - usually I take the unexciting but well-reasoned view that films have good points and bad points and the whole experience is monstrously subjective anyway so hey, why should I even pass judgement? Though very unexciting in painfully weak-willed liberal kind of way, it's a viewpoint that makes for a fairly non-confrontational post-cinema experience. In this case, though, I am genuinely mystified at how people might think it to be just so damn good. Are they drunk? Delusional? Have they been overcome by the dark powers of marketing? I can't begin to understand why people can spoon down such nauseating quantities of pretentious navel-gazing, even when it is seasoned with a defence-budget special effects bill. Yes, I know the same may be said of the original, but that was shorter and had fewer sneering European stereotypes in it.

I say this with confidence as I watched the original again last night, so I no longer hate the Wachowskis quite as much as previously. I fear the general sequel-despising problem may spring from the fact I produced a mighty work of scholarly analysis on the subject of The Matrix. Well, actually, it was only a dissertation, and a pretty lightweight one at that, but it had long words and footnotes and everything. I'd re-read it to prove my point, but I have a sneaking dread that it will turn out to be vague, inaccurate, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and quite horrifyingly pretentious. I suppose that would make it actually quite prescient, but that's hardly the right sort of motivation required to send me upstairs to start dredging throught the varied strata of junk I hauled back from university, which in any case would probably open anew the vague idea that some barely-read textbooks and reams of sloppily-constructed attempts at analysis are not, in truth, in any way representative of three years spent well and wisely.