Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Matrix Revisited

I finally saw The Matrix Revolutions last night.

All I can say is that the Wach Bros have a better understanding of Christian theology than most of the Christians I know.

And I have to say that I really didn't see it coming either. I really assumed that the Wach Bros "postmodern gospel" was going to be purely surface stuff only, as I was led to be believe in the first Matrix film.

But no, they really went deeper (and not the mamby-pamby, psycho-theology babble of Reloaded) and really presented a story that covers not just the surface archetypes of a "gospel" story -- many movies do this, most of Spielberg's films for example will destroy and otherwise good story just to tell a "Christ- tale" -- but even more important (at least to a critic with my POV) the more subtle underpinnings that many people, particularly Christians themselves miss about the Christian theology.

1. Christ didn't just die for the club. He died for the world. Christian theology in the Bible teaches that the whole world was "groaning" after the fall, and Christ's death brought peace not just to the people, but also a promise of an unfallen environment again as well.

2. The machines were not the real enemy. The real enemy was a threat to both. Just as in the early days of Christianity, Christ tried to help people see that the Romans weren't the real enemy -- sin was. And sin infected and hurt both Christians and Romans equally, just like Smith infected both the machine/human world and the Matrix.

3. Christ was ultimately a man of peace, not a man of war. He warred again the "invisible thing" at the root while other people warred against what they assumed was the enemy (other physical presences). This is a lesson we in contemporary Christianity would be hard pressed to re-learn. The enemy is not the other folks around us -- liberal politicians, secularists, atheists, homosexuals, pro-choicers, etc. The real enemy is sin, and dealing with that will help us find the one thing we all have in common. We're all fallen. We're all on equal footing in the mud and slop.

4. Christ didn't battle sin to defeat it. He had to become it to defeat it. Neo defeated Smith in the only way that would work -- he had to become Smith in essence in order to destroy Smith's power for good.

All in all, a good flick, I thought. Perhaps a little heavy-handed at times and with a psycho-babble drag in the middle, but certainly more fun that Ishtar, right?