Matrix Reloaded
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

For those of you that enjoyed the Biblical Christ-like references in The Matrix, a film released during Easter week over four years ago, you may wonder about the shift to a more pagan mythology in Matrix Reloaded. Have no fear, the Wachowski brothers, who wrote and directed both films, are merely expanding your mythological sensibilities in the current film. Neo is still “the one” but as the ultimate computer programmer, sometimes referred to as god, puts it, there have been other “ones.” Indeed, there was Buddha and Mohammed to mention only a few and who knows how many futuristic “ones” tried to enlighten humanity before Neo made the scene with those cool sunglasses that never fall off no matter how many martial arts kicks and flips he does to save humanity from the machines. There is also Trinity, the woman he needs and loves and who needs and loves him in return, just as the holy trinity in Christian belief binds the father, son and holy spirit.

But some of the new characters in Matrix Reloaded like Persephone and Niobe hail from a Greek pagan mythology grounded in the earth and its seasons. Persephone in particular was both a goddess of the spring season and an underworld goddess of the dead. In spring and summer she would be on the earth’s surface spreading seeds of life and when winter approached she would descend to the underworld to be with her spouse Hades, leaving the surface of the world to turn cold in a winter’s death.

Of course even the first Matrix film had touches of paganism sprinkled throughout. Morpheus is not a far cry from Orpheus, another Greek underworld god and subtle links to the Egyptian god Osiris also run through both movies.

But the bottom line is the Matrix films are only action flicks and very entertaining. The many layers of mythological, philosophical and theological thought are there for anyone who cares to explore them. There are several books and hundreds of web sites that can assist you with this exploration. The story, though not as thought provoking as Goethe’s Faust or Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain, does stimulate more brain cells than most action films or video games and at times the messages about man and technology are haunting, weaving a frightening web in the back door of your mind.

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