I think it might not be surprising to learn I am *very* excited with the prospect of a new Matrix sequel. There is a reason why I have stubbornly decided to keep using my old nickname, despite the fact that mysoginist right-wing nutjobs have tried to co-opt and appropriate the concept of the ‘red pill’ for their own twisted goals; to the point I fear people who don’t know me judge me the wrong way once they read ‘Red Pill Junkie’ on their cellphone screens. I have explained many times on different podcast interviews how influential the first movie was in my life, due to the fact that by then I was already steeped in the work of Carlos Castañeda, and the correlations between his books and the Wachowski’s cyberpunk masterpiece were inescapable to me.
Okay, fine — the two sequels kind of sucked ass, and I’m sure Lana and Lilly were forced by Warner Brothers to milk the juice of their techno-dystopic franchise for all the box office millions they could muster. But this new sequel seems carefully calculated in every detail, down to the release date (12-22-21) being a palindrome or ‘reflected’ number –no doubt a reference to Alice’s Through the Looking Glass.
There’s also the small detail of Trinity’s bracelet, which might be a slight reference to Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis. Dick is after all the godfather of Cyberpunk and what I like to call ‘Gnostic’ cinema (e.g. Truman Show and Dark City) and in the Exegesis there’s the episode of Dick finding himself ‘triggered’ by the Christian-motif necklace of a young woman who comes by his home while he’s under the effect of pain-relief medication coupled with a terrible tooth ache, and the necklace implants in his feverish mind the idea that “the Empire never ended;” which in the case of Neo –who now appears to be a well-to-do Silicon Valley suburbanite instead of a struggling low-level programmer living in the city slums– would mean the ‘Matrix’ never ceased to run.
The original Matrix introduced pop culture to the idea that we all might be living inside a giant computer simulation –something which even a few scientists have seriously considered.
What other mind-bending concepts will Lana Wachowski inject into our global consciousness with Matrix Resurrections? Will she be able to reclaim once and for all the symbol of the red pill from the hands of neo-fascist conspiracy theorists? I’m no Oracle so I guess we will all have to wait and find out.