Why the hate for Hot Topic Avengers?


I’ll give it a stab.

The first movie was personal. It was one man’s quest towards enlightenment, and once enlightened, he could take on the whole uncaring system single-handed. It’s an empowerment fantasy. At the same time, all of the interactions, the loss, the betrayal, were personal, too. Whether it was Neo losing his mentor, Tank losing his brother, Cypher betraying the people who trusted him… we were allowed to care about these characters, and so they meant something to us.

The sequels ditched the empowerment theme from the first movie, and ditched the emotionally moving character interactions along with them. The feedback they got from the first film was “bullet-time action sequences are cool!” so they filled as much time as they could with those, and made room for them by removing scenes that would make us feel empathy for the characters.

The second and third movies are basically a string of action sequences to save Zion, with only the tiniest effort put towards showing us why Zion was worth saving.

And, as much as I love the acting of Hugo Weaving, Smith should really have stayed dead. His only contribution to the film was giving Neo someone in the Matrix who he couldn’t defeat with a wave of his hand.


Why the hate for Ho topic Avengers?
Cause its a bad movie. Frankly I don’t understand why all the love.
Sure, some people may have liked it, but its the defense of a bad movie as if it was good that’s frankly, tiring.
you know what the next movie I saw after SS was? Bridge of spies. After I finished watching that movie I felt sick that I had expected anything from SS at all.

I don’t think SS was the worst movie of all times, but It killed any hopes I had of the next DC movies being any good.
I’m not going to go see the next few DC movies, I don’t care anymore. I’m disappointed that they couldn’t even get a dead simple popcorn flick right.


Thanks! I like that you articulated beyond “it’s baaaaad”. I can understand and appreciate what you are getting at, even if I don’t relate entirely.

Personal does confound me a bit. Questions of “why should I care” puzzle the hell out of me. Because you decided to, obviously! But I am told that’s weird. I tend to consider media as being conceptual and aesthetic, and empathizing with characters instead of an actual person weirds me out as much as having an actual book or CD for a friend. But mine is somehow the minority view.

Sort of - I always thought of Neo and Smith as embodying an inextricable dynamic. They are a duality, where the emergence of one always implies that of the other. They are each others flip side. So I think that the third movie made the better decision of the resolution eliminating both of them.

This is where a lot of personal stuff confuses me. What is power when considered as nebulous potential, divorced from any specific goals? The power to achieve a thing, or know a thing? But what? For The Matrix to have worked as an exercise in pure self actualization, I think it would have done better to not portray Neo and Smith as avatars of conflicting societies. Neo could then have simply integrated Smith and carried on with a broader perspective. What I think is interesting about the intersection of personal power and societies is how individuals use that power in social ways. That power only means as much as what one does with it, how it is negotiated and shared, how it affects society and the world.

So I think that the continued struggle between 01 and Zion, The Architect and The Oracle, was a more valid way to continue the story. But I agree that there were some poor choices in how this was realized.


Speaking only for myself…

A character in any story is created twice: once when the story is finalized, and once when it is consumed. So any story has two authors: the one who decides what the final form of the character will be before publication (generally the author of a novel or the director of a movie), and the one who consumes the published work.

So, everyone who consumes a story is consuming a slightly different version of the story. What this implies is that the characters we’re reading about aren’t being created as separate people, but as aspects of ourselves. Or, as I like to think about it, myself as I might be on a different day.

Morpheus might be me on a day when I feel that I can change the future by inspiring children. Trinity might be me on a day when my cynicism is at war with my romanticism. Cypher, a self-indulgent day when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed, because it doesn’t make a difference anyhow. Smith, a day when I feel that humanity should just be wiped off the face of the planet so the ecosystem can start repairing the harm we’ve done. And, as for Neo, I can’t think of a better representation of those days when I feel that if I applied myself, I could do anything.

A good movie will create characters where I can think, “Yes, I can see myself doing that on that day.”. A great movie will teach me something about myself that I didn’t already know.

Because i can only really know myself. Even when I feel sorry for other people, I’m feeling sorry for a simulation of myself in that situation. And since the characters in a story are more ourselves that the simulations of other people are (that is, I can understand a well-written character better than I can ever truly understand another real person), they’re much easier to empathize with.

Plus, y’know, speaking as someone with social anxiety, a fictional character can never truly reject me, so I can open myself up and empathize without risking my own fragile ego.

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