At first, I didn’t know who bothered me more, the Wachowski brothers for botching their opportunities to tell a truly great story, or the critics who often couldn’t even comprehend the coherent bits that were there.
After a bit more thought, though, I figured out who to blame: William Gibson.
The core problem with the Matrix series is that it is an imitation of a William Gibson story told by movie makers who majored in kung fu and CGI rather than philosophy and story-telling.
The whole idea of cyberspace originated with Gibson, and the Matrix plays a riff off that theme. Nothing wrong with that, that’s a deep mine with many rich veins.
Unfortunately, the Matrix also copied the way in which Gibson tells his stories, and that is bad. Very, very bad. To be blunt, William Gibson is a terrible writer.
Obscurity is not profundity. Incoherence is not brilliance. The point of a story is to tell it, and tell it in a way so that the audience can comprehend it so that they care to hear the rest of the tale.
To do anything else is like writing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” in Morse code. It requires far more mental effort to understand, but no more mental payback.
That has been a big problem with movies the last few decades. So many of them are technically brilliant, but make no sense. Just a bunch of spectacular but ultimately meaningless images
In the end, it’s the story that matters. FX enhances a story; it is no substitute for one.
Hopefully, some day, somebody will go back and do the job right.