Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt has some hot takes to share about The Matrix–namely that fans have been rooting for the wrong hero for the last decade. While guesting on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to promote his new Netflix special, I Love Everything, Oswalt made a passionate case for the movie’s pseudo-villain, Cypher, who famously sold out his allies to Agent Smith in hopes of being able to return to the AI simulated lie and live a comfortable life.
“There’s a very strong case to be made for Cypher’s character, like, ‘No. Plug me the f*** back into this,'” Oswalt laughed. “‘I’m nude with atrophied muscles, hairless in a jagged wasteland of radioactive slag, or I can be in this world where I have a nice job, where I eat a steak and marry someone, can I just live in this–I am fine with it. Morpheus, who the f*** are you helping?! Why are you dragging us out?! The machines aren’t trying to kill us.'”
He went on, switching his perspective over to that of the AI. “‘And by the way, you guys f***ed up the earth. We’re doing the best we can for you guys. We could have just let you all die in the wasteland, but instead, we found a way so that you can live.'”
Bleak as it sounds, he certainly does have a point. The real world in the Matrix franchise is dystopian at best–and while the machines may be using humans like batteries for their empire, you might argue that they’re not acting outright maliciously.
“People always miss that line where Agent Smith says, ‘You know, when we first did the Matrix, it was just flat-out paradise, and you guys couldn’t handle that and you rejected it,'” Oswalt joked. “Probably the first version of the Matrix, everybody could fly and orgasms lasted three months and you could just eat all the chocolate you wanted. And people were like, ‘No! I want a god**** cubicle job!’ And the machines went, ‘OK. I guess they want cubicles. Give ’em that. We tried to be nice.'”
Regardless of who you decide to root for, there’s more Matrix content to look forward to or dread, as the case may be, as The Matrix 4 heads to theaters on May 21, 2021.
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