I know it’s not a popular opinion, but here it goes: Neo’s an asshole.
Matrix was centered on the struggles of Human resistance against the dominance of their mechanical counterparts. A Rage against the machines, if you will. We see this from the biased human perspective, of course. We’re conditioned to be on Neo’s side… but should we?
1- Agent Smith provides the first reason that shows that Neo is one of the bad guy: “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”
2- The machines needed sunlight to function, the humans thought. As a result, we decided to wreck the entire planet and all its life forms, which have existed for billions of years, for our own benefit. There’s not much said about the machines actions, but apart from wanting to annihilate humanity they probably were pretty good guys. I don’t see why they wouldn’t give a hand to penguins or pandas. They’d definitely leave beavers to attend to their own affairs, every dam way they’d like. But no. We decided to destroy everything for a remote chance of a survival in an austere world.
3- The machines cultivated the humans as the energy source the humans took from them. No pig, cow or hen ever took anything from a human being. And no, Babe or Chicken Little don’t count. We still breed and feed them, we keep them in animal farms much like the ones the machines kept the humans. Difference: the machines gave us an entertainment. In the Matrix, we get to play humans to pass the time. The pigs don’t get to play animals.
4- The machines work as, well, a well-oiled machine. They act as a group and have a collective goal in mind. Obliterating humanity may not be the best goal, but it’s not the worse either. It’s a goal. Humans betray each other for what they know to be an illusion. At their best, they pull together for short bursts, waiting for a miracle to come.
5- In the end, humans rely on divinity. The message is, no matter what you do, you have to rely on higher powers. You can only do so much. Neo is god. A flawed god who attains very little, but a god nonetheless. The machines
I’m not the messiah, but you can follow me: