Haslam argues that criticism on the Wachowski Brothers' film, The Matrix (1999), has generally followed along the lines of early criticism surrounding the cyberpunk fiction of the late 1980s, which is usually seen as being founded by, and epitomized in, William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer. Within this critical framework, The Matrix is supposedly the filmic refinement of the posthuman, indeterminate identity some see as being offered by cyberpunk fiction. Haslam, however, relying in part on a second strain of criticism surrounding cyberpunk, questions whether The Matrix and its sequels truly offer a radical critique of enlightenment subjectivity, or instead reproduce dominant ontological biases, specifically as they surround gender and race. The Matrix, Haslam suggests, can be read as a text that allows both of these readings, using a disturbed and disturbing set of plots and images surrounding gender and race that can be seen to point to the difficulties surrounding the performative nature of dominance as such.


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pp. 92-115
Launched on MUSE
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