On the Martial Art in the Matrix Universe: From Crouching Tiger, Matrix, to Everywhere, All at Once

Conference: The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia2022)
Title: On the Martial Art in the Matrix Universe: From Crouching Tiger, Matrix, to Everywhere, All at Once
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Xavier Lin, National Chi Nan University, Taiwan


It is a wonder that the martial art and Sci-fi movies should achieve such a successful marriage in Matrix and, even, in the recent box office success and film review acclaimed Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, an obvious multiverse homage to Matrix. By examining and analyzing how in each fighting scenes in Crouching Tiger, it shows that the martial art functions as a medium though which the individual will and spirit of a person expands physically into the surrounding with the surreal prowess of martial art, as if the world became a surreal locus echoing the virtuous world that the matrix in Matrix creates for the minds of human beings to exist in, where the enlightened ones, like the martial art masters in martial art movie, can fight with surreal prowess. On the other hand, after examining the martial art choreography in Matrix, it becomes as clear that, with its literality of the physical prowess, there is arguably no medium more powerful and relevant for demonstrating the embodiment of will and spirit in a virtuous world. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once takes this to another level by upgrading the locus onto a multiverse and, literally, starring Michelle Yeoh, the iconic martial art actor, as the leading character in this Matrix-homage movie, fighting to embody a multiverse existence. In a word, the martial art proves a perfect medium that provides the surrealism of Sci-fi movie a realism of physical believability in its outlandish Sci-fi fantasy.

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