This week, we're going digital with our hottie evaluations. There haven't been a lot of movies dealing with the concept of programs as characters, although such films are likely to become more common as we become more and more fascinated with the inner workings of all the devices now encroaching into our daily lives. It's also not surprising that two of the most beloved cinematic programs are hotties, going by the names of Persephone from THE MATRIX trilogy and Quorra from TRON: LEGACY. With both characters parts of popular movie franchises and played by beloved hottie actresses, how does one decide which hottie plays a better program? We'll see.
Another pair of ladies it's impossible to choose between as far as looks go. Each of their counterparts is uniquely gifted with a distinct kind of beauty. Persephone, aka Monica Bellucci, is probably the epitome of exotic, European beauty. With an angelic face and a body that has yet to even come close to quitting, the woman stands above everyone else, digital or real.
If there was any digital creation that could vie for the title of most beautiful, it would have to be Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde. With a face of you can't help but love, big, beautiful, hypnotic eyes and that little pixie hair thing, Quorra was a welcome dose of personality in what was otherwise a rather impersonal movie.
It was pretty much understood that Persephone's reason for being was essentially to be some kind of digital sexpot for the pleasure of various other programs in the matrix. Albeit a sophisticated and somewhat complex sexpot, but a sexpot nonetheless. Never was entirely sure why programs would be interested in sex as it's understood by humans, but it doesn't matter. Monica's body in that rubber dress was enough to win this part of the contest.
It was a little more difficult to appreciate Quorra's hotness. Apart from her obvious visual attributes, which were significant, her somewhat childlike personality made her more cute than hot. Sure, she could kick folks' asses and drove the hell out of a variety of digital vehicles, but she didn't seem very interested in seducing anyone or even aware of such a thing as sexuality. No doubt one of those kids movie concessions that unfortunately hurts her here.
Looking over the entirety of THE MATRIX movies, it seemed like Persephone's character mostly existed for one scene in the second movie, then served no real purpose after that. And that scene wasn't really all that vital to the story. As a result, her character was not very important. Basically, she was just an extra taste of sexuality in what would have been a relatively sex-free movie (unless you count that weird rave scene, but let's not think about that). Not that I didn't welcome the diversion, but she was still not all that necessary.
Not to say that Quorra was any more deep or nuanced compared to the Persephone, because she really wasn't. Huge parts of her story remain unexplained and unclear, much like many of the events that unfold both before and during the events in TRON: LEGACY. Still, she did serve a much more significant role in the movie and her character remains viable for any sequel they happen to make. I just hope they flesh her out, so to speak, as she has the potential to be a very interesting character.
Part of the reason the programs in the first MATRIX movie worked is because you understood that they weren't real. They lacked a certain empathy and connection to humanity. You never really got that impression from programs in the sequels, particularly with characters like Persephone. In many ways, she was more real than any of the real people hooked up to the Matrix. While Neo and Trinity and Morpheus were all stone faced and lifeless, she was full of desire and rage far too nuanced to be taken as artificial. The filmmakers may have wanted it that way, but it nonetheless mocked the entire idea of a digital world that was separate from the physical world.
TRON: LEGACY might have it's problems, but lack of understanding about where you are in the movie is not one of them. You always know when you're in a digital realm and when you're dealing with digital people. Quorra is particularly endearing in this role with her curiosity and genuine interest in the real world, along with her allegiance and respect for "users." Her look is also rather different from what you would see from someone in the street, as is her personality, which is just slightly off enough to be believable as something other than human.
Persephone doesn't really have an outcome, as far as the movies go. She comes back for one scene in the second sequel, then goes away, never to be heard from again. Unfortunately, she's not the only character to be completely unresolved at the end of this trilogy, but the fact that she didn't have much of a start either, makes her more of a footnote than anything. In the end, her only real significance is a rubber dress and the hotness of the woman playing her.
I liked how Quorra ends up at the end of TRON: LEGACY. Not only do they provide a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the film and an interesting development for her character, but the circumstances of where she goes could make quite an interesting direction for the plot of any sequel they make. I'm trying not to give anything away for those who haven't seen the movie, but suffice it to say that fascinating things could happen, should other programs have outcomes like Quorra's.
Sure, Monica Bellucci playing a computer program specializing in sexing anything that moves has a lock on the hotness part of the judging, but that's basically all Persephone has going for her. Quorra has the benefit of being both integral to the story, more charming, and possessing a more interesting outcome. That easily gets her the talent and congeniality portion of the voting, making Quorra the overall winner here.