There are people in the world who believe that we as humans are living in a simulation. That we are avatars in a larger video game played by something else, that the coincidences in our lives are issues within the framework of the construction, and that we can spot the seams of this world if we pay close attention to them. For those people, who base their whole-life perspective on what they call “simulation theory,” films like “The Matrix” and “The Truman Show” are more truthful and are texts that can be used as reference. The same goes for the works of Philip K. Dick and their adapted films, as Dick was a big supporter of the theory who spent a long time trying to figure out his own thoughts on it.
It’s not clear from watching the movie if Ascher believes all of this, but it’s more that he wants to invest in this theory and pass it on. He becomes a type of performer for this point of view, using his encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture to accompany various elaborate theories and relay the experiences of his selected “witnesses” through captivating and trippy animation sequences. Accompanying the lyrics of interview subjects presented as cartoonish sci-fi avatars (complete with shields, sharp teeth, spacesuits, etc.), they relay beliefs that we may just be a brain. in a laboratory, a body in a sea of pods; these talking avatars are often well spoken, and the documentary in turn is informative and entertaining about a concept that your prospective Lords might not have wanted you to consider. Ascher uses an impressive and vivid mine of pop culture clips to further illustrate the documentary’s colorful tangents, capturing our existence as a scene in “Starship Troopers” or “Star Wars”, or in a “GTA V” “Funny Failure” video. The latter involving 100 monotonous people being pushed from a platform in the sky by a bulldozer.
I think this type of skepticism is healthy. If you’ve ever lost an item that just seemed to just vanish into thin air, you might also have this feeling, that no other explanation is possible than a gap in a reality that has engulfed my damn mailbox key. But “A Glitch in the Matrix,” until much later in the film, doesn’t hide behind the true kind of anti-social mindset it takes to deeply see the world as some kind of false reality, and human beings around you like some products of it. There is a vital sociological element missing about how the life experience might lead someone to view existence with such a lens, and Ascher’s documentary may look like an erratic YouTube video, even though meticulously illustrated, without it.