Is President Bush equated with Adolf Hitler in the science-fiction flick “The Matrix Reloaded”?

The question is being asked in connection with a scene in the new movie where images of Bush and the German dictator are displayed during a discussion of evil in the world.

Adolf Hitler

“If they’re saying our president is in the same league as Adolf Hitler, then I don’t want to see this movie,” says Mark Szorady of Rome, Ohio.

The 44-year-old cartoonist tells WorldNetDaily he has no idea if that’s the intent of the filmmaker, but his curiosity has been piqued by reviews and online discussions of the blockbuster.

“The Matrix Reloaded” continues the story of mankind’s struggle against machines which use artificial intelligence to enslave the human race in a dream world.

TV screens behind Keanu Reeves in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ (Warner Bros.)

During the scene in question, actor Keanu Reeves – who portrays the hero “Neo” – is standing in front of a large bank of video screens as he discusses mankind’s history with the designer of the computer-simulated world which is called “the Matrix.”

Images of wickedness begin to rapidly flash on the monitors, including photos of nuclear warfare and notorious killers.

“When the architect of the Matrix describes the folly of man,” Scott Bowles of USA Today says, “look at the screens behind Neo, which show images of a historical monster and a contemporary president.”

The historical monster to whom he refers is Hitler, and the president is George W. Bush, as well as his father for a brief moment.

President Bush

“Discussion of evil in the world and flashing the picture of our president. Why?” asks Szorady. “Are they saying he’s evil? … I’d like to see this thing frame-by-frame.”

The scene is also sparking chatter on the Internet about possible intended messages.

“If the Matrix films, the most philosophically challenging movies to be produced in a generation, reveal any obvious signs of the politics of its makers, then this subliminal equation (Hitler=Bush?) is it,” writes the Today newspaper of the Philippines in an editorial about “Reloaded.”

Messageboard threads on Yahoo and Free include a host of reactions which span the political spectrum:

  • “[Bush is] appropriately just to the right of Hitler.”

  • “This flick is off my list! I’m not even interested anymore!

  • “Although it was not up long, it was safe to say that over half the audience recognized the dig at the president as well as the context that it was in – that President Bush was a negative part of human history.”

  • “I saw it. The TV monitors show Nazis, Hitler, and an atomic explosion, and somewhere in the midst of all that the face of George W. Bush can be seen for a second or so. Why would such a peace-loving president so emotionally engaged with the struggle of the common man ever be included alongside such dark images? What could the filmmakers have been thinking? Is it too late to start a boycott of this film? … Maybe if enough pressure can be exerted, they can have the offensive image removed before they press the DVD!”

Contributors to Free Republic have even posted the images of Hitler and the Bushes from the movie in at least one discussion thread.

A spokesperson for the Warner Bros. studio told WorldNetDaily the company was reviewing the sequence in question to be “accurate” for any comment regarding the alleged Bush-Hitler connection.

Placing presidents in works of pop culture is certainly nothing new for the entertainment industry, as productions have featured both footage of elected leaders and actors portraying real-life officials.

Some have obvious comedic value, like in “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” where then-President Gerald Ford was lampooned as a stumbling buffoon more concerned with a college-football score than saving the world from a doomsday scenario.

President George H.W. Bush was cast in a less than flattering light during the Irish rock band U2’s 1990 “Zoo TV” tour, as fans viewed a host of political images on giant video screens culminating with a text caption telling the audience, “It’s your world, you can change it.”

Meantime, “The Matrix Reloaded” is already among the biggest financial smashes in movie history, grossing $134.3 million during its first four days, nearly matching the entire amount the first “Matrix” collected in its first five weeks.

It’s expected to become the most successful R-rated film ever released, needing at least $234.8 million to match the current No. 1, “Beverly Hills Cop.”

“I think it will easily do over $300 million,” box-office analyst Robert Bucksbaum of ReelSource Inc. told the Los Angeles Daily News.

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