In his book On Moral Fiction, John Gardner says that our society needs modern myths to live by. I guess that is the reason I was so taken with The Matrix trilogy.
When Kurzweil asked why Neo doesn't simply run or fly away when confronted by Agent Smith and his multiples, I was reminded of my question. I too wondered about this, and I concluded that perhaps Neo needs to try until he realizes that one more effort will be useless. This question arises at the end of the trilogy, and the filmmakers' response is stunning.