The Matrix Revolutions Reviewby JoBlo (joblo AT joblo DOT com)
November 4th, 2003
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
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The sentinels are coming! The sentinels are coming!! In the third installment of the popular MATRIX series, Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and whoever's left of the human species fight the ultimate battle against the machines, Agent Smith and the Oracle's half-assed advice. Don't listen to her, guys...she's a kook! The Matrix Revolutions...ensues.
The first MATRIX movie is beginning to look more and more like a modern-day classic, especially when compared to its two sequels, both of which feel like they should have been gutted into one movie and nixed of all their double-talk, throwaway secondary characters (the trainman??) and ultimately dissatisfying ending. I suspect that the drop in quality had something to do with the speediness of the screenplay writing process, the fact that the Wachowski brothers were essentially given "free reign" to do whatever they wanted with the follow-ups (can you say, self-indulgent?) and the fact that the original film created something wholly original at the time. In the case of this film, despite two tremendous battle sequences that blew at least one of my nuts "clean off", most of the stuff had been seen before. And either I'm as a dumb as a stump or this film simply made matters more complicated than they needed to be. By the end of the movie, I "sort of" understood what had happened, but if anyone asked me to explain the details, its ramifications or why anyone on God's green earth would take the word of a 16-year old in terms of anything...I wouldn't be able to do so. That said, I still enjoyed most of the movie, especially its entire second half, which was basically one big-ass sci-fi machine battle followed by one big-ass mano-a-mano featuring Neo vs Agent Smith. I also liked how the Wachowskis wittingly made all their heroes either minorities or women. The cast of flimsily dressed extras sitting in as the "council", on the other hand, continued to suck as bad as any "council" has sucked in any sci-fi movie.
I liked how Smith's character slinked his way into almost everything he could here, as well as all of the special effects, especially during the machine attack on Zion, which in my opinion, was the bee's knees and then some! Props to the actor who played the lead badass during that entire sequence too. The man was stoked, pumped, loaded and kicked CGI ass like no other. I also appreciated the effects in the "real world", with all of the groovy green lightning, rain, smoke and darkness. Neat-o. It all felt and looked like a universe gone terribly awry (which obviously was the point) Unfortunately, the film started things off with a very weak half hour or so, during which much of what I didn't like about the second film, lingered on. Basically, it's folks asking each other questions and getting responses that are even more questions. C'mon fellas...it's part three for God's sakes...give us some fuckin' answers already! The enigma that is the Oracle is also back (although another actress plays her) and gets even more convoluted. I've always hated characters like hers in movies and the fact that she's featured even more prominently here, didn't light my fire. By the way, is it me or is this lady basically in this story to fuck with people's heads? (reminds me of my ex-girlfriends) If you don't have the answers, how about you shut your big fat mouth, eat your cookies and let everyone make their own decisions!!
All of the lead characters are also given less to do in this final installment, with Morpheus finally giving in to his overt weight problem and letting others kick ass in his place (pathetic) Pinkett-Smith's character gets more screen time in this go-around, but does little more than look cute and shout orders at her half-assed crew. Neo and Trinity get some play, and even share a somewhat touching scene together, but they oddly disappear for about half an hour at some point (think Gandalf in TWO TOWERS) And if you had been looking for a character that had been over-marketed vs their actual screen-time in a film since Darth Maul's 8 minutes in THE PHANTOM MENACE, consider Monica Bellucci (+ giant breasts) and her pitifully limited appearances in both of the MATRIX sequels. But as much as this final film (or is it?) had its share of issues, the bottom line for me was that once it actually got going...it was a damn good time! I love a good sci-fi shoot 'em up as much as the next guy and if you dug the little time you shared with Ripley and her maneuverable machine in ALIENS, you're sure to appreciate that machine x 100, all loaded to the brink of weaponry, swatting sentinels around like they were drunken mosquitoes. That scene leads right into the big brawl between Neo and Agent Smith, which also didn't disappoint as the two supermen duke it out over the fate of the world. But does the film answer the zillion questions that were raised in the films before it? No. Does it end on a clear note? Not at all.
As of this writing, I am still trying to figure out how such-and-such happened to so-and-so and how that's possible within the Matrix world. The film's final scene was also weak, especially since it featured two characters who I could give a shit about and even more so, because I didn't really understand what the heck they were babbling about. So yes, I did like this film a little more than RELOADED, if only because all of the hogwash psycho-babble is replaced by wicked CGI shoot-outs, but if I had to compare this one to the first film, or better yet, to any other sci-fi doozies that have come out over the past 20 years or so, it wouldn't even be a fair fight. Weak characterizations, a seemingly illogical narrative, a confusing ending and less focus on your lead characters, do not a solid finish to a trilogy make. If, on the other hand, you're like me and don't mind gazing upon a ludicrous amount of impressive images of a futuristic world gone berserk, fantastic CGI and a couple of balls-out action sequences, than like me...you might enjoy this film enough to recommend to those who appreciate the series to begin with. Either way, I would suggest checking out the previous installments before watching this one or if you haven't seen either of the two previous films yet, well...good luck! Oh, then rent DARK CITY and have a jolly ol' time with a great sci-fi movie!
Where's JoBlo coming from?
Dark City (9/10) - eXistenZ (8/10) - Final Fantasy (5/10) - The Matrix (8/10) - The Matrix Reloaded (6/10) - Terminator 3 (8/10) - X-Men (7/10) - X-Men 2 (8/10)
Review Date: November 3, 2003
Directors: The Wachowski Brothers
Writers: The Wachowski Brothers
Producer: Joel Silver
Actors: Keanu Reeves as Neo
Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
Year of Release: 2003
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(c) 2003 Berge Garabedian
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