The Matrix Revolutions Review

by Jon Popick (jpopick AT sick-boy DOT com)
November 6th, 2003

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When we last spent some time with our machine-fighting Scooby Gang, Neo (Keanu Reeves) was trapped in a crazy world somewhere between reality and the Matrix after thwarting a Sentinel attack and yanking girlfriend Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) out of Death's clutches. Also, that diabolical Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) had wormed his way into the carcass of Bane (Ian Bliss), which all but guarantees to gum up Neo's plans in The Matrix: Revolutions, the final chapter in the Wachowski brothers' trilogy about stylish sunglasses, leather trenchcoats, freshly baked cookies and Wire Fu.
Here's what blows about Revolutions: There's nothing as cool as the freeway scene from Reloaded, or even that film's bookends of Trinity jumping out the window and blasting away at one of the agents while hurtling toward the ground. There's precious little hand-to-hand gunplay, and the martial arts are virtually restricted to the final 10 minutes. After being forced to wait so long for it, I figured the big finale would have blown me away while making me forget all about who Bill is or why anyone would want to kill him. But it didn't - it was disappointing. And there was even less of Monica Bellucci this time. Christ, they manage to cram Elisha Cuthbert into a storyline of 24 every week. Why couldn't La Bellucci get chased by a mountain lion or something?

Revolutions takes a while to get going, and when it does, the film zooms from first gear to, like, twelfth, becoming a big, noisy videogame as the Sentinels finally burrow their way into a fully armed Zion. There's religious-tinged music making things seem so much more important than they really are. There are those half-Robocop, half-Ripley's Queen killing suits briefly shown in Reloaded. And, yes, there are plenty of the bullshit philosophical quandaries about fate and destiny, and whether Neo, the Oracle (Mary Alice) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) should be trusted to decide the fate of Zion.

On the plus side, a lot of the elements that seemed distracting and out of place in Reloaded now make sense. The Kid (Clayton Watson) and Zee (Nona Gaye) each have important roles, helping to defend Zion against the millions of flailing Doc Oc arms while Neo is busy flying right into the heart of Machine City (Isn't that what they call Miami? Wait, that's Tool City). I appreciated the Wachowskis' decision to show these two events independently of each other, instead of flopping back and forth between the two threads. But the decision to give Neo an additional handicap (besides Keanu's flat acting, I mean) was kind of dumb. Reeves as Zatoichi? That's a tough sell.
A side note: Gloria Foster played the Oracle in the first two films but died before they could shoot her Revolutions scenes (as did Aaliyah, but that's another story). Her replacement, Mary Alice, also played the mother of Harold Perrineau, Jr. (Link) on HBO's Oz.

2:09 - R for sci-fi violence and brief sexual content

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