The Matrix Revolutions Reviewby Karina Montgomery (karina AT cinerina DOT com)
November 12th, 2003
Catch it on HBO
If you loved the first Matrix, scratched your head at the second, and actually care about getting those unanswered questions taken care of in the 3rd one, maybe this isn't the movie for you. It will only make you mad. The only question I had left over from #2 (thanks to some incredibly geeky exchanges with my fan BPL) was "How are they going to handle Gloria Foster's, the Oracle's, death?" I was satisfied and even pleased with that answer. The rest, well, my goodness.
Let me put it this way. I saw a 4pm showing with a perfectly ample supply of caffeine in my veins and I was nodding off (the whole whiplash head jerk thing and all) during the big game of Galaxian, er, I mean the attack on the dock. When there were actually people on screen, I was kept amused, if not engaged. Plenty of stuff happened and you couldn't care why, mostly because the movie itself didn't seem to care. We go to Merovingian's Hell Club and he sits there being all French and Rupert Evertty with Persephone, but why was he in this movie? At least the first Matrix tried to explain déjà vu - this movie doesn't even both er to justify itself.
Maybe I did forget all the crucial subliminal mythological clues, but I was totally unengaged by the story and the characters and the complete and utter lack of faithfulness to the Matrix's original world of expectation. I really didn't know (or care) what anyone was talking about. We know the Matrix is a computer construct designed by machines to keep us happy in our pods as we fuel their machine world. We know some humans escaped and live in a Coors Light commercial somewhere that the machines want to, and apparently routinely destroy. We know Agent Smith is basically a virus and he's not part of the Grand Scheme of things. But then, so, why did that ending happen?
Far too often I was reminded of the latter day Star Wars embarrassments - all flash and bother and no meat or potatoes. Yeah, sure, the sets and design elements and all the tricks were there, looking good. I really enjoyed the use of reflective surfaces in this film. Seriously, that stuff was still cool. Flat, affectless characters with no chemistry interacting with a dire urgency that does not translate like it did before. Gobs of gratuitous flipping and twirling (though I did like the "any surface is the floor" shoot-em-up scene that reminded me of the one part of Lara Croft Tomb Raider Cradle of Life that was interestingly shot. But Phantom Menace and Cradle of Life are hardly resounding reminders of quality fillmmaking. Except for using the agonizing William Gibson slang of "jacking in," this movie didn't even remind me of the Matrix! And still, Trinity and Neo together turn my stomach. What was a brilliant post-cyberpunk cool thing has turned into a Lucasesque profit machine with no soul. Damn that makes me mad!
I didn't even get all the Agent Smith I wanted. Yeah, he's all over, but how can even he make an anticlimax? And then what about the actual bad guys? Or wait, are they good guys? Do they even DO anything? Like all the Oracles throughout history advise, "Temet nosce" - well I know I don't want any more of this. Bummer.
These reviews (c) 2003 Karina Montgomery. Please feel free to forward but credit the reviewer in the text. Thanks. You can check out previous reviews at:
http://www.cinerina.com and http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com - the Online Film Critics Society http://www.hsbr.net/reviews/karina/listing.hsbr - Hollywood Stock Exchange Brokerage Resource
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