The Matrix Revolutions Review

by Shannon Patrick Sullivan (shannon AT morgan DOT ucs DOT mun DOT ca)
November 19th, 2003

THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003) / ** 1/2

Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, from their screenplay. Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne. Running time: 129 minutes. Rated AA for violent scenes by the MFCB. Reviewed on November 11th, 2003.

By SHANNON PATRICK SULLIVAN

Synopsis: Zion, the sanctuary of those people freed from slavery to the computer-controlled virtual world of the Matrix, has been located by the machines, and invasion is imminent. Neo (Reeves), the prophesied saviour of mankind, undertakes a suicidal mission to the machine city with his lover, Trinity (Moss) to try to stop the attack. Morpheus (Fishburne) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) race back to Zion to join in its defense. And within the Matrix, the rogue element Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) continues to accumulate power at a seemingly unstoppable rate.

Review: The first "Matrix" was a phenomenon: exciting yet possessing thematic weight, and full of gorgeous eye-candy to boot. "The Matrix Reloaded" was a lesser creature; it boasted frequent glimmers of what made the original so good, but only amidst a glacial plot which finally accelerated into an almost indecipherable climactic infodump. But still, "Reloaded" set up plenty of questions about the Matrix -- both historical and philosophical -- which would surely pay off in "The Matrix Revolutions", right? Sadly, almost inconceivably, the answer is no: "Revolutions" is like a lobotomised version of the first "Matrix". There are still fantastic action sequences, supported by breathtaking effects and wire work, so there's little chance of getting bored. But it's all sound and fury, signifying... not much. The main characters continue to be shadows in search of personalities; some of the interesting supporting players such as the Merovingian and Persephone are reduced to mere cameos (yet, regrettably, we get more of Clayton Watson's embarrassing turn as Kid); and the whole thing culminates in a confrontation between Neo and his enemies which seems to play out in a certain way only because the filmmakers require it. "Revolutions" sees the "Matrix" phenomenon finally fizzle out, and the Wachowski brothers have only themselves to blame.
Copyright 2003 Shannon Patrick Sullivan.
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