Movie Reviews

The Matrix Revolutions

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 9 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

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Cast:
Keanu Reeves as Neo
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe
Mary Alice as The Oracle
Sing Ngai as Seraph
Bruce Spence as Trainman
Gina Torres as Cas
Clayton Watson as The Kid
Bernard White as Rama-Kandra
Lambert Wilson as Merovingian
Anthony Wong as Ghost
Tanveer Atwal as Sati
Helmut Bakaitis as The Architect
Monica Bellucci as Persephone
Nona Gaye as Zee
Harold Perrineau Jr. as Link

Summary:
Though it has its problems, The Matrix Revolutions is a good end to the Matrix Trilogy and itís a better film than Reloaded.

Story:
This is the third and final chapter of the Matrix trilogy.

The Matrix Revolutions picks up immediately where the cliffhanger ending of Reloaded left off. Neo is trapped in limbo between the Matrix and the real world. After talking with the Oracle, Trinity and Morpheus learn that the only one who can get him out is the Merovingian. After tense negotiations (and some gunplay), our heroes are successful in saving The One. However, theyíre not out of trouble yet.

The Machines have broken into Zion and the final battle has begun. Niobe, Morpheus, and the others race back to help in the fight. Meanwhile, Neo and Trinity race to the heart of the Machine City in order to try and save the human race. But what can Neo possibly do against millions of Sentinels? And how will Agent Smith ruin things?

The Matrix Revolutions is rated R for sci-fi violence and brief sexual content.

What Worked:
WARNING!! - The rest of this review contains some minor spoilers. Proceed at your own risk!

As a big fan of the Matrix series, I was a little bit let down by The Matrix Reloaded. Fortunately, Revolutions is better than the second film. While not quite as good as the first film, itís an overall more satisfying flick. Thereís less philosophy and more action. While it takes around 50 minutes for it to pick up steam, the last hour and ten minutes is almost non-stop excitement. Itís a very satisfying roller coaster ride and an exciting mix of action and special effects.

The visual effects are absolutely stunning. The battle in Zion between the Sentinels and the humans is jaw dropping. You really feel like the fate of the human race is at stake. The Sentinels mass in such great numbers that itís mind-numbing. This is one of the best sci-fi battles in recent memory. Thereís also a spectacular fight between Smith and Neo that takes place in mid-air. They fight while in flight like General Zod and Superman. As they zip and fly through the rain, the imagery is both beautiful and impressive. This film definitely raises the bar for any Superman movie to come.

As far as the acting goesÖletís face it. Everyone plays it a little stiff. They show very little emotion. However, the stand out character is Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. He evolves from his reserved agent character into a full-blown mad god of the Matrix. Itís a chilling (and amusing) transformation. He also ends up being one of the few characters that show any emotion, if you can believe it.

One of the good things about Revolutions is that it finally proves that our heroes arenít invincible. Neo has a moment on par with Luke Skywalker getting his hand cut off in The Empire Strikes Back. That kind of thing proves that anything goes, and of course it does. Fearing for the safety of your favorite characters makes you invest a lot more emotion in them and ultimately makes the completion of their journey that much more satisfying.

Finally, the film is more or less open for a sequel. The Wachowski Brothers have said theyíre done with the Matrix series, but itís nice to know it can be revisited if they so choose.

What Didnít Work:
As much as I enjoyed The Matrix Revolutions, it still had its problems. Most notably is the first 50 minutes of the film. As you might expect, the problems with Revolutions are the same type of problems that were in Reloaded. Those early minutes are rather slow and bogged down with Matrix-speak. There are all sorts of confusing exposition on love, emotions, the Matrix, and prophecy. It becomes especially tedious and you become antsy for them to get on with the war.

Like the second film, this one has its awkward moment. Reloaded featured a bizarre rave scene that went on too long. Revolutions features an S&M club filled with people in deviant costumes and rubber outfits. It came across as the directors acting out their fetishes on screen and it was just plain silly. Itís a little hard not to snicker at a guy in a rubber shirt and pants pointing a gun and acting tough against Morpheus.

The movie also suffers from occasional lapses in logic. For example, Zion desperately needs an EMP device in order to stop the Sentinels, however they all just happen to be on the ships outside of the city. Why donít they have one in the base? Also, the fighters in the robot battle suits wear nothing more than cotton shirts and rags. This makes them very vulnerable to, well, anything. Youíd think theyíd at least wear a helmet or armor. However, I recognize that these situations make things much more exciting, so they are forgivable.

Wooden performances are a trademark of The Matrix, but I was hoping for just a little more emotion in the film. For example, after an incredibly dramatic harrowing escape and impossible rescue, Niobe and Morpheus deliver lines as if they just woke up from a nap. I kept waiting for Morpheus to get angry, happy, sad, or anything. Of course it didnít happen. Ironically Neo, probably the most stiff of them all, has one of the few emotional moments in the film. I wonít give details, but I was impressed with his performance.

Iím still pondering the ending of the film. I think I liked it, but Iím not sure. I like the fact that they left it open for a sequel, but I donít like the fact that I wasnít clear on Neoís final fate. I liked the subtle references to both religion and mythology, but I think they got a little too blatant when a big glowing cross briefly flashes across the screen. In fact, the giant machine monster at the end even says a variation of ďIt is finishedĒ. I liked the fact that it was a happy ending, but I didnít like the fact that I was still left with a million lingering questions. How was Neo able to manipulate machines in the real world? What happens to the humans? What happens to the Matrix? What is the Source? And is it the cousin of The Force?? In short, donít expect this film to answer everything about the Matrix universe.

The Bottom Line:
The Matrix Revolutions, while not on par with the first film in the trilogy, is still pretty good. Those that didnít like The Matrix Reloaded should be a bit more happy with this final film in the series.

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