THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS - 2003
Warner Brothers Pictures
Rated: Australia: M / France: Rated U / Germany & Netherlands:
16 / Hong Kong: IIB / Italy: T / Norway, Sweden, UK: 15 / Spain: 18 / USA: R
Philosophical action! Im gonna tell you the meaning of life and then kick your
ass! And you'll know how serious I am because the expression on my
face never changes! Got that, punk?
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the third installment in the Matrix storyline,
was written and directed once again by Andy and Larry Wachowski (THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED). It picks up moments after RELOADED left off, with
Neo (Keanu Reeves: DRACULA, JOHNNY MNEMONIC, THE MATRIX, THE
WATCHER, THE MATRIX RELOADED) in a coma after having used his mysterious
powers to disable attacking robot sentinels. The problem is he's
only supposed to have these powers while inside the Matrix and yet we
saw him use them in the "real" world.
Also in a coma is Bane (Ian Bliss: BOUND, THE
MATRIX RELOADED), a minor character who betrayed the
group in the last film because hes "infected" with the
Smith virus. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving: THE
MATRIX movies, THE
LORD OF THE RINGS movies) is a renegade program
in the machine world who has learned to duplicate himself by taking over
other programs. He's one of several threats facing Neo and the last
remaining free humans in the underground city of Zion.
All the other major characters are here, including Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM
STREET 3, EVENT
HORIZON, THE MATRIX movies), Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith: TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE DEMON KNIGHT, THE MATRIX RELOADED, SCREAM 2, ) and Neos true love, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss: THE MATRIX movies, MEMENTO).
They have to rescue Neo from his coma, which is not a coma. In fact his
mind is still in the Matrix even though he's not "jacked in"
(connected by a wire to the brain), something that'd be fatal for anyone else.
Rescuing Neo is just one of several things on the good guys' to do list. There is
also the matter of the millions of robot monsters that are tunneling their
way down to Zion and will breach the outer defenses in less than 24 hours.
Everyone is focused on how to win that hopeless battle, but Neo wants
to follow a different path. He goes to see the Oracle (as do several others). Actress Gloria Foster played the Oracle in the last two movies, but she died last year. Mary Alice plays the role
here and does a great job but I missed the edge of sardonic humor Gloria
Foster gave to the character.
The kung fu special effects are present but sparse compared to the previous films.
Most of the CGI is reserved for the huge battle between the forces of
Zion and the invading robots. It was pretty cool but the logical part
of my mind kept popping up with questions like, "If the machines
just want to kill all the people, why not nuke Zion? Once theyve
drilled down to it a single H-bomb would do the trick."
The robotic walkers that Zion's soldiers use are like armed versions of the robot
loader that Ripley used in ALIENS to fight off the Alien Queen. Perhaps what was well portrayed in ALIENS
as a futuristic cargo mover wasn't the best inspiration for a piece
of military hardware. The soldiers are essentially unprotected so all
you'd have to do to disable the robots is shoot the human driving
Logic aside, you will enjoy the battle sequence. It's by far the most intense
part of the movie. The rest has it's ups and downs and mixes in a
lot of philosophy which can be good or bad depending on how you feel about
that kind of thing. I mostly like it, except when wise elders answer every
damn question with a parable of some kind. Yoda was far more direct than
the Oracle, and that's saying something. It got a little exasperating
But whats never exasperating is a
There is a very brief scene where a ship piloted by the good guys gets
above ground and then, just for a moment, above the perpetual cloud cover.
Trinity sees the sun for real, probably for the first time in her life.
The sunny, beautiful world above the clouds is a huge contrast to the
grim horror below. But it's also more proof that the whole "using
people as batteries" idea (thats what we are told the machines are using people for: electricity) is stupid. Totally aside from the simple fact that burning the food youre
feeding these people would provide more power than youd ever get
from their body heat (humans are poor heat engines>),
just a few miles up youve got as much solar energy as you want.
The tech these machines have is plenty for solar cell covered blimps or
solar power satellites. I don't know what they're using people for, but it ain't electricity.
I must mention one more exasperation: Ian Bliss, the actor who plays Bane, does a wonderful
Agent Smith impression. Once he wakes from his coma, completely transformed
mentally into one more copy of Agent Smith, he starts talking like him
in that weird but cool over-pronunciation of every word that Hugo Weaving
does. So in other words it's incredibly obvious that this guy is
channeling Agent Smith. It's obvious to everyone in the audience
but Neo takes FOREVER to get it. Bane keeps saying things like,
"You don't recognize me, Mr. Anderson?", giving Neo every
possible hint until you want to scream at the screen, "It's
Smith you moron! How stupid are you?"
It would be a mistake to think of THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS as the "conclusion" of the
Matrix saga. I don't know if the Wachowski brothers plan to keep
going but there is more a "the end of this chapter" rather than
a "the end of the story" feel to this movie. There are interesting
characters, cool effects, heroic battles and terrible villains. There
are also still a lot of unanswered questions. Adding it all up results
in three shriek girls. I wish it was more, but here we are.
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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