The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinket Smith, Monica Bellucci, Harry Lennix and The Guy
Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski
I’ll say it again: I loved The Matrix. I still do.
If you’ve been paying attention, you might recall that I wasn’t quite so fond of The Matrix Reloaded.
Tonight, I saw The Matrix Revolutions. Yes, there are spoilers here. Best not to read if you haven’t seen it.
The Matrix Revolutions is visually pleasing. Every set and special effect screams “big budget” and “high production value.” Oh, so shiny. Oh, so pretty. Oh, so disappointing nonetheless.
Neo: Why does he continue to get dumber as the series progresses? Granted, he finally figures out what it is he has to do (of course, it takes yet another visit to the Oracle) to end the war and save Zion and humanity and that’s all well and good, and about damn time, too. But he’s not exactly quick on the draw. Case in point: Agent Smith has managed to escape the Matrix in the body of Bane, the fella who – along with Neo – is unconscious at the end of The Matrix Retarded Reloaded. (Quick tangent here: Ian Bliss, who plays Bane, does a fantastic impression of Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith.) Bane and Neo eventually wake up and come face-to-face, Bane calling Neo “Mister Anderson” approximately seventy-two times. Now, how many people have called Neo “Mister Anderson” up to this point? (Psst! The answer is “two.”) So why, then, does it take Neo five minutes to figure out who Bane really is?
Blind Neo (sold separately): Come on. Really. Is this absolutely necessary?
Trinity: Okay, I was wrong. I would have put money on Trinity being pregnant after the receptacle-heavy love scene in Reloaded. She’s not. She shoots some folks, points her gun at some other folks and holds Neo’s hand. That’s pretty much it. It’s just difficult to care about Trinity for some reason. She and Neo are in love. I know they are because they tell each other and there’s some kissing, but you don’t get an explosion or even a spark when you add water to water.
Persephone: One word sums up Monica Bellucci’s role in The Matrix Revolutions: cleavage. Seriously, the Wachowski Brothers could have fit the entire movie between those breasts, guaranteeing that I would have wanted to watch every last second.
Morpheus: The total badass from the first movie was somewhat emasculated in the second. In the third, he becomes Niobe’s bitch. Okay, that might be a bit harsh. Morpheus is a believer whose faith has taken a stunning blow. That’s gotta sting a bit, and it’s enough to make anyone a little shaky on their feet. Unfortunately, the result is an almost complete loss of presence. Morpheus no longer fills the screen, he no longer exudes confidence and he’s no longer a badass. And that’s not good, because this movie needs a badass.
Fight, fight, fight: Looking back, I realize that there’s a lot of fighting in Revolutions. Unfortunately, the majority of it takes place in Zion. Lots of hunter-killer robots versus the last remnants of free humanity, and that’s pretty interesting for the first couple of minutes. The special effects, as I mentioned before, are top-notch. The humans fight in war machines reminiscent of the loader Sigourney Weaver used to fight the acid-blooded xenomorph queen in Aliens, only with big guns. There are thousands of machines, I guess. It’s pretty much a river of machines, and it gets old very quickly. There is also the occasional fight within the Matrix. That’s not exactly true. There are two fights within the Matrix. More on those in a bit.
Bullet-time: Okay, this is just getting old. When I got home, I popped The Matrix in the DVD player. Why does bullet-time still look so incredibly cool in the first movie but is just tiresome in the sequels? Maybe it’s just over-used now. Maybe the technological “advances” that have been made since the original have somehow sucked all the freshness out of the effect. Whatever happened, the fight scene at the Merovingian’s club just feels like a re-tread of action we’ve seen before.
The Final Showdown: How many shockwaves do we need to see? Neo is powerful. Agent Smith is powerful. I get it. I don’t need to see a long shot of the shockwaves they cause every time they collide. Of course, it’s cool because the whole scene takes place in the rain, and every time the hero and the villain exchange blows the shockwave pushes the rain and everything else away from them. Yes, it’s cool. The first time. The fourth time, it’s just pointless.
The End: Neo wins. The Skittles factory explodes. Taste the rainbow.
Remember The Highlander? Fans of the original movie have eradicated all of its sequels from their minds. They live in a bubble, surrounding themselves with a wall of denial. Highlander 2? No such film. There can be only one. Only one.
I’m adopting that stance on The Matrix. Neo is The One. There can be only one. Sequels? Nonsense. They don’t exist. La-la-la-la-la-la! I can’t hear you. No, thank you. I’m taking the blue pill.