Review: The Matrix Revolutions

No one can be told how odd Revolutions is… you have to see it for yourself.

But that makes for a pretty short review. Read on. There are minor spoilers in the review itself (nothing that you can’t guess
from having seen Reloaded and the trailers) but in all likelihood the discussion will spoil you more than trick-or-treating.

Cast and Crew

The full listing is on the IMDB. The only real change from the first two is
the recasting of The Oracle. All the usuals are back – Keanu Reeves,
Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, et cetera. Once again, both writing and directing credits go to the Wachowski Brothers.

Premise

Just like The Two Towers, we show up in the middle of the story. (If you
haven’t seen Reloaded, large parts of this movie won’t make sense. Parts of it
won’t make sense anyway…) Zion, the last human city, is hours away from doom, Neo’s in a coma, and in general it’s not a
good time to be a human.

High Point

The big bad army of Sentinels crashing into Zion. Ever played Galaga? Know the bonus stages where eight or ten aliens swarm around the screen
at once? It’s like that only about a zillion times cooler.

Low Point

I hate to say it, but the ending. Maybe when I see this movie again, it’ll make more sense, but right now I’m just thinking
it’s a bit of a jumbled mess. There was also some unpleasantness involving the untimely demise of a major character; you’ll
know what I’m talking about when you see it. Said major character’s demise was a bit drawn-out for my taste.

The Scores

Once again, originality is hard to find. It’s the third movie of a trilogy, and they’re really trying to just tie up
loose ends. We see a lot more of the real world, including a really nifty large machine city. I’ll give it 3 out of 6.

The special effects weren’t really as special as they could have been. The sentinels were nice, and there were rather
a lot of them. They didn’t do nearly as much ‘bullet-time,’ fortunately; it was a bit over-the-top in “Reloaded.” In general,
there wasn’t much that was really nifty, but they did a solid job with what they did show. I’ll give it a 4 out of 6.

The story gets a little convoluted near the end, what with all the pseudo-philosophy and existentialism and so forth.
Not bad, but not really solid (but you’re not watching for a deep plot line so much as just to get some sort of resolution to
the first two movies.) 4 of 6 here.

Aside from Ian Bliss (Bane), who does a dead-on impression of Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith), there’s not much acting here. It’s
mainly stereotypes, and working with characters we’ve already seen about five hours of. Neo fights a lot and looks cool,
Trinity’s a hopeless romantic, Morpheus gives speeches, the Merovengian’s a jerk, et cetera. Nobody does a really bad job, at
least, so I’ll gladly give this one a solid 4 of 6.

They really tried to push the emotional response, but it got a bit heavy-handed in spots (see the “Low Point,”
above). And though it sounds weird to say this, it’d be nice to have had another five minutes or so at the end, to tie up a
few more things, give characters a chance to react to, um, the end of the movie… (it’s hard to do this without spoiling the
movie). Fortunately, they didn’t go too far overboard, and they get a 4 out of six for not doing too much of the
Neo-Trinity kissy stuff that annoyed me so in Reloaded.

The production was just kinda there. The sound mix was alright, the effects were solid, but I kinda missed having Rage Against The Machine in the closing credits. 4 out of 6 (Rage would’ve gotten them
an extra point).

Overall, though, and even though I know this is gonna lead to holy wars we haven’t seen since “Return of the Jedi,” I
think Reloaded was a better movie (except for its lack of a real ending). So I have to give it a lower score. Merely 5
out of 6.

Total: That’s 28 out of 42.

17 replies on “Review: The Matrix Revolutions”

  1. Alexius says:

    My Thoughts.
    When I Got Home Last night, I Delayed My Already Late Bedtime To Write Up My Thoughts:

    Warning: Contains Spoilers.

    That Said, I Agree, Another 5, Maybe Even 10 Minutes Would Have Helped. Especially After Seeing The Animatrix, It Left Me Wanting A Lot More (Like For Them At Least To Say ‘Zero One’ When showing The Machine City.)

    • Dave says:

      Re: My Thoughts.

      Especially After Seeing The Animatrix, It Left Me Wanting A Lot More (Like For Them At Least To Say ‘Zero One’ When showing The Machine City.)

      Wasn’t Zero One the “original” underwater machine city? The machines have obviously moved on a bit since then (in particular, I find it improbable that there is only one city).

      • Alexius says:

        Re: My Thoughts.

        Especially After Seeing The Animatrix, It Left Me Wanting A Lot More (Like For Them At Least To Say ‘Zero One’ When showing The Machine City.)

        Wasn’t Zero One the “original” underwater machine city? The machines have obviously moved on a bit since then (in particular, I find it improbable that there is only one city).

        It Was Above Ground, In The Middle East.

        Also, They Kept Referring To It As The Machine City, So I Assumed They Didn’t Bother Building Other ones, Just Expanding The One They Have.

  2. rickyjames says:

    My Take
    I wrote down the non-spoiler version of what I thought over at SciScoop. Boy do I ever agree about the drawn-out kissy kissy scene here – give me a break. That was really the only part of the movie that was just SO far out my suspension of disbelief came crashing down. That, and the whole new concept of the “endless six-shooter”. One of those ammo boxes would have lasted about 13 microseconds the way they were slinging lead around. And have these people never heard of personal armor? Geez!!!

  3. Radish03 says:

    Confusion over the ending. *SPOILER WARNING*
    The ending was a bit confusing, but not once I thought about it a bit. (Of course I had the luck of having the opportunity to see it twice yesterday when I had only planned for once) Basically as I figure, everything has been pretty much a game or a bet between the Oracle and the Architect. She creates imbalance, he restores balance. The Oracle is trying to create peace, and the game is for her to create imbalance which will lead to peace and balance. In the past, all Ones returned to the source to restore the balance. Neo doesn’t, which causes further imbalance. Smith gains tremendous power as a result of Neo’s existence, in order to balance Neo. (Remember when Smith calls the Oracle Mom? She caused Neo, and, in effect, she caused Smith because he was needed to balance out Neo.) Neo and Smith are both incredibly powerful, ecept Smith is malicious and is trying to destroy everything. Neo needs to destroy Smith, but the only way he can do that is to destroy himself as well. Otherwise the imbalance would still exist. Thats my take on it, and the few friends of mine that have seen it pretty much agreed with those ideas. Anyhow, here’s hoping for the next movie. *crosses fingers*

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Confusion over the ending. *SPOILER WARNING*
      Quick thoughts – go in looking to watch a Sci-Fi action flick and you won’t be disappointed. On a 1 to 10 scale for Mindfsck (first one being an 8 and the second being a 7), this only rated a 1 or a 2. But as a movie, it rocked. I’ll give it an 8 or 9 out of 10. It may not have gone where we fanboys wanted, but it told a story and ended on one hell of a note.

      Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that I saw the Imax version. *grin*

      One other thing: “The Matrix” told a story. “Reloaded” showed you that there was a world, and fleshed it out quite a bit – and it had an epic feel to it. This one showed you Epic Battles. Fights like you’d expect from LOTR. And they didn’t pull a Lucas – the movie, like I said, rocked.

      The ending was a bit confusing, but not once I thought about it a bit.

      I thought so originally too, but you’re right – just think about it for a few minutes. It’s actually pretty fitting.

      Anyhow, here’s hoping for the next movie. *crosses fingers*

      I hope not. As the tagline says, “everything that has a beginning has an end”. That being said, I’m curious where they’ll go – as the Animatrix and the web site have showed, there’s plenty of stories in (and about) The Matrix. And considering the profit potential, I expect some exploitation next. (No comments from me about the video game)

  4. y42 says:

    Disapointment
    That’ll teach me to have hopes and expectations…

    Man, would it have killed them to explain something, anything? I was
    expecting the final revelations about the existance and presence of
    spoons, maybe an explanation of how and why Neo can use his Matrix
    powers outside the Matrix (ok, so this is still on the topic of spoons, but
    still), etc.

    However, mucho macho fighting and shooting of things. Wich was fun.

  5. joe__gee says:

    This movie seems to conclude the second movie ….
    … not the first. The Zion conflict is resolved, but the Matrix continues, and is apparently renewed. It’s not an even bookend for the series. Having said that, as an action shoot-em-up it’s an awful *lot* of dizzying, manic fun.

    From other comments I’m glad to read I wasn’t the only person thinking “will you just go ahead and *die* already?” :)

    -Joe

  6. vanyel says:

    Reloaded better???
    I’m very surprised to read that you think Reloaded was a better movie. It did very little to advance the plot, just a long-winded way to get us to the Architect. The “action” scenes were mind-numbing, and when I watched it the night before going to see Revolutions, I almost fell asleep in them.

    *** Spoilers ***

    Though I liked Revolutions better, I agree that it was nothing more than a wrap-up. My biggest disappointment was them not explaining how Neo could have “in-matrix” senses outside. Either “outside” is still in the Matrix, or they’re pulling some mystical crap on us, but we’ll never know unless they do another movie (and I’m *not* looking forward to that with the lack of story in these last two).

    For me, I think the high point was the line at the end: “What do you think I am? Human?” ;-) but I didn’t find it confusing at all: we already knew it was a power play between the Architect and the Oracle. And the Architect already said the struggle was built in to keep the matrix from self destructing. Things just escalated until in this round, Neo had enough leverage to negotiate the peace. They couldn’t destroy the matrix without killing most of humanity, and for whom, most would probably rather stay inside anyhow. I like the idea that it’s just a game with them, since they both know it’s necessary to keep the system functioning. Though, now that they’ve got a more peaceful way to siphon off the riff raff that would destroy the matrix, I’m not sure what they’re going to do for fun…

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Reloaded better???

      Though I liked Revolutions better, I agree that it was nothing more than a wrap-up. My biggest disappointment was them not explaining how Neo could have “in-matrix” senses outside. Either “outside” is still in the Matrix, or they’re pulling some mystical crap on us, but we’ll never know unless they do another movie (and I’m *not* looking forward to that with the lack of story in these last two).

      Spoilerage: Remember that Smith is esentially a mirror for Neo. With the link that Neo has established to Smith in the Matrix, seeing that Smith was an agent of the machines I took this to be the tradeoff that occured. Smith gained power within the Matrix from Neo, Neo gained awareness of the machines from Smith.

      I really didn’t see a lot of stuff that wasn’t resolved. Again, I just remember thinking “will you please *die*”? I figured Kirk in Generations would have an agonizingly long death scene. I remember being surprised by its relative brevity. The death scene in Revolutions more than compensates for Kirk not crying out “Spock! Spock. Spock (errrk)” as he dies.

      I wasn’t very confused. I didn’t even feel let down. I wasn’t expecting a happy reunion, hugs, smiles, kinder gentler machines, and the unscorching of the sky while Neo and Trinity, Morpheus and Niobe repopulate the planet. I felt it ended better the way it ended.

      From reading other comments I think we who enjoyed the movie may be in the minority. :)

      -Joe G.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Reloaded better???

        From reading other comments I think we who enjoyed the movie may be in the minority. :)

        I enjoyed it, it just wasn’t the Revolution that the original movie was. I think they had the chance, and blew it.

        And now that I’ve figured out the spoiler tag ;-)…
        I don’t buy the idea that a link inside the matrix creates a link outside the matrix, any more than I buy the idea that nanobots in Jake let him control computers that don’t have wireless interfaces…
        …but that’s just me.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Reloaded better???

          I don’t buy the idea that a link inside the matrix creates a link outside the matrix, any more than I buy the idea that nanobots in Jake let him control computers that don’t have wireless interfaces…

          :P

          I guess nowhere is it really mentioned that is what happened, so it might just be my mind trying to make sense out of senselessness. I can see it being offered as an explanation, but you’re as correct as anyone, and probably more correct than me. :)

          Did you ever think that maybe the Wachowskis sit back and say “let’s throw in something that’ll *really* fsck with their heads, man.”

          -Joe G.

  7. free_at_last says:

    Matrix:Revolutions
    The only value this movie has is closure. The reason it opened in 107 countries simultaneously on a Wednesday is because they knew they only had this wed-sat window to make any money before everyone knew how bad it sucks. I’m considering a class action suit so we can all get our 14 bucks back. Matrix rocked, Reloaded was fun, revolutions is cornpone shite. This is the first time I’ve seen an audience so disappointed that they trudged out of the theater like a pack of dazed zombies. Save your money; steal the DVD from the video store.

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Matrix:Revolutions

      This is the first time I’ve seen an audience so disappointed that they trudged out of the theater like a pack of dazed zombies.

      That wasn’t disappointment. It was shock. I walked out of there, fucking elated, but it had been such a ride that I just wanted a few minutes to think everything over. And recover from the ride. So while you thought I was dazed, looking at me on the outside, I was simply ecstatic on the inside. No, it didn’t answer the “layers” question, but it stood well enough on its own.

      • free_at_last says:

        Re: Matrix:Revolutions

        That wasn’t disappointment. It was shock. I walked out of there, fucking elated, but it had been such a ride that I just wanted a few minutes to think everything over. And recover from the ride. So while you thought I was dazed, looking at me on the outside, I was simply ecstatic on the inside. No, it didn’t answer the “layers” question, but it stood well enough on its own.

        Heh. You go bf, glad you liked it. I will admit I’ve been to a lot of sites since I posted this, and I can now respect the percieved merit of this film. However, if you’d like some deeper insights into my new revelations go to http://www.inreview.com and find me there.
        But honestly, opium not only provides the shock & euphoria, it also carries the bonus of lingering unglorious death. Extremes should be in life, not in movies.

  8. dram says:

    The proper ending…
    Here is how the movie should have ended, the machines should have won and killed off all the humans. Like the light side winning in Jedi, only the opposite. The dark side, the machines, should have won and established dominance. I was looking for Neo to die on his way to the Machine City, and the Zion defenders get wiped out, as they were about to. But no, it had to have a happy ending, more or less. Humanity survived. Humanity always survives, how boring is that? Wouldn’t we die already?

  9. HulkStrongestOne says:

    Way better than reloaded
    This was way better than reloaded. Reloaded went crazy on the CGI fights, and they did not look too realistic. During the entire movie, I only had two “wow” moments, one when Neo was running in circles on the faces of Agents Smith, and the other was flying at 100k mpg down the street at the end.

    This one was loaded with “wow”. They sparingly used bullet time (so much so that when Trinity does that and kicks a guy in the chest, you realize it and it seems special.)

    **** minor spoilers below, do not read before seeing movie ****

    The dozens of dual-gatling gun holding mechs (think souped up power lifters in Aliens) were a sight to behold. The battle over Zion (Xion?) was truly a sight to behold. Yet another “wow” was the boring machines. When that first one starts waking back up and erecting itself, good god.

    And of course the showdown between Neo and Smith (shown in ads, you know it’s coming) was what the Superman/Zod fight in Superman 2 should have been. Wow again!

    How anyone can think this is worse than Reloaded is absolutely beyond me.

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