Right, time to round off the reviews of “The Matrix” with my perspective on “The Matrix Revolutions”. Surely it can’t be worse than “Reloaded” was? Right? Er…
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
I’m starting to like sequels less and less. For every “Dark Knight”, there are about fifty “At World’s End”s. Unfortunately, “Revolutions” is the from the latter category. Actually, it’s scarily like “At World’s End” in a number of ways.
“Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming, I see the darkness spreading. I see death.”
The plot follows on directly where “Reloaded” left off. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is seemingly in a coma after stopping Sentinels with his mind in the Real World- however, we learn that he is actually stuck in limbo between the Matrix and the Real World. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) continues to replicate himself in the Matrix and has managed to infiltrate Zion too, in the form of Bane (Ian Bliss) who is also in a coma. The machines are still tunnelling down towards Zion and the humans are preparing for war. Add in a crisis of faith for Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and a hojillion other characters, some introduced in “Reloaded” and others not and you’ve got a bit of a mess on your hands. The actor comments are exactly the same as in my “Reloaded” review- nothing much changes, except that Reeves has now perfected the act of listening to a long, technical speech, pausing and then asking a simple question like “Why?” or “Where?”. The only new people of note are Ian Bliss, who does a brilliant Hugo Weaving impression and Mary Alice- the new Oracle, replacing Gloria Foster who tragically died before filming was completed. However, whilst the Foster’s Oracle gave off that friendly grandmother vibe, Alice’s Oracle seems the type of grandmother to tell you to sit up straight and chastise you for not calling more often. Odd point, I know.
“Revolutions” is more action-orientated than “Reloaded”, however it seems in the rush to give you more bang for your buck, the Wachowskis have started to repeat themselves. The gun battle in the fetish club plays out like an uninspired lobby rip-off from “The Matrix”, the only difference being that the bad guys fight on the ceiling. I really dislike the final Smith/Neo fight too, where it turns into a sort of “Dragonball Z” type thing where people can fly and mere punches send massive shockwaves out. It’s all a bit too silly. I’m fine with the suspension of disbelief but when two characters who were so grounded in the first one, are flying and knocking the crap out of each other whilst it rains like an afternoon in Cardiff, I start to lose it. The real world fight between Neo and Bane/Smith earlier in the film is much better and shows up the finale for what it is – an overindulgent SFX mess.
“It was, after all, it was your life that taught me the purpose of all life. The purpose of life is to end.”
To be honest, I don’t like a lot of “Revolutions”. It just ends up being just another sci-fi film with unintentionally funny, repetitive dialogue, instead of this epic trilogy that was promised circa 2002. The one thing I hate about the sequels is the mythical/psychological/technological crap that both films are laden down with. Yes, “The Matrix” had these things too, what with introducing place names like “Zion” and character names like “Morpheus”- the difference is that in “The Matrix”, it was there if you wanted to find it, whereas in both “Reloaded” and “Revolutions” – the Wachowskis try and cram all this stuff down your throat, making you feel overwhelmed and them look pretentious and twattish. Sorry Wachowskis, but you lost me at “systemic anomaly”.