Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Alan:+

Ebert: Rolling Stone: TV Guide:

Also See:
The Matrix
The Matrix Revisited
The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Revolutions
The Animatrix

What is the Matrix?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning, major plot points revealed!   Do not read this review if you have not seen the film.

What is The MatrixThe Matrix is, without a doubt, the greatest Sci-Fi movie series in the history of the world.  There is no legitimate intelligent argument to the contrary.  Despite the idiotic, simple minded, cry-baby opinions of most movie critics who obviously understand nothing, The Matrix will always and forever be one of the most triumphant accomplishments ever filmed.

I was able to experience the final chapter of The Matrix in IMAX opening night 11.5.03 with a few hundred like minded Matrix-ians.  I apologize for the long wait between my seeing the movie and my review but when you experience a life-changing event like this,  it takes a few days to gather your thoughts and be able to discuss it.  I can't stop thinking about it.  Even as I write this review I am forced to stop mid-sentence and go see the movie again......

OK, I'm back now.  I knew I would never make it through the review having only seen the movie one time.  Had I not convinced Holly to finally go see Kill Bill yesterday, I would probably have spent the whole day at the theatre watching Revolutions over and over and over until I passed out from sensory overload.  

Before I begin my review/analysis, here is a brief synopsis of the events in the final Chapter of The Matrix Saga.  The epic war between man and machine has reached it's apex.  The Zion military bravely fights in a desperate hopeless battle to hold back the sentinel invasion as the machine army bores into their underground stronghold. Neo, rendered unconscious at the end of Reloaded, is at once corporally outside and spiritually trapped inside the Matrix at a tube station that runs back and forth between the Machine World mainframe and The Matrix.  The subway is conducted by The Trainman who is controlled by The Merovingian.  The Oracle, who has been forced to take on a new shell (body) after her old one was destroyed by The Merovingian as a punishment for helping Neo, sends Morpheus, Trinity and her body guard Seraph, to make a deal to release Neo. Meanwhile, the rogue program Smith, who has merged with "real-world" hovercraft fleet member Bane, is growing more powerful with each passing second.  Smith is now beyond the control of the Machines and threatens to destroy their empire along with the real world and The Matrix.  He has replicated so many times that he is now the dominant entity of The Matrix.  Neo understands the threat that Smith poses and realizes he must travel to the Machine City to facilitate a deal to save both worlds.  While Niobe and Morpheus head back to Zion to join the fight against the sentinels, Neo and Trinity speed off to face the Deus Ex Machina.  A deal is struck and as the defenses of Zion are overwhelmed, Neo's destiny and the fate of two civilizations are inexorably tied to the outcome of his cataclysmic confrontation with Smith. 

After writing this summary I am finding it difficult to not leap from my chair and run off to the theatre to see it again.  However I must complete this review.  I must focus.  I can always go see it again tomorrow.  

Now, to set the record straight, I must concede to the fact that the theories I presented in my review of The Matrix: Reloaded were incorrect.  It pains me to admit this because my supposedly enlightened suppositions were irrevocably tied to my rancor toward everyone who didn't like Reloaded.  So it's also incredibly embarrassing.  Although it is meaningless now, I still believe my prime theory that "The Real World" and "The Matrix" were both part of a larger Matrix that was always and forever under control of the machines would have been a cool and satisfying conclusion to the series even if it was lifted directly from the Star Trek: The Next Generation Moriarity Episodes.  There...I said it.  Consider this an apology if you need one but just remember, if you need an apology from me then you are no friend of mine.  

Even after two viewings I am still overwhelmed and shell-shocked by the visual magnificence of Revolutions.  I have tried to think of a comprehensive analysis that would do it justice and explain to those who still don't understand what has happened.  Fortunately I have a brilliant friend who, unlike me, did more than drool, giggle and cheer his way through the movie.  My best friend of 28 years, Bendera Howard, has an explanation for everything that happened in the series that I see no need to amend.

"...Smith was created by the Oracle and Neo is also a program... In the past the One has always gone back and picked out the 20 survivors and let Zion be destroyed. The Oracle wanted peace between the Machines and Humans, but the only way this would happen is for the Architect to feel the entire system was in jeopardy of being destroyed, therefore Smith... 

... Smith and Neo are one (individual) but Smith is the exact opposite of Neo and he wants to destroy everything.  He does not understand that once Neo is dead so is he.  Neo does not even realize this until the final moment when he lets Smith consume him...

...Smith was killed by the source (Machine City). I knew that Neo realized that he had to die for Smith to die, but what I did not realize is Smith had to be plugged into the source for him to be destroyed. At least that is what I surmised. Also when Smith says "Everything that has a beginning has an end" That was the Oracle taking over for a minute....

... There is now peace and those who want to be freed from the Matrix will. But as the Architect pointed out, war is evitable and the peace will only last for so long, so there will be another Neo as the Oracle said.  She (The Oracle) won this round and for now there is peace. He (The Architect) also said that the Oracle played a dangerous game, because if Neo would not have made the right choice, the entire system would have been destroyed..."

As you can see, Bendera is a genius.  It is an honor to have him as a friend and an extra bonus that he is as obsessed with The Matrix as I am.

The special effects of The Matrix Reloaded are, as we have come to expect, the best of the best.  It would be redundant to praise them in depth since my previous reviews have sufficiently extolled their absolute supremacy, so I will just cheer some of the highlights of this particular film.  The inverted multi-axis battle outside Club Hell was a really cool new variation on the government lobby fight from the first film.  I loved this sequence and wish it could have lasted for hours.  The big battle for Zion is the obvious centerpiece of the film and does not in any way disappoint.  Many reviewers have compared it to the epic Battle in Star Wars Episode II and I cannot say that this is an incorrect comparison.  It is a glorious, full throttle CGI extravaganza.  Although most speak with derision of this CGI overload, I say bigger is better and bigger than bigger is even better!  I now expect my epic battles to stimulate me to the brink of seizure and The Last Stand of Zion does just that.  The final fight between Neo and Smith is also amazing.  It's the ultimate superhero Battle Royale.  I love the mid air collisions that destroy everything around them.  It's just one of the greatest fights ever.  

I love all the actors in the film but unfortunately some of them really had their best moments in the first two films.  For example, Morpheus really only has a supporting role as Niobe's co-pilot in this part.  My favorite character and the most beautiful woman in the world, Persephone, only has one tiny little line.  And although his part is about as big as it was last time, I would have loved to have seen more of the Merovingian.  He's probably my favorite male character in the series.  In fact my dream sequence would have been if during the Club Hell sequence, The Merovingian had forced Persephone and Trinity to fight each other to the death to release Neo.  That alone would have been worth the price of admission many times over. (Insert nerd giggle here)  

Many other supporting characters, however, did have their roles greatly expanded.  First I must acknowledge that Ian Bliss, the actor who played Bane, does the best Agent Smith impersonation I have ever seen.  He does it so well that it actually makes the scene where Neo doesn't recognize him seem kind of stupid.  He's so obviously Smith that both times I've seen it I've tried to see if he was actually just lip syncing the voice.  It's that good!  Even though he is a total jerk right to the end, Lock does a fine job as the doomed Commander who knows that no matter what he does, Zion will fall and there's nothing he can do about it.  General Mifune (named after Akira Kurosawa's favorite leading man Toshirô Mifune), turns out to be a great General who fights to the bitter end despite the odds.  The Oracle, now played perfectly by Mary Alice after Gloria Foster's untimely death, does a splendid job of paying homage to the character while at the same time bringing something of her own to the part.  Seraph is the perfect and loyal bodyguard we expect him to be and has some great moves in the Club Hell fight.  Zee, Link's girl back home has some "Sigorney-Weaver-in-Aliens" type moments as she defends Zion and the rest of the supporting players all do a fine job as well.

Of course Neo, Trinity and Smith are all fabulous in their swan song performances.  Trinity gets to use her scorpion kick one more time in the Club Hell fight and Neo and Smith have that crazy funtastic superhero battle to the death at the end of the film.  All three do a great job with their roles, especially Hugo Weaving, as Agent Smith, who ends up being kind of the star of the whole series.  

I love The Matrix.  It is the greatest Sci-fi series ever.  (The Lord of the Rings series is in the Fantasy genre so I can still separately acknowledge it's own categorical supremacy next month.)  There is no denying that The Matrix is now the new standard for Sci-fi excellence.  It is without a doubt the best of it's kind and it has helped to make 2003 far and away the greatest year in the history of cinema.

 


Pre-Review:

This brilliant masterpiece of absolute perfection in cinema has not yet been seen or reviewed.  The score above is assured.  You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth. The Matrix films are the best Trilogy ever and although they have altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo, some will understand, while others like the stupid reviewers Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly and David Ansen of Newsweek will not. Concordantly, while some may find their obtuse idiotic reviews most pertinent, you may or may not realize that they are also the most irrelevant.  Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But, rest assured, I have watched the Matrix films more times than you can imagine, and have become exceedingly efficient at it.  There are quintessentially nerdy levels of survival that I am prepared to accept. However, the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to do the same. 

-Alan the Merovingian Architect