plot points revealed! Do not read this review if you have not seen
What is The Matrix? The 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
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
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