Written and directed by
The Wachowski Brothers
Everything that has a beginning has an end. Thank God for small favours.
At the conclusion of last summer’s The Matrix Reloaded, Neo (Keanu Reeves) was in a coma-like state, adrift in a no man’s land between the Matrix and the Machine World. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) holds vigil over Neo’s body, while Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) grapples with the revelation that the One in which he has invested a life’s worth of faith is merely another system of control invented by the architects of the Matrix.
In The Matrix Revolutions, the third and final chapter of the series, the war between man and machine reaches a pinnacle – the Zion military battles to hold back the Sentinel invasion as the Machine army bores into their stronghold. Facing total annihilation, the citizens fight for both their own lives and the future of mankind.
Machines aside, there is another unknown enemy element that grows from within the human ranks – the rogue program Smith (Hugo Weaving). Smith, who managed to take over a hovercraft member named Bane (Ian Bliss) to escape into the real world in part two, is growing more powerful with each passing second. Now beyond even the control of the Machines, Smith threatens to destroy their empire along with the real world and the Matrix.
Upon receiving some final words of advice from the Oracle (Mary Alice) and with the aid of Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith), Neo (yes, he does come out of his coma) and Trinity begin a journey above ground that takes them across the scorched surface of the earth and into the heart of the menacing Machine City, in which Neo will come face to face with the Machine world’s ultimate power – the Deus Ex Machina.
I was disappointed with Reloaded to say the least. I found it to be a bloated, pretentious mess of a film that was as much fun as writing HTML code for computers. I gave the movie another chance on DVD and while I found a lot of the theories and questions it raised more interesting at home than I did at the theater, I still found it to be ponderous and not all that much fun to watch.
Yet, I was curious to see how things would be explained and wrapped up in Revolutions. The visually stunning trailer piqued my interest and began to raise my hopes that perhaps series creators Larry and Andy Wachowski would deliver a slam-bang third installment that would get things back on track.
Alas, I was wrong. Revolutions may have better pacing and visual effects (not to mention shorter) than its predecessor but it offers little that is new or exciting. If Reloaded was overwritten, then Revolutions is woefully underwritten. Concepts and ideas introduced in Reloaded, such as Zion and Neo both being nothing more than updated computer programs, are never expanded upon or satisfyingly resolved.
Characters, such as the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and his wife Persephone (Monica Bellucci), show up and disappear in the blink of an eye, and even the series’ main characters wind up taking a back seat to the overwhelming visual effects and action orgy that dominates the second hour, resulting in performances by an otherwise talented ensemble that are robotic at best.
If the lack of character development or decent storytelling isn’t bad enough, Larry and Andy also make sure that we get a truckload of religious allegories shoved down our throats before the end credits.
Guys, we get it. We know that Neo is a metaphor for Christ. You made that painfully clear in the first two films. By hitting us over the head yet again, you manage to condescend to the audience, showing nothing but contempt while taking our money.
It may be hard to believe, but I actually held out hope that Revolutions would be the trilogy’s savior. Now that I have seen it, that said hope has been thrown right out of the movie geek window. Now I can stand behind what I said four years ago with even more conviction after learning there would be two more films in the series – leave well enough alone.