THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003) Reviewed by: Wayne Deats Gade: C-
This review is a bit hard to write because I really enjoyed the first two Matrix movies, the first was groundbreaking for its special effects and original storyline, the second was a worthy follow up that improved upon most of the original and successfully expanded upon the story. However the second film did have one major flaw, it was only half a movie. For the past several months I've been anticipating The Matrix: Revolutions to finish the story. Will Neo becoming a superhero type figure in the world outside the Matrix? What about the message from the Architect in the second movie, does the Matrix in fact have multiple levels of reality? Would the Matrix be destroyed? So many question, but going into the theater the only thing I knew for sure was that somehow Neo would save Zion and that I would get closure to the Matrix story, unfortunately neither really happened. The Matrix: Revolutions does pick up where Reloaded left off, but immediately you can tell the tone is different. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but this movie doesn't flow as if it were an extension of Reloaded, it feels like different movie. I would critique this as a positive change, but a bad movie is a bad movie regardless of what the intent was. The story crawls along in the real world, the war between the machines and humans for Zion should have been a subplot, but instead it's given focus, new characters are introduced along with a few old ones form the second movie, but as we watch them battle at the end, there's been no character development to give an emotional bound with any of them. On top of that the battle scenes are boring and too far fetched even for Science Fiction, we see hundreds of thousands of machine warriors coming into Zion and an army of maybe a hundred human controlled mech fighters manage to keep them at bar for 20+ minutes of screen time. The intent must have been to show this was going to be impossible battle to win and the effects were excellent, I just felt "less is more" would have made for a much better approach at least it wouldn't have made it seem so unbelievable. The other major flaw is with Neo's character, he doesn't change at all in this film (actually none of the characters evolve) his character actually devolves and becomes weaker and weaker (both in the real world and the Matrix), this culminates in the final battle scene between Agent Smith which unfortunately features very little we haven't already seen. None of the foreshadowed themes from Reloaded are revisited (don't expect anything thought provoking, compelling, or even a "wow that was a cool twist" in this movie, it's very simple compared to the first two) and the ending is not only unsatisfying it leaves the door open for more sequels and leaves unanswered questions (some very big ones that would ruin the movie for you if I shared them).
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