The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

reviewed by
David N. Butterworth

A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2004 David N. Butterworth
**1/2 (out of ****)

"Where is it going? When does it end?" enquires Neo (Keanu Reeves) of the cookie-baking Oracle (Mary Alice) about halfway through the third installment of the hugely popular Matrix trilogy. It's a good question but fans of the series will long have realized that nobody ever gives a straight answer in any of these films, least of all the all-knowing Oracle. Fortunately for those of us who have become jaded by the Wachowski brothers' series of films the answer is the buck stops here. Having said that the good news is that "The Matrix Revolutions" is actually much easier to sit through than "The Matrix Reloaded," which opened earlier this year. Expectations, I suppose, were a lot lower for Part 3 after the lackluster showing of Part 2 but "The Matrix Revolutions" features some terrific action sequences that make sitting through the human interactions and computer-related gibberish worthwhile. The gang's all here, from Laurence Fishburne's Morpheus (oddly impotent this time around) and Carrie-Anne Moss's Trinity (still in love with Neo despite his limited vocabulary) to the sniveling Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and Hugo Weaving's multiplicitous Agent Smith. Weaving's character isn't as large a presence as he was in the previous films and that's oddly gratifying, since how many times can you see a man kicked through a brick wall? Smith's limited screen time allows the filmmakers to focus on a thrilling set piece as the Zionites hold forth to defend the last portal from the invading sentinels. It's over the top, and probably features more effects shots than in the entire "Star Wars" films put together, but it reminds us why we bothered entering the matrix to begin with: to revel in this threadbare, alien world of men raging against the machines. "The Matrix Revolutions" is nonsense, but it's exciting nonsense.

David N. Butterworth

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