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Good-almost-great adaptation, OK-almost-just-almost-good movie
As an adaptation this movie had both amazingly perfect transitions and horrible mistakes, no wonder reviews are so conflicted about it.
I will go through 1) characters 2) events of the movie to try to explain the best where there was excellence and where was a giant mess.
Four/Tobias - in the book is the very composed, strong, collected character that has dramatic emotional past which crafted the man he has become - a man who hates being weak so much he will torture himself by facing his own fears every day for the rest of his life not leaving a trace of weakness inside him and keeping himself in check, a man who won't lose his composure ( poetically speaking and literally ). However, do not confuse him with a cold-hearted man that just learned not to care, he has a heart that can warm you up in the coldest situations, if that's what you really need, cause most of the time he will give you tough love. So, not the easiest character to bring to life, to say the least. Unfortunately I cannot say that the movie has done a well enough job at introducing us to this character or making his story have as strong of an impact on the viewer as it had on the reader, as a viewer you probably won't feel the admiration or respect that character really had. However, as someone already 'knowing' what he was like, I'll have to say that, to my greatest joy, Theo James has done unbelievable job making Four as fearless and lovely as he was in the book. If anything, the only difference would be that Four in the movie was less vulnerable, less shaky, more solid and profound than you'd remember him in the book. That change of course took some color of his book-character away, but, to be honest, that color was not fitting him to begin with. Reading the book I always had trouble putting Four-still-a-huge-mess-inside and Four-does-not-even-flinch-meeting-his-biggest-fear together. This way, more believable.
Tris - good! Don't have much to say about her. She is easy to picture for the Tris of the book, she could put together being inexperienced but brave, innocent but not a victim, genuinely scared but smart teenager.
Jeanine - perfection! In my head, Jeanine was one of those people that you just wanna attack physically she was so unbearably senseless in her own ideas. Like you cannot believe her! In the movie Jeanine was a total perfection. She pulled off the Erudite soul so well that I can describe that faction with just her character - her detachment, her weird evilness as if 'I really do mean good to the world'. Even small details like when she is physically approached how it surprises her, how unfamiliar she was to any type of power other than the intelligence. Bravo.
Peter - Now, this is why the movie was boring. You see, the most thrilling part of the story is supposed to be the transition of Tris- Abnegation to Tris-Dauntless, and you know why? Because Peter, the real Peter of this story, made it hell and nightmare for Tris to spend a night in the Dauntless compound. He was not a jerk or a dick or an asshole, he was a psychopath, got it? He wasn't making jokes that made you wanna joke back, he made jokes that made you shiver inside and barely hold your composure. I am fine with certain scenes not being there to make it PG-13, but making a real threatening character instead of, actually, very lovely one, would be much appreciated, thank you!
Other characters were well enough or not too much important to go detailed about. Christina was so well cast it's scary ( I actually visioned exactly her features / appearance ), Al - good, just a bit abrupt, Will - yeah but was I supposed to care for him? Molly - are you kidding me.. She is not bad at all, I felt pity for her.
When Tris jumps - that scene - is important for her character building. She does not just jump cause she likes to try, she jumps to show to Peter ( who managed to intimidate her already at that point ) and all his dauntless 'hunters' that she is not a victim. That is her first step from selfless to self preserving. She tosses her jacket on him and jumps! That is a much better scene, why change that to whatever, it's not like it would last any longer than it did.
Christina hanging over the pit scene. Overall, OK. But with the timer it would be something! Without it first Eric feels less of a douche cause you already do expect him to pick her up right before she falls, second, it's less scary. With the timer Christina has only herself to save herself, and you really don't know if she will be able to, cause it's no miracles zone.
Stabbing Edward in the eye. Well, not much to say about this scene cause it wasn't freaking there! Errgh.
Well, as you can see, good points outnumber bad ones, overall quite a good adaptation, but not exactly great, cause the few bad ones were really really off. I am not a detailed reader or watcher, things that stand out to me are probably out there for everyone. I am angry a lot on things like Peter not having anywhere near the vibe from the book, but at the same time genuinely glad for so many others ( Four, Tris, Jeanine, Christine ) being so correctly done. For a reader that's a great pleasure.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Good but Matrix-bad.
This was the worst of trilogy, and the gap is quite wide between this and its predecessors. It's still mountains better than most of the crappy movies today, but Matrix had to be on Matrix level and it wasn't.
The end of the trilogy, as the end of any story, matters more than the beginning, and shall I say, the beginning of this movie was a hell of a ride. Before I go pointing out what extremely was bugging about this installment, it needs to be said that Matrix is one of a kind movie being both entertaining to watch and brain-torturing. That two are very seldom to be put in 1 movie on such great levels, and to end such a story would be extremely challenging, however, in my opinion, got handled very much unsatisfying way for Matrix-standards.
First thing that continued to bother me starting from the second movie is how the Zion-part of the movie did not fit into the whole theme and atmosphere of Matrix. We get to be in Zion for the first time in the second installment, and already there was a question, why these people - survivors plugged out of Matrix, act so old civilization-ish. The part where Morpheus talks to the people reminds a scene from Gladiator. This, is offsetting when the Matrix-part of the movie is so technologically rich and puts your mind in a different type of place with all scientific visions that are meant to surpass the present time.
The two complete opposite tones wouldn't bother me much, if the one that is less favorable didn't get so much screen time in this installment. Endless Zion shootings at machines that are coming like a rain, commanders being brave and all, a chick madly riding a ship, all that lasts for more than half of the movie.
2) So little of Neo and the main characters
The characters you grew to love have pathetic appearances. Morpheus almost is not there, few fighting scenes. Neo, only last part. Trinity only a part of the last part Neo was in. Come on!
This is the main difference between the second installment and the third one. The second installment had so much story and insight on what was happening - we find out more about how Matrix works, who is Neo, what was the prophecy really, who is Oracle, what are the ins and outs of Matrix, what type of programs exist and what they are meant for - all this and in the third installment all we get is Neo's understanding on how to solve an equation and put an end. That was the only thing in the entire movie that has a meaning, everything else mostly fight scenes and lovey- dovey. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind either, but it doesn't keep up with the rest of installments in terms of things that 'make you think'.
All in all I like the movie. I used to rate it 10/10 as it was Matrix, and I love the whole thing no matter what. But I wish that later on producers did not lose their touch on the subject and freak out on success. It's really simple.
Well, I know a lot of people liked this movie and I don't mind, I just hoped I'd like it as well..
The visuals are great. What I liked most about it was that it felt very real, there are no super technologized fiction-machines so you get to fully enjoy the "out in the space" experience and in this it excels. Don't think any other movie provides same level of atmospheric mood that is gently contained within "believable" limits.
However, with all that appreciated, I was constantly bugged by the "simplicity" of where things were going, and how it all turned out.
First, the movie starts with three astronauts fixing a machine part in the space - two man, one woman. The woman is the one fixing stuff, one of the guys is the "commander". They receive an alarm to abort, but the woman keeps fixing it with "just a moment" cliché. Then things go wrong. So, if up until this I was genuinely enjoying the realness of it all, now I am watching somebody who was actually allowed into outer space to fix a machine "postponing orders". Okey, she is trained for just 6 months, but following orders should take about a minute to memorize.
Skipping it. At some point the movie starts to shift from "this is about space" to "this is about me". And the rest of it feels more like watching a person's journey to self-development more than anything else. The other characters are thrown off very easily. The spiritual aspect of the movie is OK, I mean facing your own demons, overcoming something and learning to move on is indeed important but not in any way original, new or brilliant for a movie. Even if it happens in the outer space.
So to wrap it up, I'm not sure how I felt about the change in the movie. I know I was supposed to care for the main character, but I was more annoyed at her for putting everyone's lives at risk. I just didn't find anything in particular amazing about the movie. Atmospheric movies require some patience in general, but with the plot very predictable the only thing I was left with were the visuals, and for that 6/10.