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Nov 09, 2003 05:20 AM 1571 Views
(Updated Nov 09, 2003 05:20 AM)





I was going to write a review sooner but I wasn’t sure what I felt about the third “Matrix” until now. “The Matrix Revolutions” (TMRe) is the third and final instalment of the “Ultimate Movie Trilogy”, coming from the Warchowski brothers. It follows Neo and the gangs attempts to bring down the machines, bring down the Matrix, end the war, save Zion, save the Matrix and save the machines… Hang on, what happened there? One of the few questions which the trilogy fails to ask, or answer, especially of its self.

Now for a little history lesson again, “The Matrix” was a big hit due to great effects, interesting fights, and most importantly a clever script and story telling of the very derivative ‘A chosen one discovers himself’ story. It borrowed effectively from Eastern and Western filmmaking techniques to create a world wide phenomenon and got real people interested in a whole psychological discussion about the notion of reality and “What is Real?”. A second film was made, where there was no need for a sequel, “Reloaded” was a bloated mess of a movie that was made for the egos of the Warchowskis, the script was chapter by chapter a pompous lecture in philosophy, talking about such things as causality (as if they were the first ones to ever do that?) and worlds within worlds (ditto). It took fight scenes and made them uninspiring, they effects however was off the charts. All the scenes, especially the ones involving either Zion (snore) or The Architect (Colonel Sanders look a like), were too long, wrapped in a protective layer of psycho babble (for more depth) and again bloated, which says a lot of about the second film in general. Here endeth the past and begineth the present.

“TMRe” starts with Neo trapped in a train station, caught between the two worlds. He meets and interesting computer family and there is a good discussion about the nature of feelings. The real Neo is in a coma in the real world, along with the possessed Bane (Ian Bliss). Trinity and Morpheous want to get Neo out but are also looking for Niobe’s ship. They receive help from a changed Oracle, to compensate for the death of Gloria Foster, and her servant Seraph (Collin Chou). They recover Neo from the dangerous Trainman (Australian Bruce Spence) and arrogant Frenchman The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), and seductive partner Persephone (Monica Bellucci and friends). Neo decides to do what he has to do, return to the Source in the real world, Trinity tags along. Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), Morpheous and another Captain return to Zion, through the nigh impossible mechanical pipe run. Speaking of Zion, defence preparations are being made their which involve Commander Lock (Harry Lennix, the guy who acts through his teeth), the really annoying kid you want to get slaughtered but no it won’t happen (Clayton Watson), and the Senator… Err I mean Councillors. As the fight for Zion heats up between Mech-warrior like APUs and ‘Squiddys’, the race to reach the Source and stop the evil Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) from corrupting the Matrix and making it into the real world, like a virus nudge nudge, in one final cataclysmic battle.

I didn’t go into this with high expectations, the second film was really a let down that had me questioning the value of the whole trilogy. So for the first twenty minutes, or so, I was really impressed. Making a proud return was smart dialogue that had probing questions in it without being drawn out or lectured, it was worked as proper dialogue. Easily one of the best scenes is between the Indian man and Neo, talking about programs and feelings, after all feelings are encapsulated in a word, and if you can understand the word you can understand the feeling. There was also the Oracle and some nice discussion there about choice, admittedly I thought they beat you to death with this in the second movie but it works here. When Neo is off screen however, things are a little different, the dialogue is nowhere near as sharp outside of the Matrix, and later on that proves to be troublesome. The Zion scenes, with the minor characters making defences, where typical of action movies (dull dialogue and overly melodramatic). There are, again, some interesting fights involving actual people(!) being upside down, and perhaps the second best fight between Bane and Zion, which was fresh because there were no slow motion floating effects, or superhuman abilities which added a lot of tension.

The war for Zion is a huge dud. Obviously the Warchowskis have studied the George Lucas ‘tack some computer generated effects all over the place’ school of film making, and consequently it looks fuzzy, fake and flat. They try and make a switch to a war film, showing grave losses of a defence that is being overwhelmed bit by bit, and mix in heroism with loss and other such phrases you’ll find on the new Lord of The Rings promo. Unfortunately they don’t realise is that to make the sacrifices of these people meaningful, the audience actually needs to (a) know the character/s and (b) like them, neither can be said of the caricatures that populate Zion. More importantly, as the script only has those intelligent moments at the start and the end, the inabilities of the Warchowskis become obvious. I’ve always said that “The Matrix” was a great film, but still relied strongly on previous Science Fiction creations, thus when they run out of the probing questions (existential and otherwise) that the great science fiction writers put forward (Your Philip K. Dicks and Isaac Asimovs) they have a chance to show that they can write out of the shadow of these greats. They show this, as they rely on weak action movie clichés to support the middle. They rely on expletives and oh my Gods to convey awe inspiring images, which frankly don’t exist. They even use deathbed farewells and encouragements, and the unlikely hero situation (involving that kid again), which was so stupid that the cinema laughed at it, also during the defences you’d think that the council would do other things than just talk… But no they just sit in their seats and discuss the issue of defence like there’s no imminent threat at all. The end, in a short break from the much hyped and brilliant fight (it has this thing called chemistry, that’s what the big war lacked) only has one moment of “the Big Questions” but it has Hugo Weaving who makes all his material work so splendidly you’re left with the impression that the Warchowskis put too much effort into his lines and not enough around the park So as you guessed the dialogue was shocking. Example:

Trinity speaking stupidly to Neo after he was blinded: Are you okay? (What do you think?)

Neo (even dumber than her question): Yeah I’m fine… (What the?)

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