I have to admit that I'm pretty much a casual fan of The Matrix
trilogy. I've yet to sit and ponder the philosophy or greater meaning underneath the surface of the films, and I didn't even see the first two installments in the theater. I've never seen The Animatrix
, played the supposedly crappy video game, or dressed up like Neo or Morpheus for Halloween (though that'd be pretty cool in my opinion). I don't have a cat named Trinity or a dog named Agent Smith, and yes, Reloaded
left me a little bit confused, though mostly satisfied.
I only mention these things because I don't think my review of Revolutions
will be applicable for everyone who walks into the theater. If you're rabidly obsessed with these characters and love to peel back the layers of stylish kung fu and jaw-dropping special effects to figure out the psychobabble underneath, then this review isn't for you. Someday I'm sure I'll watch all three films in a marathon on DVD, at which point I'll start an analyzation that goes beyond "Damn, that bullet time is cool!" But for now, I'm approaching Revolutions
as a casual fan of the undeniably influential franchise.
The film starts out right where Reloaded
left off, with Neo lying comatose and stuck somewhere between The Matrix and reality. It shouldn't be spoiling to say that yes, Neo does indeed get out of this situation at some point, at which time the story kicks into high gear with the citizens of Zion preparing for the arrival of the machines. The main focus of the film revolves around this battle, as well as Neo and Trinity's trip to the Machine City to complete the journey of The One. Meanwhile, inside The Matrix itself, Agent Smith is busting out all over and assimilating everyone who gets in his way, on a quest to eventually worm his way into the real world.
After watching this concluding installment of the trilogy, it made me realize that one of the major problems with Reloaded
was that it felt like half of a movie. There were many new characters introduced in the second installment that I really didn't give a damn about (such as Zee, Link, Niobe, and basically the whole Zion gang), until I saw this one. The supporting characters finally get some much needed development, and after spending time with them I really grew to care about the battle they were waging.
Of course, aside from the characters, the big question is: does anything in the movie make sense? A lot of people were left feeling very perplexed after Reloaded
, and I think it's safe to say that the general moviegoing public doesn't like feeling confused. I'm not sure if all of my questions from the second installment were answered, but I did find this one easy enough to follow and a stunning conclusion to the trilogy. It doesn't neatly wrap up every loose end in the world by the end credits, but who says it has to? I don't mind being left with a few things to ponder on my own time. The difference between this film and say, a David Lynch movie, is that I think everything would actually make sense if I thought enough about it. I just haven't got around to that yet, so check back with me in a year or two and maybe we can have a philosophical discussion.
As far as the acting, directing, cinematography and special effects go, it's all just as top notch as it was in the other films. I've read a couple of negative reviews that bashed the performance Keanu Reeves gave in the more emotional moments of the movie, but I thought he handled it perfectly. As far as the supporting characters go, Jada Pinkett-Smith stands out as Niobe, and Hugo Weaving steals the show once again as the deliciously evil Agent Smith. Young Clayton Watson also does a great job as "The Kid", turning from a Neo groupie to a downright hero in the span of a couple hours.
The movie loses a couple of points in the script department, but that's simply because I think the story in the original Matrix
was more intriguing than the two sequels. The idea of waking up and discovering that life is but a dream is an extremely intriguing concept, and one that was impossible to live up to in the following installments. Of course, that's just my personal preference. The story of becoming a hero usually interests me more than what happens after the journey is completed.
If there's one thing The Matrix
trilogy will go down in history for, it's the groundbreaking special effects and action sequences. Reloaded
kind of let me down in this department, especially with some of the terrible CGI present in the freeway chase and the battle with the zillion Agent Smiths. Luckily, Revolutions
avoids these tiny mistakes and delivers some completely mind-blowing sequences that are on par with anything in the original film. Maybe it wasn't even the special effects that really impressed me, but the amazing choreography that went into staging the major battles in the film. It's truly a thing to behold.
There are two main set pieces that will have everyone talking: the battle between the machines and the people of Zion, and the final brawl between Neo and Agent Smith. Both of these are extremely well done, and I'm sure there will be no complaints from die-hard fans that either of these is the least bit anti-climactic. If the action in this movie doesn't get you jumping out of your seat, you might want to check and make sure you didn't sit in super glue.
Wow, that was a lame comment.
Anyway, the point is that I found this film to be entertaining as all hell, even during the expositive opening hour. I'll admit that after reading a slew of bad reviews about the movie, I was expecting to be disappointed. The fact that I was captivated, intrigued, and occasionally blown away was a very nice surprise. Sometimes I guess it pays to be a casual fan without sky-high expectations.
Overall, it's fairly obvious that I had a lot of fun with this film, but I'm sure it's not for everybody. I'd love to read more reviews from die hard Matrix
fanatics to see what their opinion is. I already heard from one person that the Wachowski Brothers broke his heart and betrayed his trust with this installment. That sounds pretty ludicrous to me, but I'm sure others will feel the same. If you're going to this film to see an extremely stylish, action packed extravaganza that successfully wraps up the trilogy, I think you'll be pleased. If you're looking for the meaning of life, chances are you should direct your attention elsewhere. Then again, who knows? Maybe the meaning of life really is buried deep inside The Matrix
trilogy. Let me watch them all a few more times and I'll let you know if I figure it out.