The machine army continues to drill towards Zion. Within hours, they will overrun the population of the Zionites and lay extinction to human kind. Meanwhile, Neo is held captive by the Merovingian at a train station. Trinity & Morpheus set out on a journey to release him from a mysterious train operator. Also, Smith resumes his quest to kill "Mr. Anderson" as he reveals his identity into the real world and resumes to replicate his program inside the system of The Matrix, causing it to decay. All hope is placed in the freed Neo, who must travel to the city of the machines in the Logos ship with Trinity and bargain to save each kingdom from destruction by finishing Smith once and for all. But even with his new powers over the sentinels, will he be able to fight them off?
Directed by: Lana Wachowski
, Lilly Wachowski
. Starring: Mary Alice
, Tanveer K. Atwal
, Helmut Bakaitis
, Kate Beahan
, Francine Bell
, Monica Bellucci
, Rachel Blackman
, Henry Blasingame
, Ian Bliss
, David Bowers
, Zeke Castelli
, Collin Chou
, Essie Davis
. Music by: Don Davis
What follows are my views on the Matrix: Revolutions, nothing more, nothing less. They are not, in anyway, designed to offend, insult, or bash the fan base of the movie, andor its predecessors. With that being said, it should be readily obvious from the grade I gave the film above that I was not deeply impress by it. If you are such a big fan (fanboy, in other words) of this film that negative criticism bothers you, stop reading know. Just accept the fact that I disagree with you on this film. If you do feel the need to respond to my review, please do not accuse me of bashing it just to bash something `popular' or whatever. Please also refrain from accusing me of not getting the film. Thank you for your time. THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW.
Let me begin by explaining what my F means; my F does not mean I think the film is worthless, indeed I admire many parts of it; my F means I think the film failed in one or more fundamental ways. To make it clearly, my F is closer to 59 % than 0 stars. With that being said let me give you some history of my reaction to the franchise. I loved the first film; I had major problems with the second, but I really loved the 'core' story. The same is true to a lesser extent for this one. With that being said, Revolutions is pure cinematic trash, asinine action scenes separated by horrible acting, dialog and intellectual masturbation.
I might as well get the improvement out of the way first. Revolutions is superior to Reloaded in on key way; the fight scenes as a whole possess tension. This does allow for some excitement, some entertainment when comparing them to Reloaded, but ultimately the action scenes are not good.
First of all, the fights are still overlong, and over blown; the siege of Zion went on far too long, and became monstrous. The fights are very unemotional, in particular the siege of Zion. The reason for this is the viewer does not give a damn about Zion or any of the characters involved. It is impossible to care for characters if they lack arcs, and a personality. The Kid (the total lack of anything resembling a name doesn't help either), the Captain, the Commander, and the two women all are plot devices, not people. They're not even caricatures; they lack personality, humanity and the plot lines surrounding them are dissociated to the point that it is silly for a filmmaker to even show their demise and expect a response. This renders the viewers' reaction to the siege of Zion, an event that should be hellish, and enthralling, to be a cold indifference. It is actually pretty amazing in how bad that scene is; it takes some talent to show humanities' last stand and have people not care. The only thing on this level that remotely held my attention was the kid. He was kinda good looking and I hoped his character wouldn't die, not because I cared for the character; I just didn't want the actor to go away. That was a very nifty trick to pull off given what was at stack in that scene.
Continuing on with the problems with the siege of Zion, both the humans' and the machines' tactics are mind boggling stupid to the point that it further diluted the tension. First of all, why the hell didn't the Zionists shoot rockets off at the drillers when they were falling? It is very possible to hit a moving target with a rocket launcher. Second of all, why didn't Zion have more of a `outer-shell' defense? Certainly, any military commander would have set up like a parameter or something. They could have used EMP (far enough away from Zion to not effect it), or rigged explosives to take down any tunnels made. The machine did do better however; it was fairly clever the way they protected the drillers directly. But, the mass of squibs did what exactly? The more I think about this the more it bothers me. The squibs flew around, and flew around and flew around. Come on, it is only logical they would swarm from one gunner to the next, but they didn't. This really messes with you suspension of disbelief, ergo it lessens the tension. These three problems render the siege of Zion dramatic `junk food;' there is tension, but it is empty tension, like `empty calories.'
Moving on to another action scene, the so-called `super burly brawl' is a colossal failure as a climax. The first problem is Neo's entire plot line did not build tension; honestly, the attack of the squib wave totally failed to do this, as it was extremely predictable, and its outcome. The same goes for the encounter with BaneSmith. The second problem is this, the Wachowskis, as if determined to have no tension in any fight involving Neo, told us that Smith was going to win, and that Smith knew it. A totally self-defeating structure renders the `super burly brawl' the biggest anti-climax this side of the back half of the book Return of the King. Furthermore, even if the Wachowskis didn't tell us, that ending is not all that unpredictable. That fight is the worst possible way to end a trilogy of action films. It also totally frustrated the viewer as the problem could have been easily avoided; remove that line, and you have removed the problem.
Concluding my commentary on the action scene, the S+M club fight and the chase involving the Hammer were OK, nothing special. The S+M club fight was a rehash of the ending shoot out in the first film, making it seem uninspired; in fact a lot of the fights carry this problem; the choreography is too much a like to warrant paying attention. That is to say the `super burly brawl' is like the `burly brawl' in the rain and in the air, a laughable concept that should have remained in animation. Now that I think of it, the whole rain aspect of that fight was nothing but a cheap way to make it feel dark, and atmospheric. It was forced. Getting back to S+M club fight, it was absolutely ridicules that it was a club of that nature. I'm sure it was done only to get an R rating. Through in all honesty I totally enjoyed the chase involving the Hammer, and the Cgi was very good, great even. To bad good special effects do not a good movie make.
Now let's switch to the other flaws of this film; the acting was done right wretched. Reeves is NOT a good actor; he just can't emote good enough to do what the script called for. Both Moss and Fishburne seemed to be going through the motions. The supporting cast was laughable; the speech by the Captain was as cheesy as big M's in the cave of many nipples. The new Oracle seemed to be a parody of the old one. The only actor who did a good job was Weaving, who to be fair doesn't have all that difficult of a job. The past films one could overlook the acting, but not here, and it's detrimental.
Finally let us turn to the gigantic misfire that is the story. The biggest problem here is, once again, the ham fisted and bulging un-subtlety that the Wachowskis impart the themes, and plot points of the film. For example, the film once again has a 2-minute speech going over causality; this is intolerable, we got the first time, we don't need it the second time. To make matters worse the speech begins with this phrase `like I have told you before.;' MY GOD, the film is aware it repeats itself, and it doesn't care; there is no need for this. In the same vain the whole incident with the Indian family of programs is a rehash of the Sage conversation, which itself is a rehash of plot points in Reloaded. At this point in the game we do not need man and machine are alike and need each other explained yet again to us, and that conversation (and the family in general) does just that. Furthermore, the film had the gale, and audacity to explain to us, as if it wasn't painfully obvious already, that Neo and Agent Smith are polar opposites, and Smith is the negative. THAT IS INSULTING, and it is ultimately un-called for. This is by far the worst example of a director(s) talking down to a viewer that I have ever seen. Now, the Wachowski are bs, and twits for doing this, and it really hurts the film.
As an offshoot of this, the whole plot of Neo being in Mobil Ave., or should I say limbo (I sighed when I saw that), is for the most part superfluous. It has no real bearing on the overall plot; the material covered is covered elsewhere, and the delaying of Neo could have been done better. Furthermore, in the grand scheme of things, the entire subplot involving Frenchie is unneeded, and should have been cut. Everything it covered was covered else where, and Frenchie has little to no effect on the over all plot. Frenchie and his goons are false obstacles; they're red herrings; they extend the films out for purposelessness. Seriously, what does Frenchie DO in relation to the man vs. machine plot? He does nothing. The theme material, the causality, the man is like machine, and all of it could have been shown, and is shown by the agents, and Smith. Returning back to un-subtlety, the film beats it over your head that belief, and believing (through strangely it contradicts itself in what you are suppose to believe in) is the only way to win, or live. The number of Christ symbols surrounding Neo disgusts me; after the first two, an extreme limited number should have been used. Revolutions contains so many it would waste time to name, and some are down right absurd; Neo died with his arms spread out like Christ on the cross is asinine, and inane. The film couldn't resist telling us that Neo is a symbol for the rest of us, GAH; it was painfully obvious without that, bad form Wachowskis. This again shows how the Wachowskis hold the viewers' intellect in contempt.
Besides being un-subtle, the film fails in the character development department, and dialog. Trinity over the course of the two films hardy changes at all. the only way, fundamentally she changes is she dies. The same can be said of Neo. Ultimately, this makes the characters un-likable, and makes the viewer not care for them. This lessens the impact of Trinity's death dramatically. It is, also, preposterous that Trinity's `dying breath' is 1 and ½ minutes (if not more); this destroys suspension of disbelief. Big M character has become excess baggage. What does Big M do that is remotely important, and like what he did in the other films? Nothing, he has been reduced to a glorified extra. He too does not change all that much, and it is haphazard at that. The dialog is down right bizarre in places; I haven't finish the training program, nor did I, or, what is it going to be Merv? Being the examples. When it isn't it is cheesy, as in it took me 10 minutes to lace up one boot. The character development and dialog are vile, and not in a good way.
However what really does the film in is the non-ending. The resolution, Neo dying to save man and the matrix leading to peace with the machines, all orchestrated by the Oracle, is a cop-out. First of all, it doesn't solve anything; the machine stills control most of the humans, and it doesn't seem that they will release all of them. The peace also seems very tentative, and there is no guaranteed it will last. Setting that aside, as that is not truly the problem, the simplicity of the message, this choosefree your mindunderstand the why (and I'm being generous here), destroys the symbolism set up in the film(s). What's the point of having a symbol for god, if he is bested at his own game? What's the point of having a symbol for devil if he doesn't effect anything? What's the point of having a character named Nairobi? Ect. Further contributing to this is the film does not account for all the symbols. Really now, what's the meaning for Seraph? There is none; the symbols are empty and meaningless; through undoubtedly some genius will argue this is the point of the trilogy, to which I say bull. This is the height of annoyance; overt symbolism with no meaning does not a good movie make. This is, in essence, intellectual masturbation, and as such it leaves the viewer dissatisfied.
Cinematic and intellectual masturbation, Revolutions is a grand failure.
Review by Mitch from the Internet Movie Database.