- Written and Directed by the Wachowskis
- December 5, 2003
The final confrontation between humans and the Machine Empire is at hand and Neo must confront his destiny.
The Matrix Revolutions is a little bit stripped of the deeper themes that its predecessors had. It is possible to take the film a little bit as discussing doing your duty versus being forced to do something. If you watch to the end you may get what I mean.
This is very much an action film that serves to wrap up the narrative begun in the original film. One thing this movie benefits from is not having a happily ever after ending for all the characters. Not everybody gets to walk off into the sunset and retire at an old age. That is a hard thing to pull off in a movie. Sometimes the ending is too saccharine where the characters go off into the sunset in too perfect of a fashion and sometimes how they finally manage to get off into the sunset is way too difficult. The balance between realistic in the context of the story and satisfying seems difficult to achieve for filmmakers.
The fate of the characters here though is logical and derives from the narrative rather than being forced to either be happy or to subvert your expectations. Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Smith (Hugo Weaving) all get organic dispositions that grow from what has been building up from the start.
The action is absolutely amazing. I was truthfully on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Admittedly it still suffers from the CGI issues of the last film-using obvious CGI in place of people. Sometimes you need to know when to say “No” or to have somebody willing to say “No.” Unfortunately at this point the Wachowskis could not do the former and had nobody to do the latter it would appear.
The Matrix Revolutions picks up where the last one left off. Almost immediately in fact and just starts running. By the time the Machines reach Zion it truly feels as if the fate of the world is on the line. Everything is on the line, and they play it like that from start to finish.
While the last film had revelations about the reality of the Matrix and the war between the humans and the machines, this one just wraps things up. We do get one minor revelation. In the opening moments of the film where when we learn what is going on with Neo we learn that some programs in the Matrix have created children. This I guess was to make both sides as identical as possible. In a world where it is stated that programs with no purpose get deleted, I am not sure how that works.
One thing that really bothered me in this film but not so much in the last film was that in the first movie it was strongly implied that programs in order to function visibly in the Matrix required a human body. That is the impression I was left with anyway. If you recall in the first Matrix film they would body hop to this person or that when they were chasing after Neo and the others but by the second and definitely by this one they introduced program characters that lines of dialogue as well as their own actions seemed to indicate they didn’t have bodies. Did I miss something?
The character of Neo does feel as if it is pushed a little bit more into the background while the supporting cast moves forward. The only time Neo really becomes significant is in the finale when he is battling Smith who returns just as dastardly as he was before. There was a real comic book Lex Luthor vibe in Weaving’s megalomaniacal portrayal of Smith.
And Smith’s reaction when he figures things out makes the character kind of pathetic and you feel a little bad for him almost because he seems to have been a tool in a repeated scenario of control. Kudos to Hugo Weaving for making this character through three films more than just a two-dimensional villain.
I really went through the emotional highs and lows while watching the battle of Zion. Even now I find myself really invested in what happens. You feel for the characters, and you care about their universe.
I thought the script and the performances hit all the right notes. The story begins right away and doesn’t let up until the final moments. The characters don’t get a clear and happy future, but things are set on a better path. In an unrealistic world that is about the most realistic thing you can hope for.
The Matrix Revolutions is a nice wrap up to The Matrix story. It concludes the narrative in a satisfying manner. This is a must see!