You say you want a Revolution?
Nov 5, 2003 (Updated Nov 9, 2003)
Review by flamepillar
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Well-done action, scenes and settings often feel familiar. Jada Pinkett-Smith steals the show.
Cons:Overdramatic death scene, a few neglected loose ends, wait a sec, is this Minority Report?
The Bottom Line: The Matrix was a 10, Reloaded was about a five, and Revolutions is a six.
It is finally here. And it is finally gone. Some sigh with relief. Some sigh with disappointment. Some sigh with a little bit of both, and hastily grab the closest copies of The Lord of The Rings and The Two Towers so they'll be ready for the real shindig that's coming in December.
Recommend this product?
Although Revolutions surpasses Reloaded in my eyes, the craziest thing about it all is that someone who had never seen the first two films would get just about as much out of Revolutions as those who have seen its predecessors. Unlike Reloaded, Revolutions actually does stand on its own as a movie. It would only take about ten minutes to explain what you need to know from the first two movies to "get" this one, but even then, most of the explaining would be done in regards to who was who, not so much about which world is the real world and which one is fake. 'Cause you're not even thinking about that half the time. But whatever -- go ahead, pull a Star Wars. Take a Matrix virgin along and have 'em see this one, Episode 3, first.
Most of the "rules", if you can call them that, from the first Matrix movie aren't going to apply much here. All that stuff about the machines still living in a world based on rules, never mind that. All that stuff about the spoon, never mind that. All that stuff about the machines needing humans' body heat to run off of, never mind that. Even if you were to eliminate all the "rules", as The Matrix so eloquently did, you would still be restricted by one remining rule -- that you couldn't have any rules. And that there is a bigger burden on our protagonists than an Agent Smith made of fire.
Likewise, a lot of the "stuff" you heard in Reloaded isn't going to be too terribly necessary either, unless you're one of those who is going to see it five times and memorize every single line so you can discuss what it all means. Do you even remember where Reloaded left off? Hell, I don't even remember where Kill Bill left off, forget about it!
In Revolutions, characters become mere numbers in math equations. Love is mentioned a few times. Programs behave in human ways. Sentinels fly in droves (and snakes) by the hundreds of thousands, and consequently become much weaker so that a few bullets can take one down. Speaking of bullets, watch out for a funny gun predicament that may bring back flashbacks of Face/Off and John Travolta happily crooning "Wheeee! What a predicament!"
Integral characters will die, and I'm not even about to elaborate except to say that one of them goes on for WAY too long. The black cat makes a cameo. Smith and Neo end up in the karate dojo. Neo and Trinity ride in the back seat again. The Oracle makes more cookies (hey, the first clue that she's a program). Oh, and unless I was hallucinating, Agent Smith bleeds.
It is fortunate that the action sequences toward the end have some level of excitement to them. If not for the expectations that come from its burden of concluding a trilogy of this magnitude (just imagine if they had done The Hulk like this) there's no telling how much the ratings would sway. But if I had to be blatantly honest, the massacre that happens at the end of The Two Towers is still better. (Slow motion ain't such a bad thing, ya know what I mean!)
Visually speaking, almost any scene involving Sentinels (whatever happened to "squitties"?) came out outstanding; you could actually tell what was going on most of the time, which unfortunately in this CGI-overcrammed age is something we have to appreciate.
Similarly, when the Sentinels arrive in Zion and chaos ensues around there (hey, don't look at me, it was in the trailer!) it's all really fun to watch. When Zee (ya know, Link's girlfriend) and her G.I. Jane looking buddy got in on the action, they were some badass chicks.
There is a shootout scene near the beginning that involves some weird twist on gravity. It's not quite the lobby scene from the first Matrix; I mean, remember how in the first one, when Neo and Trinity entered the room they had a commanding presence about them? How Neo opened up his coat to reveal all the guns and the security guard goes "Holy shit!" And when they were done, Trinity just dropped her gun to the ground and her feet slid across the floor as she picked up her bag? Now it's like, they just walk in and start shooting away. And then they're done, and heeeeeeeeere's Merovingian! And then he's gone, never to be seen or heard from again.
When Neo fights Agent Smith one last time at the end, it's at least a little bit of a straightforward one-on-one battle like in the first movie. Watch for the shot of Agent Smith floating like a god in front of a flash of lightning; it's incredible! I guess really the only problem is that by now, you already know who's going to win, whether you like it or not. So when all that's left is to find out HOW that happens, you don't even want to think about the brain exertion that's going to take.
As far as acting goes, it's basically the same as it was in the first two. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss both have surprisingly few scenes; I was really hoping to finally get to see Trinity kick some serious ass again; after all, that was half of what sold the first movie, what she did in the first ten minutes. Here she gets in a good slow-mo kick but that's about it. As far as Neo goes, I got two words -- Minority Report. You'll know it when you see it.
Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus loosens up just a bit more, but basically still does nothing spectacular. Jada Pinkett Smith is the real show stopper this time around, and her relationship with Morpheus develops further (thankfully no sex). Mary Alice does the Oracle justice; they even managed to work the fact that it's a different actress into the storyline. I'm sure Gloria Foster feels honored.
The dialogue was decent in places, had a few shining moments and then in other moments it was just downright embarrassing. It was like a molehill with mountainous ambitions. Someone asks a huge question like "Why this" or "Why that", and the answer ends up being "Because I believe in it" or "Because I choose to." I realize "choose" is the strongest word in the English language and all, but Dangerous Minds told us that already and in a far more convincing way. I almost wish they'd just come out and say "Because I said so," 'cause that's what they seem to be thinking. However, I did enjoy the resurfacing of the line from Reloaded, "Some things never change, but some things do." I don't know what it is about that line.
As horrible as I make it sound, I maintain that, all around, it was an enthralling experience. Let's just put it this way -- The Matrix is falling in love. Reloaded & Revolutions are marriage. It's always more fun when it's new. But Revolutions gave us the war it promised. So go. Knock yourself out.
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