So I sit down at the screening of “The Matrix Revolutions,” the slightly less anticipated of the two “Matrix” sequels that came out this year, and the jackass sitting next to my brother says, without prompt, “Hey I hear Neo’s gonna fight a million Agent Smiths this time. My buddy saw it this morning.”
We both nod our heads politely and proceed to air our theories about what the hell happened in “Reloaded” and what we think may happen in “Revolutions.”
Said jackass then leans over and, again, without prompting or encouragement from us, tells us what happens at the end of the movie!
I shit you not.
He ruined the ending for us right there, moments before the movie began.
This may or may not be important for you to know as you read this review. I will never know for sure whether or not I would have liked “The Matrix Revolutions” more if I hadn’t have known the ending, because I was never given the chance.
That said, I didn’t like it.
I wrote in my review of “Reloaded” back in May that I admired the concepts and ideas being explored, but not the stale, tired way that directors the Wachowski brothers went about exploring these themes. It’s hard to judge a middle movie in a trilogy because so much of the plot is yet to be revealed. “Reloaded” seemed like it was pointing “Revolutions” in an intriguing direction. Like the recent “Star Wars” films, I forgave indiscretions like stiff dialogue and poor pacing in favor of a couple of cool action scenes and the promise to be fulfilled by the third and final movie.
Well, the third movie is here, and the wrap-up just plain stinks. The newest “Matrix” movie is basically a re-do of the last one. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss have all the fire and flair of those boring Jedi knights we’ve come to loathe in the new “Star Wars” movies as they sleepwalk through the entire film. The best scene in “Revolutions” is a big action centerpiece that actually benefits from their absence.
Again, the pacing is lethargic. It takes forty minutes for Agent Smith (the always entertaining Hugo Weaving) to show up and inject a little life into the movie, and then he’s gone again until the end.
Again, there’s one really cool action sequence and another that doesn’t suck, but that’s all this film really has to offer. Are the big philosophical questions answered? No. Are all the loose ends tied up and mysteries revealed? Not really. And I don’t even care anymore. Instead we get more of this “every beginning has an end” ying-yang doublespeak that drove me so insane last time!
I finished four different lines for the actors in this movie. It was just for my own amusement, to see if I could guess what they would say next. But that’s not difficult when everything is slowly drawn out, William Shatner-style, for effect, and the script is so damned pretentious and predictable.
I keep reading interviews where the actors praised the Wachowski brothers for creating such a complex and spiritually deep trilogy. Perhaps the directors explained these ideas to the actors in a fascinating way while working on the film, but that’s certainly not what’s up on the screen.
Would I feel this way if I hadn’t known two key plot spoilers thanks to the over-eager beaver sitting next to us? I think so.
I was too easy on “The Matrix Reloaded,” but I’m not going to be on “The Matrix Revolutions” because almost nothing, including the terribly underwhelming ending, delivered on the possibilities of the other movies.
“The Matrix” should have been a one movie story.
“Revolutions” gets a rock fist way down, and I’m changing my minor rock fist up for “Reloaded” to a minor rock fist down.