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The Matrix Revolutions
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THE MATRIX - MASH
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS - 2003
USA Release: Nov. 5, 2003
Warner Brothers Pictures
Rated: Australia: M / France: Rated U / Germany & Netherlands: 16 / Hong Kong: IIB / Italy: T / Norway, Sweden, UK: 15 / Spain: 18 / USA: R

Philosophical action! I'm gonna tell you the meaning of life and then kick your ass! And you'll know how serious I am because the expression on my face never changes! Got that, punk?

THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the third installment in the Matrix storyline, was written and directed once again by Andy and Larry Wachowski (THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED). It picks up moments after RELOADED left off, with Neo (Keanu Reeves: DRACULA, JOHNNY MNEMONIC, THE MATRIX, THE WATCHER, THE MATRIX RELOADED) in a coma after having used his mysterious powers to disable attacking robot sentinels. The problem is he's only supposed to have these powers while inside the Matrix and yet we saw him use them in the "real" world.

Also in a coma is Bane (Ian Bliss: BOUND, THE MATRIX RELOADED), a minor character who betrayed the group in the last film because he's "infected" with the Smith virus. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving: THE MATRIX movies, THE LORD OF THE RINGS movies) is a renegade program in the machine world who has learned to duplicate himself by taking over other programs. He's one of several threats facing Neo and the last remaining free humans in the underground city of Zion.

All the other major characters are here, including Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3, EVENT HORIZON, THE MATRIX movies), Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith: TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE DEMON KNIGHT, THE MATRIX RELOADED, SCREAM 2) and Neo's true love, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss: THE MATRIX movies, MEMENTO). They have to rescue Neo from his coma, which is not a coma. In fact his mind is still in the Matrix even though he's not "jacked in" (connected by a wire to the brain), something that'd be fatal for anyone else.

Rescuing Neo is just one of several things on the good guys' to do list. There is also the matter of the millions of robot monsters that are tunneling their way down to Zion and will breach the outer defenses in less than 24 hours. Everyone is focused on how to win that hopeless battle, but Neo wants to follow a different path. He goes to see the Oracle (as do several others). Actress Gloria Foster played the Oracle in the last two movies, but she died last year. Mary Alice plays the role here and does a great job but I missed the edge of sardonic humor Gloria Foster gave to the character.

The kung fu special effects are present but sparse compared to the previous films. Most of the CGI is reserved for the huge battle between the forces of Zion and the invading robots. It was pretty cool but the logical part of my mind kept popping up with questions like, "If the machines just want to kill all the people, why not nuke Zion? Once they've drilled down to it a single H-bomb would do the trick."
(As a member of the Matrix: local 49, I'd not want to unleash the unpredictable earthquakes that would surely happen from such a deep pressure explosion. How about a nice unstable poisonous gas that breaks down into harmless components over a brief period of time? - Feo)

The robotic walkers that Zion's soldiers use are like armed versions of the robot loader that Ripley used in ALIENS to fight off the Alien Queen. Perhaps what was well portrayed in ALIENS as a futuristic cargo mover wasn't the best inspiration for a piece of military hardware. The soldiers are essentially unprotected so all you'd have to do to disable the robots is shoot the human driving it.

Battle Machine
Possibly the most defeatable battle machine in all science fiction history.
Just shoot your explosive round at it and the fully unprotected human driver is toast.

Logic aside, you will enjoy the battle sequence. It's by far the most intense part of the movie. The rest has its ups and downs and mixes in a lot of philosophy which can be good or bad depending on how you feel about that kind of thing. I mostly like it, except when wise elders answer every damn question with a parable of some kind. Yoda was far more direct than the Oracle, and that's saying something. It got a little exasperating at times.

But what's never exasperating is a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
There is a very brief scene where a ship piloted by the good guys gets above ground and then, just for a moment, above the perpetual cloud cover. Trinity sees the sun for real, probably for the first time in her life. The sunny, beautiful world above the clouds is a huge contrast to the grim horror below. But it's also more proof that the whole "using people as batteries" idea (that’s what we are told the machines are using people for: electricity) is stupid.

Continued at THE SCIENCE MOMENT: MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

I must mention one more exasperation: Ian Bliss, the actor who plays Bane, does a wonderful Agent Smith impression. Once he wakes from his coma, completely transformed mentally into one more copy of Agent Smith, he starts talking like him in that weird but cool over-pronunciation of every word that Hugo Weaving does. So in other words it's incredibly obvious that this guy is channeling Agent Smith. It's obvious to everyone in the audience but Neo takes FOREVER to get it. Bane keeps saying things like, "You don't recognize me, Mr. Anderson?", giving Neo every possible hint until you want to scream at the screen, "It's Smith you moron! How stupid are you?"

It would be a mistake to think of THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS as the "conclusion" of the Matrix saga. I don't know if the Wachowski brothers plan to keep going but there is more a "the end of this chapter" rather than a "the end of the story" feel to this movie. There are interesting characters, cool effects, heroic battles and terrible villains. There are also still a lot of unanswered questions*. Adding it all up results in three shriek girls. I wish it was more, but here we are.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.

The Matrix Revolutions (2003) on IMDb
HERE WEAR ONE OF MINE

The Matrix Online*For many years after THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, THE MATRIX universe endured among the fans in an online THE MATRIX game.

Game co-creator Paul Chadwick (Creator of comic book character, CONCRETE), remembers MATRIX ONLINE.

SPOILERS -

Heavy Armor over at Loose Cannon has, what I think is a accurate deconstruction of, THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS.

MOVIES THAT HATE YOU: The Matrix Revolutions

Fan Theory Friday: Is 'John Wick 2' a Secret Sequel to 'The Matrix?
by H. Perry Horton
Welcome back to Fan Theory Friday, where we explore the most ridiculous and ridiculously-valid fan theories concerning you favorite films and TV shows.

Continued at FilmSchoolRejects

Here's Why John Wick: Chapter 2 Is Actually A True Sequel To The Matrix
By Jerry Gadiano
The sequel to John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 is already shaping up to be a fitting nominee for one of the best films of the year – Oscars, BAFTA's and Emmy's be damned – and now there's a running theory that it's actually a secret sequel to The Matrix.

Continued at Unilad

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