Top critical review
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Not bad - not good
on 14 June 2004
This film seems to elicit strong feelings: no surprise given the excellent set up of the first two. However,as an ending to one of the most innovative trilogies in cinema over the last decade, this is very disappointing. Ignore the fanatics who claim that if you don't like this film you must be too stupid to understand it - quite the reverse. If you understood the first two, then this is a mystifyingly simple way to conclude. From the start, what was an excellent cliffhanger ending to Reloaded is dealt with like an inconvenient plot point in Revolutions. The explanation to Neo's coma introduces a banal new character and is resolved too easily. We then jump from contrived plot point to contrived plot point before Neo resolves the conflict in a ridiculously easy fashion. It all seems to be designed to build to the final fight between Neo and Smith which, while spectacular, is not where the story should end. The story should end with a confrontation with the "machine" intelligence that has been preying on the human race. The Wachowski Brothers seem to have tried to appease fans by somehow elevating a minor, albeit fascinating and compelling, servant of the "machines into the major nemesis of Neo - it simply doesn't work. Smith was a means to an end, not the end.
Why 3 stars? Well, I loved the first two movies and whilst this film is not a worthy sequel, it is worth viewing on its own merits. The effects are outstanding and some of the set piece action will never be equalled. The robot invasion of Zion and the final fight between Smith and Neo are visually stunning and exciting action sequences. Throughout, the action is impressive and the cinematography evokes suitably futuristic imagery throughout.
So, definitely a flawed film and not a worthy conclusion. But don't worry if you didn't get it - you are not stupid it's just not that good