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Forever An Unfulfilled Trilogy - Upsetting Disappointment,
This review is from: The Matrix Revolutions [DVD]  (DVD)
Ever since coming out of the movie theatre after seeing The Matrix: Reloaded, my mind had been thinking over and over about the possible great endings to such a phenomenon. I was thinking perhaps that the Wachowski brothers had purposely left us very on edge for a mind-blowing conclusion to this sci-fi epic. Well, very sadly, I was wrong. Friends of mine and I had increasing anticipation for Revolutions, expecting so much from it, which only made the end result even more depressing.
After both The Matrix and Reloaded, you thought that the brothers could not go wrong, they were able to create the story in 1999, sustain its mystique and action in May 2003, but have no idea how to end such a complex saga. Everything was perfect, even down to the soundtracks - you knew that they couldn't go wrong at this point. And it's such a shame that it all ended the way it did, I sat in my seat of the theatre just thinking "that cannot be the end?!?! It can't be!", expecting there to be another scene of dialogue to explain absolutely everything, to give all the answers... but it never came. Instead, you got a very cliched ending, which would annoy every one of the hardcore Matrix fans out there - the philosophy had vanished, the amazing kung-fu sequences, and coolness of the all black look and sunglasses - all for a cold Zion and a dull feeling while watching the film. I regret for what I will write, I hate criticising this film because of the greatness of the first two but certain things have to be said. I had no idea that such an ending was coming.
Continuing exactly where Reloaded left off, you find both Neo and Agent Smith (in human form as Bane) in a coma, and the humans preparing for battle against the machines who are drilling their way through to Zion. Then you find Neo in a world between worlds - between the real world and the matrix, with you having no idea how he got there. The story then speaks for itself. With some poor pieces of dialogue, used ideas and too many special effects - Revolutions was nothing special compared to its predecessors.
The Matrix - all about those beautifully choreographed fight scenes, interesting philosophical conversation and the cool all black costumes: this was not to be in the third instalment. There are two, very brief hand-to-hand combat scenes (including the final showdown with Neo Vs Smith) and an overlong CGI sentinel battle, which was not what Matrix action sequences were about. Yes, have some gunfire and explosions, but you know it was really all about how much arse could be kicked by Neo, Morpheus and Trinity. Impressive yes, but Revolutions did not really look, or even feel, like a Matrix movie. It didn't have any would-be favourite lines, memorable, yet inspirational lines by Morpheus, like the previous two films had. To put it simply, it just wasn't as enjoyable nor as gripping as the first or as action packed as the second. And the ending fight scene, the one we all had really been looking forward to, was a huge let down, especially coming from the Wachowski brothers - you get tired of too much flying and not enough actual fighting between the two men, it gets very confusing indeed. And Neo being "The One" certainly doesn't act it because he is made to look weak against Smith in the end. You were maybe thinking, "Ok, this is what we have all been waiting for at last" but, to put it simply, no.
Character development was another big factor in this film - there was none! The Merovigian, the comical French program, had only enough screen time to eat just three olives. You would have thought that this guy had a lot to do with the Matrix, as Reloaded had made him out to be an important, dangerous person, but his character is cut short in a very blunt way, you don't even find out who he is or what he does. And for his wife? In short - she has one line. Plus, too many new characters were introduced here, and took up way too much screen time and were insignificant to the story. Keanu Reeves was off screen for the majority of the film... and he's "The One", the main character. And Morpheus? The producers had not only put a knife in Laurence Fisburne's back, but a bullet as well, as he had no real part in this film. His scenes were too short and he did not have enough lines to say.
I suppose visual effects really saved this film, as the plot spiralled out of control, becoming way too complex, even for the Wachowski's to comprehend - they either lost interest, ran out of special effects, or most likely ran out of ideas. They spent three months just designing the rain drops in the battle between Neo and Smith! That three months could have been spent on the ending at least, let alone the whole film itself. Which makes you wonder - why release both films in such a rush? It seems in the four years the spent making the two, all efforts were concentrated on trying to make Reloaded the great follow up success that it is, then only leaving just enough time to fit in two fight scenes and a sentinel attack for the third instalment. To be honest, I would have rather waited an extra year, perhaps even more, for a really good ending rather then a quickly put together climax, because I had favoured the strategy of leaving so many unanswered questions, a mystery - then for them to explain it all, end it completely in Revolutions. It never happened.
But now, as I and many others have witnessed, there will be an eternal disappointment and resentfulness to Revolutions and how great it could have been, I hope the Wachowski's realise this as much as we do.