The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Let's sit down quietly and ask the question. It's the one that was left unanswered after the second instalment: what the hell is going on?

Revolutions slips seamlessly into the backend of Reloaded. If you haven't seen that, you're lost. Neo (Keanu Reeves), a.k.a The One, is in love with Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), the fit brunette with a double black belt in upside-down fighting. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) tends to make pompous speeches and look concerned, like a US general when his war's going south.

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Zion is a subterranean community that is under attack from The Machines, metallic octopuses and spidery things that mash you to pulp. The leader of The Machines is a voice in the Paul Robeson register - lucky they all speak American. Why he/they is/are attacking this peaceful tribe of toga-wearing hippies, who look surprisingly unlike cave slime from The Lord Of The Rings, despite never seeing the sun, remains unclear, when the real enemy is a programme called Smith (Hugo Weaving) that reproduces itself ad infinitum in Blues Brothers attire.

What has Smith to do with Zion? Is Neo an immortal? Why does The Train Man look like a tramp? Who is The Train Man? Where does The French Man fit in? He seems powerful and owns night clubs. Why is The Oracle a little old black lady, who bakes cookies and utters banal truisms, such as "Everything that has a beginning has an end."? When Neo asks, "If I am not me, who am I?", the answer is not, "Has this man been VTB tested?", but "Plug into the mains, dude, you are supposed to be saving this movie, not wasting time in therapy."

Let's forget about the story. It's nonsense and seems to make up the rules as it goes along.

Things you need to know.

1. There's no humour.
2. The music is loud.
3. Reeves has a minor role.
4. Fishburne has an even smaller role.
5. No one has a role.
6. It's all about The Battle.
7. Trinity does one of those wire leaps in slo-mo to the height of her opponent's head and the camera stops on a still and she's petrified there in a perfect martial arts pose when suddenly the film goes into fast motion and the other guy's whacked in the face, which reminds you of Princess Fiona in Shrek doing exactly the same thing. Are the Wachowski brothers taking their inspiration from a parodic cartoon?

"Some things in this world never change." "Some things do."

Let's not get bogged down in gobbledegookery. Cut to the chase. The Battle.

This is the set piece in Revolutions, when The Machines bore through the outer core of Zion's defences. As an example of special affected war action, it is magnificently staged. The front line captain of Zion's killer robots screams above the din, "If we have to give these bastards our lives, we'll give them hell before we do!" Sounds like George Dubya's speech writer had a hand in this.

The Matrix Trilogy began with such energy and originality. No one understood what was happening, but the look was sexy and exciting. Now, after the dust settles and Neo has lost his loving feeling, it seems more like an expensive video game.

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2003
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The Matrix Revolutions packshot
Final instalment of The Matrix Trilogy, in which The Machines attack Zion and Neo fights Smith.
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Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Ian Bliss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Anthony Wong, Mary Alice, Harry J Lennix, Essie Davis, Tanveer Atwal, Monica Bellucci

Year: 2003

Runtime: 129 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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