Click here 2 stars

Hugo Weaving
Revolving credit
OK, the final payment doesn't buy as much, but
it's still worth a trip to a big theater for the visuals

"The Matrix Revolutions"

Reviewed by Carlos deVillalvilla

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Early on in "The Matrix Revolutions," the Oracle (Mary Alice, taking over for Gloria Foster, who died shortly after filming "The Matrix Reloaded") tells Neo "Everything that has a beginning also has an end." If that's true (and the line is repeated at least once more, so the filmmakers must believe it), then perhaps it is a good thing that this trilogy of groundbreaking movies is calling it a day.

Clayton Watson

Keanu Reeves

Carrie-Anne Moss

Picking up almost immediately where "Reloaded" ended, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss) are in coma-like conditions, although Neo's brainwaves read like he's jacked into the Matrix, though there are no signs of him in the computer construct. Where he is, actually, is an in-between place, a train station controlled by the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), for moving illegal programs from the machine world into the Matrix.

Much of this is explained by a couple of low-level programs who want their daughter, the oh-too-cute Sati (Tanveer Atwal) to survive in the Matrix because she would be deleted from her own world. You see, machines need love too.

Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) are ordered by the Oracle to go rescue Neo (inasmuch as she orders anybody). She sends her personal bodyguard, Seraph (Collin Chou) to accompany them. They confront the Merovingian and get him to release Neo in a most unsatisfying way; it seems like somebody got written into a corner and couldn't quite figure a way out.

Neo knows that everything is coming to a head. The machines are hours away from breaching the walls of Zion and time is running out. The human city is preparing for a last stand, hoping to hold out in the dock (where the breach will come), but most know the odds are against them, including defense commander Lock (Harry Lennix). Neo announces that he must go to the Machine City in order to save humanity. He and Trinity leave, with Morpheus and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) piloting the craft back to Zion in a desperate race against time.

Meanwhile, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) has become more and more powerful, having taken over the Matrix, and is now threatening both the machine and human worlds in order to end an existence he believes to be pointless. It is Neo's destiny to face Smith with all three worlds hanging in the balance.

If the plot summary above sounds confusing, consider that this is a condensed version of what goes on. Part of the main problem with "The Matrix Revolutions" is that the Wachowski brothers are trying to tell too many stories at once. Most of the subplots are unnecessary and get in the way of the main story. Sure, the effects are out of this world, and there are some fine performances (Fishburne is definitely one of those guys who highlights any film he's in), but the overall effect is a bit overwhelming.

There are many good things about the movie. Trinity's character goes in an unexpected direction, and Moss really nailed the role, even more so than in the first two movies. Mifune (Nathaniel Lees), the Trainman (Bruce Spence) and Link (Harold Perrineau) turn out well in brief roles, and Seraph and Niobe are awesome. However, there are too many characters that just flit across the screen. Monica Belluci is barely evident, and did we really need the kid in this movie at all?

Things blow up, lots of things. The battle for Zion is as spectacular as you can imagine, even more so. The final fight between Smith and Neo is everything it was meant to be, but I spent a lot of time in the dark theater trying to will the story forward through the many interminable subplots.

The first "Matrix" was successful in large part due to the directness of its storytelling.

Sometimes a director's scope can exceed the grasp of the storyline, and this is one of those occasions. Initial critical reaction has been awfully harsh on "The Matrix Revolutions" and I suspect unduly so, but maybe the movie is so disappointing because it wouldn't have taken much for it to be a hell of a lot better. There is some talk of the series continuing, although much of the Neo plotline is neatly wrapped up here. Still, there remain some loose ends. Frankly, I'm more ambivalent about the idea of a fourth Matrix installment than I was about the second two, and maybe that's where the Wachowski Brothers ultimately failed.

AT HOME OR AT A THEATER?
This demands a big screen in a big theater. Find one before this one fades away to the smaller screen.


See cast, credit and other details about "The Matrix Revolutions" at Internet Movie Data Base.