The Matrix: Revolutions: Reviewed
This movie is a pile of shit.
With that summary out of the way...
Revolutions manages to start off both abruptly and slowly as well. Neo (Keanu Reeves) fell into a coma at the end of Reloaded, and is still in a coma in Revolutions -- however, he's also projected into the Matrix, in a sort of sub-matrix represented as a stark white subway station (Mobil Station, obviously an anagram for limbo).
As an opening scene, this actually felt like a good setup. Neo encounters two Indian programs, who are travelling with their daughter from one world to the next (supposedly from the real world to the Matrix).
Okay, pause a moment. Some of you might have gotten this from the first or second flick, but this was news to me -- that the sleeping humans who live normal, uninformed lives in the Matrix and the the humans struggling for freedom from slavery to the machines in Zion are actually just in two different levels of the Matrix. It's either that, or the computers are so clever that they've developed computer programs which are able to fashion modems (modulator/demodulators) which convert binary to flesh and blood. That's a bit hard to buy into, so let's stick with the theory that there are multiple levels of the Matrix.
In any event, the sequence with the computer programs and their daughter is a calm, still scene, which generates real interest in the logic of the Matrix -- the philosophizing of the "father" on the true meaning of love (it is a connection; love is simply a word which to humans defines that particular connction) makes sense, and contrasts the muddled mythological and religious symbolism throughout the rest of the film.
Speaking of which, Jesus H. Christ!
I mean, Neo, completes his ascent to godhood, including dying for mankind at the end of the film (oh yeah, I'll be spoiling this thing to death, go cry me a fucking river -- Trinity dies too and humanity does get saved). I suppose being Jesus H. Christ might weigh on one's mind a bit, so maybe that's why Neo is about as expressive as Keanu Reeves is in any dramatic role, but fuck, it's hard to give a shit about a character who talks about love and humanity with his words, but is as dead as any machine otherwise.
This is a busy film -- in what I can only imagine the Wachowski dickheads thought was how epic films are made, they fill the movie with bit characters. There's the dyke subtext with the girl/girl bazooka team doing hit-and-run attacks on the machines invading Zion; there's the Asian robot-suit captain (who literally screams "AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!" for about 60 seconds); there's the stupid kid that thinks Neo saved him (featured in one of the Animatrix shorts, but he only appears in the Matrix films as some miscellaneous fawning dork); a whole slew of bit characters piloting two different ships throughout the maintenance tunnels beyond Zion; a horde of bit characters running about Zion carrying bazookas, driving big robots with guns, and otherwise taking up screen time that could have been replaced with some buttkicking.
This movie is essentially another Pearl Harbor.
And the absence of well-staged action sequences is notable. There is one opening sequence, which is basically a scaled down version of the lobby sequence from the first Matrix, but it is poorly staged, and not very interestingly choreographed. The one wrinkle is that the bad guys can walk on the ceilings (for whatever reason I can't imagine -- just because, I guess).
The missing kung-fu sequences are especially painful because the incredible kung-fu Hong Kong actioner Ngai Sing (aka Collin Chou) who plays Seraph, the guardian of the Oracle, demonstrates approximately 3.5 seconds of his martial arts ability. His stiff English is not sufficiently exciting to warrant his presence, but perhaps his skills (so obviously superior to Keanu's in Reloaded) were deliberately overlooked so that the equally stiff Carrie Anne Moss (Trinity) and Laurence Fishburne (bloating heavily here, as Morpheus) would not suffer too terribly by comparison.
Instead of the intricate car chase on the freeway of Reloaded, or the stylish lobby shootout of the original, the main action of Revolutions takes place in the defense of Zion, the city of the free humans. The primary defense of the humans takes the form of giant, powered battle suits, essentially ripoffs of the loader from Aliens with guns at the end of their arms rather than pincers.
This sequence is made up of nothing more than squids (the squiggly octopoids that comprise the main machine bad guys of the series) swarming all over the screen. The absurdity of the super-advanced machine world being able to generate nothing better than giant mechanized sperm to assault mankind's last bastion of defense defies description. Watching it is also totally absent of human pathos, as nothing more takes place than men screaming "ARGH!" while their big guns go "rat-a-tat-tat" ceaselessly.
Neo and Trinity, of course, are nowhere to be seen. They've commandeered a ship to fly off to the heart of Machine City, where Neo plans to parley with the machines -- uh, I didn't come to this movie for Neo's keen negotiation skills. I came to see him kick ass and take names.
And there's the problem with this film. The Wachowski assholes basically set up an action movie using the standard science-fiction movie setup, that is "if you will just belive this one big piece of bullshit, the rest of the movie will make sense, and we won't try to explain the big piece of bullshit. You accept it as true, and we'll deliver on the fun based on that assumption."
Face Off did it by removing and swapping the faces of Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, and The Matrix did it by telling us that humans were being kept in little amniotic tubs and their body heat was being harvested to power an Earth dominated by machines while humanity's collective minds lived in a virtual world. That's a big pile of bullshit, but once accepted, it allowed for the cool hijinks of the kung-fu battle between Morpheus and Neo, and the previously mentioned lobby shootout.
Reloaded made the cardinal sin of returning to the big pile of bullshit, and thrusts both its hands into the steaming pile and starts stirring it around. And, by digging into the Bible and ancient mythologies for character names, the Wachowskis presume to assign deep meaning to the goings on, or at least hint that there will be deep meanings revealed.
Finally, Revolutions is here, and it stands up, completely covered in bullshit now, and proclaims "behold, the true meaning of the Matrix."
Well, it's a big pile of contradictory crap. You know how Chinatown was a complex and intricate storyline, with dramatic twists, but The Two Jakes was just overly complicated with pointless twists? That's what Revolutions is -- full of double meanings and contradictions which for die-hard Matrix fans mean the trilogy is deep beyond measure, but to the rest of us just show how full of shit it is.
In the end, the Matrix is a phony. Nothing is concluded -- and if there is any real conclusion to the film, the Wachowski fuckwads aren't saying what it is. Is there some secret legend to the intimations of the movie that -- if revealed -- will turn someone (like myself) who thinks Revolutions is full of pointless exposition into a believer? I doubt it. I've seen The Animatrix and am familiar with what little backstory that adds. I've seen the movie clips created specifically for the video game, they too add almost nothing to the conclusion, just backstory for some bit characters.
The sad truth is, these movies don't have any philosophy to them -- it's just a bit of vague multi-syllabic gibberish that the ignorant and easily dazzled can project their own yearnings for spiritual fulfillment onto -- ask a Matrix fan to define the "philisophical" statement of the Matrix and watch them flail and invent things.
So, there's no spiritual fulfillment, but that was to be expected. But was it fun?
Well, watching miscellaneous giant robots with miscellaneous ethnic actors screaming "ARGH!" while shooting at lots and lots and LOTS of miscellaneous smaller robots is not exciting. The great action sequences of the previous series installments went missing, and so did the good times.
Revolutions should inspire only rioting movie patrons.
As a side-note, here's a typically clueless post from a Matrix fan protesting against criticisms of the Revolutions film:
Posted by The Last Exile,
i hate when people blow on the matrix.
not only do you have to be smart in order to understand the matrix movies, you also need to know, philosophy, metaphysics and religion.
once you understand the full extent of the matrix story, you then see why the matrix is not only visualy appealing, but also mentaly pleasing.
the matrix series are the most brilliant movies made so far in history. in my opinion.
i personly hate it when people said that the second one, for instance, was un-original.... HELLO? PEOPLE! its a sequal! its supposed to follow the story....
people like that annoy me...
anyway.... getting back on topic.
m3 in my opinion is as good as the second one in every detail. but of course... i think the second matrix out classes the first one, not by much, but in general. i mean, obviously the first one was a mildstone in the movie industry but if the story of the second one was understood completely, then you would see how much better it is.
all people who know me in real life and people i met online do not doubt my exctencive knowlage on the structure of the movies, thier stories and their back-stories. there has never been a time when i have not answered a question that was given to me. i hope to stay with this forum for a very long time and move up in its ranks
i realize this should have gone in the introduction topic but once i get started.... well.... lol
What an asshole.
Anyway, stay tuned, cuz I got me another Matrix piece coming your way next week! Or, uh... now!
I love how Mongo presumes you know how bad The Two Jakes were, as if more than a couple million people even saw it. Show-off bastard!
Post complaints here, preferably with:
"Do you hear that? It's the sound of inevitibility. It's the sound of your death."
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