There's something about a good movie, something that knots inside your stomach, tingles down your spine and fills you with a euphoria that is indefinable with tools as useless as words. That something is satisfaction. But The Matrix: Revolutions doesn't just stop at satisfying and pat itself on the back. Instead, it delivers enough action, emotion and meaning to vault past goodness into the rarely visited land of greatness.
Picking up where last spring's Reloaded left off, Revolutions opens with about 20 hours left for all of humanity, an ideal time for our hero Neo (the infamous Keanu Reeves) to be stuck in a coma-like state somewhere between Matrix world and the "real" world. As Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) try to figure out how to get him back, the rest of Zion tries to figure out how to survive.
Instead of regarding the plot as a whole, however, it is best to view it as a sum of all the scenes. The Wachowskis try hard to make sure they work everyone in, which leads to a sort of "old friends" feel. Morpheus and Trinity team up with Seraph (Sing Ngai) for some old-fashioned black leather badness to save Neo, which leads them to the orgy-infested haunt of the Merovingian (delightfully snobbish Lambert Wilson). Old flames Morpheus and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) meet again, this time co-piloting a ship through a mechanical shaft. Neo has one last meeting with the Oracle (perfect replacement Mary Alice), this time in the homely apartment where he met her for the first time. Bane (Ian Bliss), Agent-Smithified in Reloaded, awakes in the real world sounding exactly like Smith and kills a couple of people before Neo takes him down. The battle comes to Zion, and literal streams of creepy sentinels swarm through drill-cut holes as giant robot walkers fire on them and explosive-armed laypeople shoot at the unfolding drill-robot thingies.
If the Wachowskis were looking to go out with a bang, they certainly succeeded.
The acting in Revolutions is a cut above either of the previous two Matrixes, despite the considerable amount of dialogue-free action. Reeves turns in the best performance of his acting career, consistently nailing all sorts of moods and emotions (he even manages a realistic-sounding sob!). Moss plays dark Trinity well, and Fishburne has another solid performance as the disillusioned Morpheus. The real standout, however, is Hugo Weaving/Ian Bliss, as Agent Smith gone nuts with power lust. Each line reverberates on the edge of insanity, despite the matter-of-fact monotone that lives in Smith's voice.
For all of that, Revolutions does have its problems. The Zion fight scene is a teensy bit drawn out, and the dialogue contained therein devolves into clichéd military drivel. Additionally, some technical ambiguities may have audiences thinking that maybe the Wachowskis should have spent more time figuring out the nuances of their own movie world.
Minor gripes aside, Revolutions simply delivers. The chills as the first stream of sentinels flies in don't ever fade, which alone should get you through to the best parts of the movie. Neo's encounter with the head machine honcho is creepy yet strangely awe-inspiring, and his subsequent fight scene with Smith can only be described as the best fight scene to ever grace a movie screen. Ever. Tie that all together with a satisfyingly interpretable ending, and you have the undeniable workings of greatness.
The Matrix trilogy may be the only place where you get symbolism with your special effects or philosophy with your fighting. Revolutions, to say what you all knew was coming, is truly a revolutionary experience. Savor it.
The Matrix: Revolutions is rated R for sci-fi violence and brief sexual content.
Nick Falgout. Nick Falgout was bored one day and decided to change his Chips staff information. And now, for a touching song lyric: "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case Get off my case, get off my case." ~ Radiohead, "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd … More »