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Since The Matrix phenomenon first took off, the Wachowski Brothers have sworn up and down that they always planned The Matrix as a trilogy. Revolutions proves that they were either a) fudging the truth or b) they are not very good at planning.
Okay, so, Reloaded and Revolutions were originally supposed to be one movie. But even if there is, god forbid, a third/ fourth movie in the works, Revolutions makes it clear the Wachowski's brains have been pumped dry of ideas.
The level of incoherent mumbo-jumbo in Revolutions is astonishing. It reminded me of high school when I tried to answer a test question on material I hadn't studied. If I were to grade the script of Revolutions I'd give it a big, fat F with a note in red ink that says, "Vague answers and incoherent responses don't fool anyone."
So, the script totally sucks. But is the film as bad as Reloaded? No. In fact, Revolutions makes Reloaded seem even worse. All of that stuff about The Architect and all the setup about the villain Merovingian (the Frenchman) goes out the window. Here's all you need to remember from Reloaded:
- Agent Smith can "infect" people by jamming his fingers into their arm. The person then becomes another Agent Smith.
- The character of Bane was infected by Agent Smith just before returning from the matrix. He is now lying next to an unconscious Neo on board one of Zion's ships.
- The Machines are drilling their way into Zion. To do this, thousands of sentinels (the squid things) operate giant drills.
- The commander of the military at Zion doesn't like Morpheus or believe in the legend of The One.
Now consider this: everything I listed above could have been included in a nice twenty minute exposition sequence. Thereby eliminating the second film and sparing the audience from the nonsensical and pointless train station sequence that actually does open Revolutions.
Once you make it past act one, Revolutions starts to pick up in a big way. The machines are drilling ever-closer to Zion and the citizens only have 20 hours to rally their defenses. Morpheus, Trinity, Neo, and Niobe are all unaccounted for by central command and are presumed dead or unable to return in time to help with the battle. In actuality, the group is in the midst of planning a route back to Zion which won't alert the sentinels. Captain Niobe (Jada Pinkett) suggests passage through a narrow mechanical line and is in the middle of arguing the viability of the plan when Neo announces he must go to Machine City.
The race through the mechanical line and the battle for Zion are both pretty f-ing cool scenes. Jada Pinkett as the hotheaded Captain Niobe is far more charismatic than Keanu's distant Neo or Carrie-Anne Moss' diminished Trinity, and the sight of thousands of swarming sentinels tops the army of Agent Smiths from Reloaded. The smirking Smith is back as well, but the showdown between Smith and Neo is a little more silly than it is cool.
Like Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions is all style and no substance. There are some exciting action sequences to look forward to, but they are always bogged down by absurd mythology that the average filmgoer doesn't understand or care about. If you've seen the other two, well, you might as well see this one. Or, as The Oracle might say, "Everything that has a beginning, has an end." Whatever that's supposed to mean…
-Megan A. Denny