Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RS Movie Review - The Matrix Revolutions

***(WARNING: Probable spoiler alerts)***
Just skip to the bottom if you really plan on seeing this movie.

The Matrix series has been an odd thing for me. When I went to see the first movie, "The Matrix" the theater was having technical problems and the sound channels were going out every so often. Needless to say, that made a highly confusing movie, even more incomprehensible. The effects were great, but it was just confusing (due to lack of sound).

After talking with friends, I gave it another chance and watched it when it came out on DVD. Once I figured out what was going this time, I began to enjoy it and found it pretty creative, and ended up buying the DVD and watching it many times. I still really enjoy "The Matrix."

So when the sequel, "The Matrix Reloaded," was announced, and I saw the trailer, I was stoked. A friend and I went to see it opening weekend. There were technical problems again (different theater). The center sound channel would fade out occasionally, but not as bad as when I saw the first film. Still, the second one had to be one of the most disappointing sequels I have ever seen.* It was like they took the Matrix, stripped it of any decent plot, and then made it sleazy. For instance, Zion is just a big, sweaty rave party full of rastafarians and geeky white folk. The first time I saw Zion I realized I would have actually wanted to stay in the Matrix if I had the choice. Guess you can kiss any of that Christian/gnostic symbolism of the first movie out the door. It was clear the Wachowski Brothers were just milking a sucessful first movie (especially because the second one ended with a cliffhanger).

I hated "The Matrix Reloaded" so much I have not even been curious to see the final movie of the trilogy, "The Matrix Revolutions." Well, I did have one reason I wanted to see it: I heard that Neo dies. Yes, I hated the second movie so much I wanted to see the protagonist get his just desserts for putting me through the sequel. However, that reason has still never really prompted me to want to watch the movie.

So why am I reviewing the third movie? Well, I finally came across a form that I figured I would watch. When cruising around the web last night, I came across a movie "review" that was more of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 viewing. It was the entire movie with two guys making humorous comments throughout the whole thing. You may think the "commentary" is annoying, but I have to say, it was the only thing that got me through the movie. And sadly, as loud as they were compared to the movie volume, I really didn't miss anything important.

Yes, "The Matrix Revolutions" was actually as bad as "The Matrix Reloaded. Really on it's own it was worse. Take "The Matrix Reloaded" which had already stripped the decent storyline out of the "The Matrix" and now strip away all the cool fight choreography and cinematography, and for the most part, the Matrix itself, and you have "The Matrix Revolutions." But there are two reasons it wasn't worse: 1) The ending of "The Matrix Revolutions" meant that the trilogy was over and 2) Neo did die (Yea! \o/ ) ... actually we're not totally sure about that by the end. Anyway ...

It was horrid though. Most of the movie didn't even take place in the Matrix, which is what made the first one great and the second one tolerable. Instead it took place in the boring, drab "real world." The other thing that annoyed me was that everyone was so darn serious. Everyone was so sober, tense, and stiff that I thought they all had been given an atomic wedgie before shooting the scenes. They could rarely even squeeze out more than one sentence at a time.

Enjoy you wedgie, Mr. Anderson?

Then you have three story lines going on at once that take forever to cycle through.

1) You have Neo and Trinity going off to save the world.

2) You have Morpheus on another ship, and he practically plays a bit part in this movie (actually the movie is so long and bounces around so much, you really don't feel like anyone really starred in the movie). As the commenters noted, Morpheus becomes the Chewbacca to the Han Solo-like female pilot and the male captain who has to say the "GD word" every other sentence.

Morpheus in "The Matrix Revolutions"

3) Then you finally have Zion about to get attacked by the machines (as you find out at the end of the second movie). By the time the machines get to Zion, you are cheering for them to just kill everyone and get the movie over with.

The Morpheus storyline has them trying to get back to Zion to save it, and when they actually do make it and save the day, you realize you still have another FORTY FIVE FREAKIN' MINUTES LEFT IN THE MOVIE!!! Of course you still have the Neo storyline, but you also find out that after that excruciating battle for Zion that that was just the FIRST WAVE of machines!

I'm not even going to go into the acid trip that was the Neo and Trinity storyline. All I can say is that at one point, when they went above the clouds and saw the sun, it reminded me of the only worse movie (and sequel) I have ever seen: *"Highlander 2: The Director's Cut." That is not a good thing, and just re-enforces how bad this movie was. In fact, the whole trilogy is much like the first three Highlander movies. Just watch the first movie of the series and pretend the other two don't exist.

And then I really am not sure what happened at the end. I'm not sure Neo really totally saved the day. I almost saw a crack in the door of the plot that would allow more movies to be made if someone were actually evil and twisted enough to try and do that. (I can see it now "The Matrix Regurgitated.")

Oh, wow, there actually is something like that.


So for those of you who skipped down to this part ... you might as well just read my review with spoilers, the movie just stinks. "The Matrix Revolutions" is an appropriate name because it is just revolting. The only reason to see it is to see how bad it is. If you really insist on seeing it, probably the best way is to watch the video I saw. The commentary is rated R, but then, so is the movie, so don't think the commentary makes it any more appropriate for children. It's in 7 parts, and here's a link to the first part (you can see the other parts from this one):

Hem Haw 1

Here's a pictorial summary of the trilogy:

click picture to embiggen

[This has been a public service announcement from your friendly Roman Sacristan]


Bonus Amusement: Notice how Agent Smith and Carl Sagan sound exactly alike:

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