REVIEW: The Equation Balances Itself Out, and the Wachowskis Find Perfection in The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Revolutions
Directed By: Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry J. Lennix, and Harold Perrineau
“Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming, I see the darkness spreading. I see death.”
-The Oracle (Mary Alice)
The third chapter in a trilogy is often trapped by the inconveniences of being the final chapter. At the end of the movie, everything has to come to an end. After this one, it's done. No matter how great it may be, no final chapter in a trilogy can do what its predecessors have done. It can't introduce you to a whole new world. It can't give you a suspenseful cliffhanger. It can't be as innovative as earlier installments. The only thing that a great final chapter can do is conclude a saga in the best way possible. In this sense, The Matrix Revolutions is a resounding success and a fitting end to Neo's saga. While the film is loathed by many, I personally don't give a damn about what the masses think. The Matrix Revolutions concluded the Wachowskis' sci-fi trilogy in grand style and brings everything full circle in the best possible way.
After the sentinel attack that culminated in Neo (Keanu Reeves) falling into a coma, the unconscious bodies of Neo and the mysterious Bane (Ian Bliss) — the only survivor of Zion's failed preemptive strike on the machines before they reach Zion — remain aboard the Hammer as Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) try to figure out what actually happened when Neo stopped the sentinels. When Seraph (Collin Chou) reaches out to them on behalf of the Oracle (Mary Alice) with information on what happened to Neo, they have no choice but to go back into the matrix.
It just so happens that the power of the One extends beyond the matrix. When Neo used his powers outside the Matrix for the first time, he wasn't ready for it, and ultimately his mind separated from his body. Neo is now trapped in a place known as the train station, a world between the matrix and the Machine City. When Seraph informs Morpheus and Trinity of this, they spring into action to rescue Neo from the claws of one of the oldest and most powerful programs, the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). When they succeed, Neo visits the Oracle one last time as he realizes the end is near. The Oracle tells Neo what he already knows. Smith (Hugo Weaving) is out of control and must be stopped, and Neo is the only thing in his way. She goes on to tell him that it will all end tonight and that the fate of both worlds may rest in his hands.
Because it is the final installment of the trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions is a much simpler film thematically. Heavy topics like purpose, control, and causality aren't really weighed here. Everything has to end. It's time for Neo and Smith to put up or shut up. At this point, Neo understands his purpose, to battle for control and ultimately for peace. Likewise, Smith has come to the conclusion that the purpose of all life is to end. At the same time, however, Revolutions is an undeniably epic film and is made on a much grander scale than its predecessors as we have two climactic battles raging — the war for Zion and the war between Neo and Smith.
The one thing that I have to say about The Matrix Revolutions is that it's all about death. At times, the movie is downright depressing. The unofficial theme of this final chapter has got to be "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor". If you have a favorite character, there's a good chance something bad will happen to them in this one.
While the staple cast members all deliver strong performances as usual, two supporting actors step up to some interesting challenges. As Bane, a man whose mind Smith takes control of in Reloaded, Ian Bliss has the challenge of being Hugo Weaving incarnate. Playing one of the most famous big screen villains of all time is no small task, especially given that Weaving himself reprises the role in the film. Bliss has to capture Weaving's egotistical body language, his evident disgust with the human race, and his slow yet calculated phrasings. Having revisited the film, I have to say that he does this to perfection.
Similarly, Mary Alice faces the challenge of replacing the late Gloria Foster who passed away before she finished shooting her part in the final installment of The Matrix trilogy. That being said, Alice doesn't try to replace Foster's character and really makes the character of the Oracle her own. She brings her own brand of maternal love and old school sass to the film. Stepping into the shoes of a beloved character is never easy, and I commend Alice for doing so.
The Matrix Revolutions is a masterful conclusion to The Matrix trilogy. It gives us just enough closure so that we're content but also leaves some looming questions for the series as a whole that are open to interpretation. The Wachowskis have done it again and crafted a tragic sci-fi masterpiece where heroism and death go hand in hand. Don't let the masses fool you. This movie is awesome! The Matrix Revolutions gets a sober rating.
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Tags: "keanu reeves" "laurence fishburne" "carrie anne-moss" "hugo weaving" "jada pinkett smith" "harry j lennix" "harold perrineau" matrix action sci-fi futuristic wachowski
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