Warning, major spoilers below...if you
haven't seen the movie don't read this
There is a trend in movie making emerging that started with Back to the
Future 2 and 3: Making multiple movies at the same time.
Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. With Lord of the
Rings, it has worked on a scale never before seen. Here it flops.
But not for the standard reasons. It is apparent on viewing
Revolutions that the Matrix is "NOT" a trilogy. It is two
distinct movies. Revolutions is nothing more than a back-burner to the
far more inventive, enjoyable and meaningful Reloaded. It was as if
Revolutions just picked up the scraps from what was left on the cutting
room floor. And scraps they were indeed. No...Reloaded and
Revolutions are not two movies, they are the same movie. And to
those that spent $20 a person thinking they were going to see something
different, I am sorry to be the bearer of incredibly bad news. To
top that...for the love of all that is holy...we officially have an
Ewok sighting. That point will be touched on later.
To summarize the
review: This is a bad movie on a scale never before achieved.
This is in fact a very, very bad movie and in my opinion will go
down as one of the biggest mistakes in film history. Forget
Lucas, we've got a new champ here. If not for the action and CGI
effects which are out of this world and never before witnessed by human
eyes, this movie is completely empty of emotion, story, acting and most
importantly editing flow.
The first half hour of
the film starts of slow. This is not unexpected since Reloaded
did the same. However, the pace is not the only problem.
Dialogue and editing are scratchy and one gets a very bad feeling
that "oh no...here we go again...the sequel bug has struck." Reloaded
came out of the bug with flying colors offering us a well scripted
story that told us new things at every turn, things we thought were
going to be relevent to installment three. But almost nothing was.
Problem one: extremely poor editing and character flow. We are
left in cinematic limbo waiting for Neo, Trinity and Morpheus to do
something, anything. But in a great horror, they never do
anything. The three are separated, only coming together for 30
seconds in the entire movie to say goodbye (a scene which inspired no
emotion), and one is killed pointlessly off his/her feet. To add to the
misery the viewer is left with a full 30 minutes plus of continuous
scenes without Neo or Trinity. It was like they fell off the
screen. George Lucas may have done some bad things, but he's also
done some very good things. His trademark fades continually cut
back to characters so we never loose track of them. This has
become a staple of film ever since, because it works. In grand
films pace is kept and the audience is kept on their toes. In
Revolutions we totally loose two of our main characters, needlessly.
This film is 90% about non-essential characters who are
under-developed and emotionless.
a. There is no reason to separate Morpheus from the other two.
The result of his leaving them has no plot relevance and he does
ZERO in this entire movie. You could have cut him completely from
the film and it wouldn't have changed the story.
b. The death of one of the three major characters is pointless.
This needs to happen while he/she is fighting and actively saving
another character. This is what heros do. This is how good writers
write. If one wants to see people die for no reason they can turn on
the news, its free.
Problem two: plot holes. When we are handed vital information in
movie 2, which we were in mass, we expect it to be important. Most of
the info we got in 2 isn't used in three or is discarded in passing. It
was as if Revolutions is the last half hour action sequence that
Reloaded needed to make it perfect. Re-edit these two movies into
one longer one and you have got a masterpiece. Separate them and
you've got a greedy attempt to make nothing into something.
a. There is no Matrix
in Revolutions. It needs to be renamed. Characters are only inside for
several minutes and most of that time is spent dragging feet and
talking. This is not the dangerous world we have gotten used too. In
the original movie you had to get in and out quickly or you were dead.
Have the rules changed? They sure as hell shouldn't have. Suddenly
Trinity and Morpheus are indestructible when they would have been
killed by one sentinel in the first movie.
b. EMP's. Yes, the fight and swarm sequences are great but most
of the logic behind it was flawed. If you know an EMP charge will
destroy a whole swarm, wouldn't one use these as a primary weapon,
place them all over the place outside the compound and blow them. And
wouldn't at least one EMP charge be available for emergency use inside
the dock? There was so much talk of keeping the fleet close to home to
help battle. Um.....where was the fleet? Taking a nap apparently.
I didn't see one ship.
Problem three: Ewoks.
Ok this one needs explanation first. It is current film lore that the
Ewoks ruined Jedi because Lucas wanted to go cutesey. I personal love
Jedi, however, the reference is now well known throughout the film
industry. The Ewok represents a shallow attempt to cash in on a
character that will drag in the audience simply because we should feel
sorry for them. It is the mark of very bad writing. And Revolutions has
got an Ewok, and a pretty bad one at that.
We've followed the story for years: Trinity, Morpheus and Neo. So tell
me...for all that is good and holy...how is it that a 16 year old kid
which has not been developed one iota and who the audience has no
vested interest in becomes the hero. First he runs into the army
commander and they talk of him being "too young to fight".
Oh..."I want to fight sir, I need to...please let me sir."
Where have we heard this conversation before? I'll tell you
where, in 2000 bad movies. Its been done, badly. And its done
badly even worse here. This is the kind of conversation your high
school writing teacher tells you to avoid. After that heartfelt
exchange what are the odds that suddenly this kid if going to save the
day? And what are the odds the entire audience already knew it? Hell,
this punk even gets one of the last lines of the movie while Morpheus
looks up at the sky like his dog has died and says nothing. Ewok. We've
got an Ewok here. Except there's nothing fuzzy or cute or forgivable
about this one. These scenes should have been cut and burned and when
the technology comes around in 2-3 years for my home computer to do it,
Problem four: endings.
No closure. At the end of this movie one is left empty. While
characters sing the "War is Over" the audience says to itself...ummm,
why? The machines still rule. Mankind is still underground. And
if what we learned in part 2 is accurate, this would have happened
anyway in some form again and again. We are left in limbo. If you take
a realistic approach this movie would have ended better if the machines
turned on their word and destroyed Zion anyway. Sure its horrible, but
its also good writing. When that kid said the "War is Over" a sentinel
should have carved him up.
The only comfort that can be taken from this movie is the hint that
this may not be the last Matrix installment. A few words from the
Oracle at the end indicate it may not be. And for the sake of those who
love this series I hope she is right. Because this is not a fitting end
nor is it a trilogy in any respect.
Bottom line...when the credits ran not one person in a packed audience
clapped or hollored. They did in part one and two. Telling.
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