"The Matrix Revolutions"
Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski.
Written by Andy and Larry Wachowski.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 11/6/03
Here’s the best way I can sum up “The Matrix
Revolutions” for those looking for an executive summary: this is
the “Back to the Future 3” of the modern era. A film that almost
makes you forget how much you loved the original film, “Revolutions”
is poo in a whole bunch of ways from start to finish. Remember how
much you loved watching “Back to the Future”? Then, remember how
excited you were for “Back to the Future 2”, hoping that they could
recapture some of the magic (and then did to a small degree)? Then,
remember what a piece of fucking shit “BTTF 3” was?
Ditto for this trilogy. “The Matrix” was
awesome, plain and simple. I remember leaving the theater with my
girlfriend at the time, and both of us were imitating the
running-up-the-wall bit from the lobby shooting spree (now known by
Chuck “Homeowner” Longer and I as “Chapter 29” per its spot on the
DVD) and doing the bullet time lean that Neo does to escape gunfire
on that rooftop. I saw “The Matrix” in theaters four times.
Matrix Reloaded” is a much better film that it seems to be getting
credit for; I saw it twice in theaters, and both times my verdict
was the same—first half-hour sucked, sex scene sucked and that rave
scene...but, once Neo met up with Seraph (Collin Chou) in the tea
house and Neo fought the Agent Smith horde in that courtyard, it got
good real quick-like. Monica Bellucci—solid. Freeway—solid. The
Architect—ridiculous and confusing, but he still made you sit there
and think a little. For a follow-up to a film as good as the
original, “Reloaded” was just fine.
“Revolutions” is a mess, a video game train
wreck that is so soulless that I sat there watching the film’s final
45 minutes hoping for just one scene—one fucking scene!—where there
was not a single special effect or computer-generated image, and
right now I can’t remember a single one. There were so many
problems with this film that I am going to take the time now to tell
you about all of them, so you just sit there and read, dammit:
1. The Wachowski Brothers, creators of the
trilogy, seem to not recognize their character assets very well and
do an incredibly deft job of avoiding the use of these assets
throughout “Revolutions.” Laurence Fishburne, so key in making the
original film a hit, is in so little of this film that I am now
wondering how many actual on-screen minutes he has in
“Revolutions.” He gets the chance to lay down some firepower in the
film’s early-going, and then he all but disappears for the film’s
final 90 minutes. Baffling. More confusing, though, is this:
Where are the Twins? The best bad guys from “Reloaded” are nowhere
to be found in this film, and since they work for the Merovingian
(Lambert Wilson), who has a scene early on, why don’t they appear to
defend him? Instead, we are introduced to a bum named The Trainman,
whose only distinguishable feature is his amazingly bad grill.
Monica Bellucci? Besides appearing in that same early scene with
Wilson, she is nowhere, either. (Fact: In the game
Matrix”, a few of the 60 original minutes of film involve Jada
Pinkett Smith’s Niobe and Bellucci hooking up. I am not kidding.)
At least we get a fairly heavy dose of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving),
the only actor in these films who can say he came out on top every
time. More Seraph would have been nice, but he is removed from the
picture fairly early on as well. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) gets to
whoop a little ass early on, then she becomes The Love Interest, and
that just fucking blows.
2. I like gun violence. A lot. I also
like good fighting movies. The original “Matrix” had a great mix of
the two. “Reloaded” had a fair amount of fighting, and almost no
gun warfare. “Revolutions”? We get a scene almost directly from
the video game “Enter the Matrix” featuring guns early on, and no
hand-to-hand fighting of note until the end of the film. Don’t
sequels normally give us more of what we want, not less? If I
wanted to see a huge battle between robots, I would just watch
“Battletech” or play “MechWarrior 4” or—better—rent “Return of the
Jedi” and watch the last 40 minutes. Not “Revolutions”, which has a
battle sequence that rages on so long that it almost put me to
sleep. And, that last fight scene between Smith and Neo? This is
one of the worst fight scenes of all time, and it probably cost $20
million to shoot the damned thing. Of course, by “shoot”, I really
mean “program”, since almost none of the scene takes place without
the use of a blue screen, wires, animators and stunt doubles.
3. Two full minutes—TWO FULL MINUTES—of
“Revolutions” are wasted on the main characters trying to figure out
why The Oracle (Mary Alice) doesn’t look like The Oracle from the
first two films. Now, in real life, Gloria Foster played this
character in the first two films and she died during filming. I’ll
admit that this left the Wachowskis in a bit of a hole...but, my
thought was, why not just write it off as a program upgrade?
There’s got to be a way to just say that her looks change constantly
and be done with it. Instead, I have to endure watching Morpheus
and Trinity try to figure out the problem, then I have to watch Neo
try and figure it out later, too. This problem is compounded by the
fact that if you have played the video game “Enter the Matrix”,
Alice was in the game as The Oracle and the characters didn’t make
any note of the fact that she looked different. Minor, but very
4. Speaking of The Oracle, man, am I glad I
won’t have to watch any more of those scenes. The constant
circle-speak of The Oracle becomes grating after a while, mostly due
to its predictability:
Neo: What’s going to happen next?
The Oracle: You don’t know?
Neo: I don’t think so. Is it bad?
The Oracle [blowing smoke from cigarette]: Maybe. Bad for
some, but good for others.
Neo: Good for who?
The Oracle [while baking more cookies]: You
don’t know? You should by now—all the clues are right in front of
you. You’re going to have to figure that one out for yourself,
kid. I’m just the Yoda-foil for these films, and then I’m gonna go
5. We spend so much time following around
minor characters from the first two films that “Revolutions” turns
into a supporting character mess; why introduce that little Indian
girl when she has so little to do with the main storyline? Do I
really care if Link’s wife Zee (superhot Nona Gaye) can load a
rocket into a launcher? Do I give a shit about that little kid that
was kissing the ground that Neo walked on in “Reloaded”? These
characters, and others, take away from the core threesome that got
me this far in the first place. I think that the ship operator Link
(Harold Perrineau) has more scenes than Morpheus...who allowed this
6. The soundtrack for “Revolutions”—much
like “Reloaded”—is absolutely horrific. I am still stunned that
more people are not talking about this. The soundtrack for the
first film is a top-five-ever soundtrack, period point-blank. The
mix of songs and original music has not been topped in quite a
while; “Pulp Fiction” is probably the best one I can think of
outside of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, so to be mentioned in that
strata is significant because the two sequels to “The Matrix” have
featured such poor music that it makes one assume that the
production ran out of money set aside for a quality soundtrack,
instead blowing the cash on more special effects shots.
7. Given the circumstances, the ending for
“Revolutions” is laughable and just bad. At one point in my
theater, one of the more featured characters gets offed and someone
in my theater hilariously coughed “Bullshit” so loud that our entire
audience burst into laughter, including Robin Williams, who was
sitting about 10 seats to my left. Pure comedy, and there is so
much unintentional comedy in this film that I would be embarrassed
to call this film my own if I were the director. Corny is not just
a word, it’s a way of life in “Revolutions.”
8. Is “Everything That Has a Beginning Has
an End” the worst tagline in the history of film? The posters for
“Revolutions” are as bad as the posters for “Reloaded” are just
I’ll admit, I do have some praise for
“Revolutions”...some. That action scene early on was pretty hot,
even if it didn’t make sense to me that a martial arts master like
Seraph would ever whip out automatic pistols to take down bad guys.
Some of the film’s visuals are pretty cool, although nothing in this
film felt as groundbreaking as those visuals from the first film.
Weaving is just brilliant in this role; his Smith is a bit more
emotional this time around, which makes him funnier, especially in
his money bit with The Oracle, as he mockingly tries to figure out
just what is going to happen next.
The casting of these films is also one of
the great shining spots for “The Matrix” trilogy. I don’t think I
can think of another set of films that seems to so consciously make
sure that social positions high and low are taken up by blacks,
whites, Asians and Indians in these films, and I love it. Although
they are quite hokey, it is cool having scenes featuring a truly
solid mix of all races handing out the high fives when things go
And, the trailers in front of “Revolutions”
were pretty good, too. “Troy” looks hot, and I am just hot and
bothered waiting for
“Return of the King” December 17th. Like I
keep saying, the trailer for “Revolutions” told me it was gonna be
bad...but, the trailer for “King” makes it look like the money film
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard