Matrix Revolutions 

(R) 3 stars

(R) 3 stars
The Matrix Revolutions is better than The Matrix Reloaded but nowhere near as good as the original film (which stood fine on its own, thank you very much, and did not require sequels). Where the last movie alternated between action scenes and long sequences of yammering, this one is far more action-heavy.
Less yapping; more apocalypse.
There’s still plenty of yapping, mind you, but most of it happens in the first 30 minutes of the production. Writer/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski manage to generate some tense moments, and a few of the actors manage to make an impression over all the computer graphics. Isn’t it interesting that, in a movie about people trying not to be overwhelmed by machines, the computer-generated effects overwhelm most of the people performing in it?
On the subject of ‘The Matrix Revolutions’
What’s the general tone this time? After opening with the usual mystic shit, the tone turns apocalyptic and stays that way for the bulk of the film. Big confrontations, daring assaults and breathtaking escapes, mega battles, that sort of thing. Surprisingly, the thunderous score does not feel manipulative. It fits. Remember the build-up to the final battle in Star Wars? So did the Wachowskis. Does the film have a satisfying payoff? Revolutions is entertaining and most viewers will probably consider the ending solid enough. I suspect, though, that hard-core fans will be annoyed at all that goes unanswered, particularly some juicy questions raised in Reloaded. Is this really the last Matrix film? Producer Joel Silver is telling anyone that will listen that this is absolutely the final film. I believe him. Costs of gearing up for another would be enormous, the franchise has lost its luster and, most importantly, it feels finished. Do the filmmakers show any sense of humor or are they completely taking themselves seriously now? The Wachowski boys are still capable of putting their tongues in their cheeks. At the beginning of the movie, after it is stated that Neo (Keanu Reeves) is trapped somewhere between the Matrix and the outside, we see him on a subway station with the words “Mobil Ave.” on the wall. Rearrange the letters in “Mobil.” Another example: One of the characters encounters the nightmarish personification of all the mechanical creatures. The entity is named the “Deus Ex Machina.” These may not be knee slappers, but at least they show that the brothers haven’t lost their sense of play. How is the death of Gloria Foster handled? Nicely. Foster, who played the Oracle, passed away after completing the work you saw in Reloaded. She is replaced by Mary Alice, another grandmotherly type, and a reason for the change in appearance is written into the story. What about the rest of the cast? The veteran characters — Neo, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Smith (Hugo Weaving) — do exactly what you expect them to do. As Niobe, Jada Pinkett Smith gets much more screen time and uses it quite well. Ian Bliss appears only briefly as compromised crew member Bane, but he pulls off a terrific impression of the Smith character. Harold Perrineau Jr. and Nona Gaye continue to make a charming couple, while David Roberts makes an impression as Roland, a tough-as-nails ship’s captain who does a lot of yelling, almost always punctuated with the term “god damn.” Is it possible to digress while using a Q&A format? Why, yes it is. I hate hearing people say “god damn.” If the person using it believes in God, it seems presumptuous to ask a deity to damn things on command. And if the person does not believe in God, then why invoke the phrase? But I digress. The Wachowskis are known for (ahem) referencing other films. Does it happen here? In addition to doing the aforementioned Star Wars homage, check out the crazy guy on the subway (Ghost) and the war suits (Aliens). Final thoughts? Just this: While The Matrix Revolutions is entertaining and worth a look, when I look back on these films, I’ll think of The Matrix and its two sequels, not The Matrix Trilogy.

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