Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Sometimes, leaving well enough alone can be a good thing.  The first Matrix movie could very well have been it and it would have been a great movie.  We have this revelation that humanity is really living in a simulated world.  A small band of people are fighting the machines that keep us enslaved.  Instead, it served as the basis for two movie sequels.  Instead of being all philosophical like the first movie, both sequels skewed towards action.

Matrix Revolutions picks up where Matrix Reloaded left off.  Neo is trapped in the computer world.  Agent Smith has found his way into the real world.  Also, the machines have sent sentinels to attack Zion, the city of humans freed from the Matrix.  If they can’t be defeated, Zion will be destroyed in a matter of days.

Normally, I’d go into plot review, but the bulk of the movie is the humans fighting the machines, this time in a more literal sense.  The movie begins with Neo having to be rescued from his disembodiment.  The machines are attacking the city, which is fighting back with guns.  Meanwhile, Agent Smith has taken over everyone in the Matrix.  The movie ends with Neo fighting Smith to the death and Zion being saved.  The machines will have to do without humans as a power source.

The first movie was a tough act to follow.  It had this big reveal that what the characters experience isn’t reality.  It’s a simulation that everyone’s immersed in since birth.  There really aren’t too many places you can go with that.  Matrix Reloaded did mention that this wasn’t the first attempt at it and that it’s been going on much longer than initially assumed.  Here, it’s more like, “Ok.  Let’s wrap things up.”

I’m not sure if the sequels were planned.  There was a four-year gap between the first and second movies being released with the second and third movies being released the same year.  It’s a pattern similar to the Back to the Future franchise, where the sequels weren’t planned, yet ended up being good.  For me, the Back to the Future franchise was due mostly to good writing and the right concept that had talented people behind it.  That kind of formula is difficult to replicate.

Here, it’s like some planning went in to it, but not very much.  It looks like one story that was split into three with only the first movie retaining any real substance or quality.  The second move got a little bit with the third movie there just to round it out.  Also, it’s very uneven.  It’s almost like three versions of the same story that were somehow reworked into a passable storyline.

If you’re looking into the Matrix movies, you could easily skip the second and third movies without missing anything.  Both movies are around two hours and at least have the possibility of being entertaining, but I wouldn’t necessarily rush to rent them.  If you never got around to watching them, it wouldn’t be a loss, either.

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