Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Movie Review: The Matrix Revolutions

U.S. Release Date: 11/05/03
Running Time: 2:09
Rated: R (Violence, sensuality, and mild profanity)
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci, Lambert Wilson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Harry J. Lennix, Mary Alice

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Producer: Joel Silver, Grant Hill
Screenplay: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Music: Don Davis
Studio: Warner Brothers

Revolution n.—the cycle of a phenomena; a radical change often accompanied by violence.

This picture’s poster phrase and advertising slogan (as if they needed one to promote the film) is: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.” To some people, including several acclaimed critics, the ending is nothing but a letdown; to me, I honestly believe that there could not have been a more fitting resolution to Revolutions. I was not disappointed in any way at anytime during the film's running time. While some might have been bored by the movie’s “sluggish” first fifty minutes, full of philosophical phrases and Freudian-like explanations of love and karma, I ate up every line of dialogue and every inch of the revered reel that rolled.

I don’t believe that the Wachowski brothers ever intended on boring anyone, but that they rather intended on hypnotizing everyone with dizzying discussion and subtle religious symbolism up until the film reaches its climatic, action-packed, battle sequence and its fitting conclusion. Revolutions is a ride that may rev its engine just a little too long for those who are antsy to get the ball rolling, but once it hits the gas, there is no letting up, and in my eyes, there is not one single letdown.

Revolutions does a great job of starting up exactly where Reloaded left off. We pick up the plot with both the now, machine-controlling Neo and the Smith-possessed Bane comatose. While in this coma-like state, Neo is stuck in some sort of limbo train station (on the edge of, or between, both worlds—the Matrix and the real world), and the only way to get him out is through the smarmy Merovingian and the homeless-looking Train Man. After making a deal with these two greasy men, Neo is removed from his limbo to help fight against the soon-approaching swarm of those squidy sentinels and the continuously-multiplying, virus-like, angry God of the Matrix, Agent Smith. Neo and Trinity take off in an unexpected direction in an attempt to save all of humanity and find out in the end if Neo is truly “The One”, and if the prophecy can still be fulfilled.

I may be able to agree with some who say that this is the weakest and most-inferior of the three films, but to use the word weak when referring to any of the three blockbusters in this trilogy is simply unjust.

After sitting through the closing chapter of the saga, some questions may remain unanswered to the average viewer, but if you are like me, an extreme fundamentalist when it comes to The Matrix series, there are no questions that remain unanswered, or, for that matter, need to be answered in the overall look of things.

The film’s messianic aspects scream outward in this miraculous finale. For instance, Neo is the savior who greatly impacts all of those around him, and Agent Smith is strikingly similar to both the multiplying demon named Legion, who Jesus exorcised, and the Anti-Christ. Also, The Source is God; The Source is our end.

In the realm of Hollywood, before The Matrix came storming down with success, a science-fiction film that emitted both intellect and imagery, was absolutely unheard of. Now this gem of a trilogy, in the science-fiction/action sort, which maintains its central underlying premise of a celestial savior and his love, can be crowned the apex of action and the true zenith of its kind.

Watching this film and then viewing its now completed three-part series as one entity, is like gazing at a fireworks display for the first time. In this case, it is the Fourth of July in November—the show was phenomenal with tons of ooo’s and ahh’s audible from the crowd, and the grand finale left a life-lasting, striking impression for the heart, and a burning, over-all image for the mind. (*** out of ****)

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2004