Trilogy Finale Is Pretty Bad

Neo and Agent Smith fighting in the rain.

Revolutions’ spectacular climax almost saved a bad movie.
Image: Warner Bros.

Looking back The Matrix revolutions the reasons why it is considered so bad are crystal clear. The story is disjointed, the characters don’t particularly change, the action scenes feel completely unnecessary or too long, and the ending is terrible. Coming after the almost perfect original movie and imperfect but forgivable sequel, Revolutions it is a huge disappointment. Cleared up how could there even be a fourth movie but now definitely, unfortunately, I’m less excited to see it.

Looking back, it is obvious that there was something strange about Revolutions From the beginning. The film was released just six months later The reloaded matrix that on the surface, it seemed like a shocking choice from the studio and filmmakers. Usually fans have to wait years for a highly anticipated sequel, but the Wachowskis wanted to reject that. They felt that since the sequels are basically a long movie, it would be kind of anti-system and great to release them just two months apart. Warner Bros. lobbied for a year and they finally got engaged in six months. In hindsight, even that compromised window probably damaged the film because there wasn’t much time for the ad machine to recover like it had in Reloaded.

However, it is obvious from the beginning that Revolutions and Reloaded they are a continuous story. This movie picks up moments later Reloaded ending with Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss, who steals the entire movie) both still unconscious and the ship’s captains, including Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), having to get to safety. It is revealed that Neo is now in a place between the Matrix and the real world, a place that can only be left with the help of a program called Trainman (Bruce Spence). However, the Trainman is owned by the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), whom Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) betrayed in the previous film. He doesn’t want to help them and only when Trinity risks her life are they able to rescue Neo.

Sereph, Morpheus, and Trinity on a train.

The first act of the film is just these three running.
Image: Warner Bros.

With the help of a new Oracle (Mary Alice), Neo realizes that he has to go to the City of Machines, a place that no living human being has ever been close to. So he and Trinity go one way, while Morpheus and the other captains (including Jada Pinkett-Smith as Niobe) go the other direction. They will return to Zion and arrive just in time to fire their EMP to defeat the first wave of machines that finally made their way into the city. But as a result, they also disable most of the city’s defenses. With more machines on the way, Zion can now only be saved if Neo can somehow complete his mission. He does this by negotiating a peace agreement in which, in exchange for saving Zion, he will defeat Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who has become such a powerful virus that not even machines can control him. Neo wins, there is peace and the movie ends.

When you break it down like this, the movie doesn’t sound too bad, does it? The problem is that there are so many problems down the road that they never come together. For example, the first act of the movie focuses on this drama of Neo trapped by Trainman and the Merovingian, but ultimately it amounts to nothing. We don’t find out why he’s there, how he got there, it’s just an excuse to include some fast-action sequences with the final reveal that Trinity really does love Neo very much. That we knew. Shortly after is the very long and complex war sequence when the machines attack Zion. Which, I have to admit, is fucking awesome. Seriously. Giant robots fighting men in giant mechanical suits firing huge bullets while powerful women run with rocket launchers? It’s the scene fans have been thinking about since the beginning of the franchise. What if the machines really attacked the last human city? And in terms of action and scope, the scene lives up to the hype.

An AMP mech in the Matrix.

The Matrix walked so that Avatar could run. Well, aliens too.
Image: Warner Bros.

However, here is the problem. While this is happening, Morpheus is on a ship heading towards the city, so he is not part of the battle, and Neo and Trinity are on a ship heading away from the city, so neither are they. The whole drama centers on characters that we met for five minutes in the previous movie. So whether they live or die, it really matters little. It takes what should have been the centerpiece of the trilogy and completely undercuts it with weak emotional lines masked by great visuals.

But wait, there is more. On the way to the city of machines, Trinity dies in an accident. This is your second main character dying, a moment that should be hugely riveting and shocking, but it’s not. Neo is sad, of course, but his mission doesn’t change and his death doesn’t help Neo complete his mission in any specific and noteworthy way. She just dies and is mostly forgotten.

As all of this is going on, we’re supposed to remember that Agent Smith continues to replicate himself in the Matrix, and by the time Neo arrives in the city of machines, he seems to have taken over everyone. (We don’t see this happening, though. In fact, we haven’t seen the real Smith in some time, which is completely different in the way the climax gets mixed up.) They make us believe that this is why the machines agree to let Neo try to defeat him. However, it is never entirely clear why all the Smiths in the Matrix are bad, or what happens to all the people Smith has infected. The point of the Matrix is ​​that it’s a place to keep human minds busy so machines can use their energy, right? Does it really matter if minds are all the same or not as long as bodies are pumping watts? Perhaps Smith by infecting them kills them and therefore they are no longer sources of energy? There is talk that Smith can destroy everything, which would be bad, but whatever his relationship to the machines and the Matrix is ​​is never entirely clear. As a result, Neo’s offer to defeat him seems more like a reward to the audience than the narrative. After three movies, it’s something we want to see, but exactly why it helps Zion never makes much sense.

Neo with shattered eyes.

Neo blind.
Image: Warner Bros.

However, the machines accept the deal; Neo returns to the Matrix for one last showdown with Smith, and again, I must admit that this scene is a real sight. Smith against Neo, flying like two black ties Supermen, pounding on each other while millions of other Smiths watch is very exciting. It lives up to some of the great action sequences from the DC and Marvel movies to come out since. There’s also the welcome knowledge that if Neo doesn’t win, the machines will destroy Zion, so that adds some much-needed bets as well. Neo’s fight and final victory almost saved what has been a flat line from a movie up to this point. But then he wins, the machines take him away, we assume he’s dead, and everyone’s having fun in Zion because the machines are gone.

Here, in my opinion, is the movie’s biggest problem. They tell us that the ending has solved everything, but that information is not conveyed in a way that makes it credible. From the audience’s perspective, there is “peace” only in that the machines have stopped attacking the last remaining humans. But the machines still have billions of other humans connected to the Matrix. The architect from the previous movie shows up and says something like “everyone will be set free” but it’s an afterthought that he doesn’t really believe it. Perhaps if we had seen him fulfilling that promise, Neo’s victory would have felt a bit more complete. And yet the Oracle says that Neo will likely return, making his sacrifice even less shocking again. When the credits appear, you can’t help but wrinkle your face with a big “What the heck was that?” At least the Oracle saying that they could see Neo again made it a bit clearer how or why there could be a fourth movie (among other things of course). But there is a long way to go to get there.

So yes, The Matrix Revolutions it is hugely disappointing. It has some great sequences, but the emotions and logic that tie them together never come together. Honestly, it made me less excited for The Matrix resurrections because this movie, and Reloaded to a lesser extent, show that as good as the original Matrix is, maybe it should have stayed that way. We will all find out soon enough.

The three Matrix Movies are broadcast on HBO Max, which is where you can watch Resurrections on December 22 as well.

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