Oh no! Hollywood marketed as "blockbuster" a movie that makes us think! Run away, all you misled brain-dead film critics, to your sheltered life of ghey appliance secks!
Everywhere I look, would-be film critics are bashing The Matrix Revolutions. The always objective Jon Stewart, for example, repeatedly explained to Will Ferrell that Revolutions "bloooows." (Three thoughts on Jon Stewart, by the way: (1) he's well acquainted with what sucks, and what blows; (2) he is incapable of original thought, choosing instead to offer only those "opinions" he's pretty well sure that the audience will agree with; and (3) he's one of the worst interviewers out there. Lewis Black and the show's correspondents ought to be praised for making The Daily Show worth watching DESPITE Jon Stewart's overall suckiness.)
The point of this review isn't to nitpick other reviewers' comments, or even to call them all stupid--my usual tack. In fact:
There's legitimate room for disagreement about the merits of this movie. But I liked it, just as I liked Reloaded. The real problem behind both movies--which explains the mixed reaction to them--boils down to the ever-present spectre that, despite our best wishes, movies are still all about money. It costs a lot of money to make a movie, and the public is so fickle that movie execs are generally unwilling to green-light an expensive production without some assurances that people will go to see it. That's why there are so many stupid sequels, like Spy Kids 8: Stupid Kids Doing Stupid Things during the Puberty Years, or Look Who's Talking This Time: John Travolta's Ass.
Sure enough, the first of the Matrix triology succeeded because of its then-landmark special effects, unique plot and basic coolness. So, of course, movie producer idiot people salivate at the idea of making blockbuster sequels and duping the public into buying $8 movie tickets while consuming crappy-tasting $6 popcorn and watered-down $4 sodas while filling Internet forums to raise even more awareness about why other people should go get crappy-tasting $6 popcorn and watered-down $4 sodas to go with their $8 movie tickets, which also puts the movie audience at Hollywood's mercy because you have a captive audience for commercials and endless previews about movies like Enter the Scary Scary Door and Honey, I Shot the Kid in the Face. So they order that Reloaded and Revolutions get made, preferably with more neato special effects and 30-minute fight sequences to wow the audience into submission.
Unfortunately for those expecting a vacuous blockbuster with cool guns, cool characters and explosions, we get Reloaded, the movie whose only real purpose was to advance the story's plot enough to set up the final showdown in Revolutions. And the movie-going public, disappointed with what is actually an interesting philosophical movie that was poorly marketed as a blockbuster, declares en masse that it "blooows." Which doesn't bode well for Revolutions because it isn't intended to tie everything up into a nice, neat little package like the moviegoing public needs. So, if you didn't like Reloaded or Revolutions, chances are that you were expecting the blockbuster that Hollywood mis-marketed, instead of the quirky philosophical movies that the Wachowski brothers seem to have intended. After all, nifty special effects are expensive, so the film-makers had to include enough of them to get people to come to the movie to pay for the effects that caused people to come to the movie. In its purest form, this is once again a "Hollywood sucks" rant disguised as a movie review. Ha ha, I duped you with a fancy-looking review image in the same way that Hollywood fooled you with special effects. Man, you really are STUPID.
There have been so many war movies since the dawn of time that it's almost impossible to tell a war story that hasn't been done before. Instead, every war movie has a bunch of overused cliches and stupid dialogue. I hoped that Revolutions would be different:
Unfortunately, this movie has more than its fair share of stupid dialogue, to wit:
Morpheus: You did it!
Niobe: No, we all did it.
Neo: What do you want?
Oracle: The same thing you want.
And that conversation goes on for awhile. Besides, the Oracle spent almost as much time explaining why she looked different than the previous Oracle (because original Oracle Gloria Jackson died during filmmaking) as she did actually providing Neo with useful information:
Morpheus: You look different. What happened to your face?
Oracle: We all have to pay a price for meddling. This is the price I had to pay.
Wait... what? What kind of explanation is that?
There's nothing wrong with a movie that leaves more questions than answers. This goes back to demanding-ass movie critics who, no matter the outcome, will stoke their ego by trashing the movie:
Formula for Criticizing Movies!
If the movie raises no questions at all: call it "vacuous" and empty, much ado about nothing!
If the movie raises questions but lets the viewer decide the answers: say the movie leaves too many questions unanswered!
If the movie undertakes to answer philosophical questions: it's "preachy," "insulting" and "pretentious"! Yay, now I can go collect my movie critic paycheck without having to expend any original energy!
If the sort of questions that are raised are philosophical in nature, I'd just as soon that the movie-makers let me draw my own conclusions from them, as the Wachowski brothers have done. After all, I can appreciate a movie that, several days later, I'm still thinking about and trying to figure out.
Spoiler (click if you want to read it, otherwise ignore)
There are some very real, interesting philosophical discussions raised by this trilogy and, if you're interested, I would highly recommend a series of articles (that I linked to above) that touch on these philosophical issues. On a more base level, I am generally displeased that super-hottie Monica Bellucci has no real purpose in this movie. Why they didn't make her Neo's love interest is beyong me. Nothing against Carrie Anne Moss, but I never saw what it was that Neo and Trinity had in common, other than a mutual appreciation for trenchcoats, hair gel and sunglasses.
In short, if you're looking for a run-of-the-mill action blockbuster with very little substance to it, you'll probably be disappointed by Revolutions. If you liked Reloaded (which I did), expect more of the same from Revolutions--but be sure to re-watch Reloaded before you go, or you'll be confused for awhile.
|Originality||This movie actually interested me in basic philosophy.||5|
|Acting||I still don't understand the chemistry between Neo and Trinity. Also, stupid dialogue at times.||3|
|Soundtrack||I miss the techno-industrial stuff. The Gregorian chant thing is starting to get overused.||3.5|
|Effects/Presentation||Not ground-breaking, but still terrific Wire Fu!||4.5|
|Storyline||More than just a "Neo=Messiah" plot.||5|
|Final Verdict: 4.2|