The Matrix Revolutions [retro review]

matrixrevolutionsposter“The purpose of life… is to end.”

The Scoop: 2003 R, directed by Andy & Larry Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving and Monica Bellucci

Tagline: Everything that has a beginning has an end.

Summary Capsule: The war between Zion and the Machines reaches boiling point, can Neo save the day?

richbannerRich’s Rating: I’m so sorry…

Rich’s Review: Imagine you’re a kid, and one Christmas, while you’re opening your presents, you come across a present wrapped in shiny new wrapping paper; and when you open it, inside is a new toy. It does things your old toys never did, its fun and exciting, and pretty soon every kid has one, and everyone agrees that it’s a pretty great toy. The following year, while you’re unwrapping your presents again, you notice that there’s another present in the same shiny wrapping paper; and inside is another new toy. It’s not a much fun as the old one, but it does have new things that flash, and new sound effects, and it’s still fun to play with, and pretty soon everyone’s got one of the new toys as well. Not everyone likes them as much as the old ones, but most of the kids still play with them. And you notice, at the bottom of the present, there’s a note, which says “Just wait ‘till next year…”.

So you wait and wait, and finally Christmas comes around, and sure enough under the tree there’s a present in the same shiny wrapping paper. You’re so excited, you dive straight for the present, and you tear the wrapping off to reveal…

An empty box.

Try to imagine how disappointing that would be. Can you imagine it? I think that’s how I feel right now. I feel like somehow, somewhere, someone has let me down and I don’t know whether to feel upset or angry about it. I’ve also just been to see Matrix: Revolutions; I have a sneaking suspicion the two are connected…

This is about as raw a review as I’ve every written. I got out of the cinema about an hour ago, after going straight from work to see this film. I’ve not read any critical reaction at all, fan or ‘professional’, so by lambasting this film I’ve pretty much guaranteed that it will somehow get wide critical acclaim and make me look like a braying ass; but I’m prepared to stand and fall on my opinion – this film sucked.

I’m not going to talk about the plot really; it’s too soon for everyone to have seen the film, and I don’t want to ruin what fun there is to be had watching Revolutions by denying them the journey of discovery for themselves.. Instead, I’ll talk about how it made me feel; or rather, how it didn’t make me feel. See, I remember going to see The Matrix; and I remember how much it blew me away. I mean the whole ‘is reality real’ thing was hardly a new device, but it was done in such an edgy and cool way that I just fell in love with it. Even Keanu, whose acting credentials were in my opinion somewhere below a block of wood’s, shone through as a character. I loved it, and couldn’t wait for the sequel.

I liked Reloaded for different reasons; sure, it stripped away some of the mystery the first film had, but it introduced us to some interesting concepts and unique characters; The Merovingian, Persephone, The Architect, The Twins…these were people I wanted to see more of, people I was looking forward to see play a greater role in the third film.

Boy, was I taken for a ride.

Revolutions pretty much takes a dump on everything Reloaded accomplished. Liked the characters in Reloaded? Well, keep that DVD handy, because they’re not getting much screen time in Revolutions, and that’s a fact. Monica Belluci’s Persephone, who seemed so important in Reloaded, spends the entirety of her on screen time sat on a couch, and has roughly 4 lines. Thanks for nothing, guys..

Perhaps you liked the aura of mystery surrounding rogue Agent Smith; the guy with the cool one liners and the distaste for Neo? Well, his entire aura of mystery will pretty much be stripped away in a horrible dues ex machina ‘explanation’ where they might as well have had Smith just write “I’m evil, just because” on his forehead.

Looking forward to an explanation for Neo’s coma, and his strange powers outside the Matrix? Well, good luck to you pal, because what you’ve got coming is a pretty lame pointless speech about love and karma, an utterly pointless new character who is in about 10 minutes of the film, and then the entire thing is just whitewashed away as if it never happened. Good job, Wachowski Brothers.

I could go on and on, but I won’t, for fear of making my word processor explode – but in short, every loose end, everything that made you speculate and wonder at the end of Reloaded is dumped on from a great height by something that seems written from the ‘lame book of Hollywood cliché’.

Even the In-Matrix fighting, which everyone loved in both films, barely gets a bit part here; a single very forced sequence at the very beginning, and that it. The cool was gone, and in it’s place…wasn’t anything; just going-through-the-motions we’ll-include-this-stuff-for-the-fans BS which was so obviously bolted on it made Frankenstein’s Monster’s neck attachments look subtle.

Watching Revolutions after watching Reloaded is akin to watching Return of the Jedi only to find out in the first five minutes of the film that Han escaped from the carbonite on his own with no consequences, hooked up with Luke, who’d just managed to prove that Darth wasn’t his father after all, then abandons the Force and the pair of them masquerade as spice miners and manage to blow up the Death Star with a magic button they find in the back of the Millenium Falcon.

Right, lets take a break from the vitriol for a second and discuss what I liked about this film. Don’t worry, vitriol fans – this won’t take long.

Some of the action sequences, specifically the Zion vs. The Machines stuff, is well done and engaging – shame 50% of it was ripped right out of the ‘Big Book Of War Movie Cliches’ and pasted into the script. The visual effects are first class, unsurprisingly, and some of the visual sequences and effects at the end of the film are very clever. That’s it. Back to the vitriol.

OK, just a few more things, and I’ll vent my anger somewhere else. The first is the ending. I’m not going to give it away; but I will say that in the history of film, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more pointless ‘conclusion’ than this. It’s bland. It’s trite. It’s pointless. In all the possible endings I could have envisaged, nothing had prepared me for this.

And my final gripe; it’s a little one, but for me is represents just how insipid this film is. At one point, there is a conversation in the real world between a powerful machine and a human. Now, the machine is just that, looks completely machine-like and spiky – I liked that. However, for this conversation, the machine goes to immense effort to construct a ‘face’ for itself to have this conversation with.

Why? Why would it do that? It obviously doesn’t need a face to talk with – but it creates one, complete with animated lips and facial expressions. What in the name of everything are you thinking?! Do you honestly disrespect your audience that much that you have to put a GIANT ANIMATED FACE on the machine just so we realise it’s talking?! ARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Sorry.

There’s so much more I could say here; but my ire has turned to sadness and regret.. What could have been the shining beacon of sci-fi for generations to come is brought low. Was it ever possible that it might have lived up to expectations? Perhaps THAT is the true philosophical question the Matrix trilogy will leave us discussing.

But in the end, it leaves not with a bang, but a whimper.

alexbanner

Alex’s Rating: Matrix: Revulsions would have been a more accurate title.

Alex’s Review: Just in case you weren’t already aware, having lofty expectations pertaining to things of this nature can be dangerous for ones mental health. I’m talking about sequels to excellent original films, naturally. Holding such hopes tenderly in my cynically reinforced sci-fi-lovin’ heart, I rose to the bait and snatched some Marathon tickets for the premier of this pathetic corpse of a sequel that is Revolutions. You know, because there’s nothing like the smell of rank disappointment in the morning.

I should have seen it coming. Wretched it was. Wretched I felt, and that was even prior to entering the theatre. You see, being the hardcore sci-fi Viking chick that I am, even in the state of suffering a fever, aches and pains, and assorted stomach flu symptoms, I decided to soldier on, determined to make it through the entire marathon. Why? Because of some seriously misplaced expectations, that’s why. I didn’t think it was possible to feel worse than I already did at that point, short of being summarily eviscerated by a horde of rabid squirrels, but I was wrong and painfully so.

The experience went roughly like this:

Things started out well enough, whetting my appetite with the first, and what was easily the best movie of the trilogy. It was remarkable the way I was wowed all over again, seeing the first Matrix film on the big screen for a second time after three years; I immediately craved more, and therein lay the peril. We nerds get greedy for the good stuff when it comes around, and it’s the attempt of film makers to exploit precisely that greed that ends up mis-spawning Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the like. After the unbelievable response The Matrix received, the following two films became a foregone conclusion, and fans spent innumerous hours trying to work out the puzzle.

Reloaded, despite its Frustration Factor as a result of being the “middle sibling”, was actually pretty enjoyable for the possibilities it brought into light. Anticipation and tension were the key elements, and even though I passed out a couple times during the cave rave, and the first big clone fight, I was willing to forgive and move on because I was salivating over finding out how they were going to explain away all the insane questions that were posed by the Wachowskis somewhat-dubious second opus.

This was the true reasoning that sold me on doing the marathon in the first place: I was so convinced the last movie was going to be just as complicated and packed with difficult-to-catch philosophical references and tie-ins to the other two movies, that I felt I really needed to see the other two immediately beforehand in order to follow it properly and get the most out of it. I shouldn’t have bothered. In fact, I should have sought out that horde of rabid rodents and offered myself on a plate to them with a nice side of acorns, as that would have been preferable to the gory demise of my respect for the W bros by watching Revolutions all the way to the end.

As I am sure Rich has gone and detailed his infinite complaints with it (and rightly so), I will save my vitriol for more general usage, touching on some of my larger problems with Revolutions. The worst of it is the wasted potential. Not only did Revolutions fail to implement a single one of the cool possible twists made imaginable by the events depicted in Reloaded, but throughout Revolutions we got so many unexplored storyline loose ends that the movie came to resemble more of a Koosh ball than a well thought-out composition of cinema. Every time a new situation or character was introduced, my brain shifted into figure-it-out gear, anticipating everything from a Heaven & Hell reference (at the Merovingian’s club, with the Train Station representing Purgatory), to several different endings regarding the Super-Smith vs. Neo showdown which I won’t detail here as it would “spoil” the actual ending for you, although I take exception to the notion that anything but actually watching the movie could spoil it for anyone. It spoils itself, and you can take that with as many double entendres as you please, ’cause they’re in there, folks, and they’re meant to be.

The point is, every time Revolutions actually started to dip into that pot of twisty mind-bendy goodness that we’ve come to expect, it copped right out. It’s as good as if the two wunderkinder just threw up their hands and said “Well, we’re too lazy to actually employ any imagination with the last movie…. we’ve got better things to do anyway, like light up Cuban cigars with the hundred-dollar bills that line our pants thanks to the appeal of the original movie. Here’s another pop-culture reference, some babes in vinyl and some CGI, now scram!”.

I won’t even get started on how annoyed I was with the horribly blantant symbolism ripped directly from the Christian How-to-be-a-Martyr Handbook, not to mention my jaw-dropping disgust at finding out that the most complex philisophical concept included was universal balance between Yin and Yang. Yeah, I’ll leave those and more out, because I’m already having enough disturbing flashbacks of the experience just by writing this.

So do yourself a favor, and keep yourself pure if you possibly can – don’t watch Revolutions unless you want to weep uncontrollably out of disillusionment. Make your own Matrix movie if you must have an ending; it couldn’t possibly suck more, plot-wise, than the ‘real’ one.

poolbanner

PoolMan’s Rating: It ends on a “whoa”. A rainbow coloured, cheesy as Wisconsin, unbelievably trite “whoa”. Great.

PoolMan’s Review: (Danger: minor league spoilers follow… nothing you couldn’t have deduced or guessed on your own, but consider yourself warned)

I’ve been asked by everyone I didn’t force to go with me for my birthday (hey gang! Sorry!) what I’ve thought of the third (and not necessarily final) chapter in the Matrix Trilogy, and I have to say, I’m fighting to come to grips on the whole thing. On the one hand, it’s just not a bad movie. It’s definitely of the same vein as Reloaded was (and if you know me, that’s not a bad thing), this time with a lot less preaching about cause and effect, and a lot more shooting robots with uncountable bullets. It’s a high quality action flick, with a little zen and a lot of war cliches. In that regard, it’s not bad. On that level, it’s perfectly enjoyable. Big things go boom. Review over, right? Nope.

Here’s the problem. The original Matrix was a brilliant movie. Not a “not bad” movie, it was great, and stood on its own in a way so few movies do. The Matrix was the template from which countless movies have since stolen their style, effects, and story. It had mystery, philosophy (in tolerable yet intriguing amounts), good characters, and action that, for its release in 1999, was insanely complicated and beautiful. It was a high water mark of 90’s science fiction. As the cynics have been saying for the full four years since the first movie’s release, there’s no way to top that. I had hoped during the interim between The Matrix and Reloaded that they were wrong, and that the sequels would pile on even more style and mystery, and build up to a sum far greater than what we’d already witnessed. I was wrong.

I hate that. Not admitting I was wrong, but what I was wrong about. The Wachowski brothers can be commended for their contributions to sci fi for all the reasons mentioned above, but basically their creative lifespan has done in four years what it took George Lucas a good twenty to get accomplished. They broke their own franchise. That brilliant spark that was The Matrix went from being a movie in the shape of a riddle to a collection of (very strong) action pieces that do little to make you feel better about the story’s conclusion. I’ll give you a hint boys: the conclusion should have come four hours’ worth of screen time ago. What’s really ironic is that considering how isolated the second and third movies are from the first, it would be literally impossible to understand what was happening in the third movie without having seen the previous two. They seem to be so different, yet they’re so interdependant.

Seeing as the only thing Rich didn’t go into was the storyline, here it is, as best as we can tell. Picking up exactly where Reloaded left off, Neo’s not really brain dead, he’s just trapped in a train station between worlds. Morpheus and Trinity go to bargain with the Merovingian to release him, and ultimately succeed. Neo and Trinity take a ship to the Machine City (aka ’01’, if you’re familiar with the Animatrix… I’m surprised they went to the lengths they did to have the story in all these media forms and yet didn’t properly tie them together), while Morpheus and Niobe go back to Zion to set off their EMP against the Sentinels who are still burrowing like mad to get into the city. The squidies succeed in breaching the wall, and a humongous battle follows. Meanwhile, Bane, aboard Neo’s ship, attacks them, and reveals himself to be Smith, complete with “bag o’ meat” suit. However, Neo finally manages to make his way to the AI’s core to propose a deal on how to deal with Smith. Showdowns ensue, and the ending is marginally more surprising than you might think, given how direct and predictable the rest of the movie has been to this point.

The characters have all become parodies of themselves. Neo, poor Neo, has completed his journey from wide-eyed rookie in the machine world to emotionless demigod (it’s an alarming thing to look back on the first Matrix and think how animated Keanu looks compared to his third film self). Trinity switches back and forth between cold and callous to warm and fuzzy so often and so many times it’s a wonder her face doesn’t crack due to thermal stress. Morpheus is reduced to standing around looking concerned and hugging people, and I mean that literally. Hell, the most interesting characters this time out were Han Solo-copy Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and military cliché Mifune (Nathaniel Lees). Even Ian Bliss, who played the Smith-possessed Bane actually does a remarkably good job of aping Hugo Weaving’s voice style and presentation. Sadly, this is Smith’s weakest movie, with fewer and duller lines (and if there’s any one tragedy I really mourn, it’s the reduction of Smith to a cackling bad guy with aspirations of taking over the world). Finally, while the replacement Oracle (Mary Alice) does a good job, and the screenwriters try their best to explain her new face away (not that it’s their fault Gloria Foster died, it’s just too bad), you just get the feeling that the ending would have been so much more poignant with that familiar face and angular haircut staring off into the sunrise.

And yes, it ends on a sunrise. For crying out loud. (If that’s a spoiler to you, you’re giving the Wachowskis entirely too much credit) In the space of three movies, we’ve gone from the entire human race being enslaved by machines in a completely transparent prison to a completely inexplicable ending. Like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, we’re expected to just basically forgive the enemy of its travesties against mankind in favour of just accepting a nice happy ending. Now, I grant you, this actually kind of makes sense in the context of the Animatrix (I’m thinking specifically of The Second Rennaiscance Part I), given that the prehistory of the machines’ war is that they were forced into conflict by the humans after trying to explore countless peaceful methods of coexistence. IF you’ve seen that, then the story is much easier to swallow. If you haven’t, then shame on the screenplay for putting such a rosy cap on the proceedings of the series without properly setting it up. In any event, forcing the machines and humans to cooperate by forcing a rogue third party (Smith) onto both of them is pretty weak. It’s as though the Rebels and Imperials chose to work together in Return of the Jedi because the Hutts rose up against both of them. Resolve the conflict with the third party, and how long would it really take to get back to killin’ each other? Who knows, maybe that’s the Wachowskis idea of a series-ending cliffhanger. Ooh, how long can peace last?

There are genuinely likeable moments that I’d like to point out. First and foremost, a little subtlety went a long way for me in how Trinity reacts to real sunlight. In the heat of the action-packed race into the Machine City, Neo and Trinity are forced above the clouds to escape the city defenders, and they get their first look at the sun. Moss finally managed to really impress me with such a small piece of acting, that the moment really stuck with me. And as cliched as it was, I really liked the quick n’ dirty setup they gave Mifune and the Kid. It’s been done a thousand times before, but I liked it. Funny how the subtler moments can be the most memorable.

To go much further really starts to demand that you discuss spoilerrifc material, and I’d like to do that elsewhere. Much like I did for Reloaded, I could go on and on about things I hated and loved about this movie, and the trilogy as a whole. For now it’s safe to say that unless some suit at Warner Brothers decides that, crappy movie or not, making millions of dollars in a weekend on a sure thing is enough reason to put together a FOURTH Matrix movie (and mark my words, they went to some trouble to make sure this is a plausible path), we’ve seen the end of Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, Smith, and Zion. Too bad we should’ve seen the end two movies ago.

PS: Vitriol. There. Used it.

kylebanner2

Kyle’s Rating: Wait, why was I sober for this?

Kyle’s Review: I was planning to just see this as a rental. I thought Reloaded was interesting but not anything great, and I figured I’d wait and see what people thought of Revolutions before I’d see it in the theater. Needless to say, people were like “This movie sucks!” and “This makes no sense, it’s stupid, worst trilogy ever!” and “Carrie-Anne Moss is a man, baby!” So a rental I was expecting, and a rental I determined Revolutions would be.

But then I go to Las Vegas for Spring Break 2004, and what should be showing at a late show on the IMAX screen at the Luxor but Revolutions. So I was like, hey, why not? I heard it at least had great visuals, so to see it on Imax has gotta improve it from renting it and watching it on my teeny tiny I’m-a-poor-college-student tv. And the short review here is: yeah, the movie does suck, but it was neat to see it on the big 7-story screen. I want to see Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen on this Imax screen! Who’s with me!?! Is anyone with me? Anyone? Oookay.

Let me just get this out of the way: vitriol. Now, I was all prepared to rip Revolutions a new one. In fact, when I got back to my hotel at one in the morning after stumbling around the strip looking for cotton balls (long story), I typed out a crazy and surprisingly coherent negative review. But why bother? It’s all been said, here at MRFH best of all, and in other places a little less cleverly. So I decided to inch away from the negative darkness, and offer up this little bit of praise for Those Who Made the Matrix Trilogy: it was certainly one way to end the insane situation the first film set up.

I mean, The Matrix is a hallmark in style and neo-punk-goth design sensibilities, but it’s hard to watch it and go “oh, yeah, humans are gonna WIN!” Maybe I’m just cynical, or maybe the characters weren’t set up as the glass-half-full hopefuls they could have been, but I finish the first movie and think “Well, good luck but you’re probably screwed.” I could think up cool ways to fight those incredible odds and pull out a victory for humans and for Earth, but I’m not sure how to craft it into workable filming format. Though maybe I will this weekend. I’ll keep you informed.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws here, but I think the W Bros. at least tried to portray a realistic way of ending the war between humans and machines. Granted, to the very end they ripped off my boy Grant Morrison, especially his comic book series The Invisibles where the good guys are ultimately striving to give everyone, even the bad guys, what they want in a perfect world (that’s going to hatch/give birth/be absorbed by the supercontext, but that’s neither here nor there). Revolutions (oh, um, spoilers) gives humans and machines a nice compromise, that only the machines that got blown apart and the humans who got stabbed and/or shot and/or shredded won’t be happy with. But they’re dead, so whatever. It’s not the a-single-bullet-in-the-right-place-can-solve-everything-if-you’re-wearing-cool-sunglasses climax that 90% of us were, perhaps, hoping for, but it is an ending. I guess. I don’t understand it all and I’m left guessing about some of the ending, but it’s 70% of a true ending. Sure.

So if you’ve seen none of the movies, please only watch the original Matrix and stop there. If you’ve seen the first one, don’t watch any more. But if you’ve seen the first two, you might as well see this one. Unless you’d rather dream up a cooler ending in your head and daydream about it for the rest of your life. That could be fun as well, though there’s less chance for buttery popcorn. But those are the sacrifices we must make, in our human war against crappy film experiences. See you at the sunglass store.

clarebanner

Clare’s Rating: Zzzz Zzzz zz Zzzzzzzzz zz zzzzz zz zzz zz zzzzz zzzzzz zzzz zzzzzzz, zzzzzz Zzzzzz zz Zzzz, Zzzzzz ZzZzzzzz’z zzzzz zzzz zzzz’z zz zz zz zzzz zz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz.

Clare’s Review: Zzzzzzz zzzz zzzzz. Zzzz Zzzz zz Zzzzzzzzz zz zz Zzzzzzzzzz zz Zzzzzz zz Zzzz zz zz zzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzzz. Zzzz zzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzz zz Zzzzzz Zzzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zz Zzzz Zzzzzz zzz zzzz zzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzz, zzz Zzzzzz zz Zzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzz zzzzz Zzzz Zzzz zz Zzzzzzzzz zzzz zzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzz zzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzzzzz zzzz zz zz zz zzz, zzzz zzzzzz zz’z zzzzzzzz z zzzz zzzzzz zzzzz. Z’z zzzz zz zzzzzzz zzz zzzz.

Zzzzz, zzz’z zzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzz zzz zzzzz zzzzzz zzz.

Zzzzzz zz Zzzz zz zzzzz z zzzz zzzz (Zzzzz Zzzzzzzz) zzzzz zzzz zzzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zz zzzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzz (Zzzz Zzzzz) zzz zzzzzzzz zz zzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zzz. Zzz zzzz zzzzzz zzzz’z zzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzz zzz, zzzz zzzz zzzzz zzz z zzzz zzz zz zzz zzzzzz (Zzzzzz ZzZzzzzz) zzz zzzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzz’z zz zzzz zz zz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zz zzzz zzz. Zzz zzzzzz zz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz (Zzzzz Zzzzzz), zzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzzzzz zz zzzzz zzzzzzz zz zzz zzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz zzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzz zzzzz zz zzzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzzz zzz zzzz zz zzzzzzzzzz z zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzzz. Zzzz zzzz’z zzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzz zz zzz zzzzz zz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzz’z zzzz zzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzz zzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzz.

Zz zzz zzz zzzz zzz zzzzzz zzz zz zzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz zzzz zzz, zzz zzzzz z zzzzzzz zzzz zzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zz zz zz zz zz zzzzzz, zzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz zzz zz zzz zzzz zzzzzzz zz zz zzzzzzzzzz z zzzzzzzzz zzzz zzz, zzzz zzz zzzzz zzzz zzzz zz zzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz, zzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzz zzzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzz, zzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzz zz zzz zzzzzzz zzz zzz zzzz zzzzzzzzzz, zzzz zzzzzz zz’z z zzzz zzz zzzzz’z zzzzzzz zzz zzz zzz’z z zzzzz zzz zzz’z zzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzzzzz zzzzz zzzz z zzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz, zzzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzzzz.

Zzzz Zzzz zz Zzzzzzzzz zz zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzz z zzzzzz zzzzzz. Zz zz, zzzz zzz (Zzzz Zzzzzz) zz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzz (Zzzz Zzzzzz Zzzzzzzzz) zzz’z zzzzzzzz zzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zzz. Zzz zzzz zzzzzz zzzz’z zzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzz zzz, zzzz zzz zzzzz zzz z zzzz zzzz zz zzz zzzzzz (Zzzz Zzzzzzzz) zzz zzzzz zzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zz zzzzzzz, zz zzzz, zzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzz. Zzz zzzzzzz zzz zz z zzzzzzzzz (Zzzzz Zzzzzzz), zzzzzzz zzzz zzz’z zzzzzzz zzz zz zzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zz zz’z zzzz zzz zz zz, zzzzzz zzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzz. Zzzz zzzz, zz zz zzzzzzz zz zzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz, zzzzzz zz zz zz z zzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzz zz zzz zzzzzzzz zz zzz. Zzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzz, zz z zzzzzz zzzzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzz zzz zzz zzz zzzz, zzzz zzz zzzz zz zzzz zzz zzzz zzz’z zzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzz zz zzzzz’z zzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzz’z zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzzzz. Zz zzzzzzzzz.

Zz zzz zzz, zzzz zzz zzzzz zzzz zzzz zz z zzzzzz-zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzz, zzzz zzz zz zz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz’z zzzz zzz zzz zzzzz zzzzz zzzz zzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzz zzz zzz zzzzzzz zz zzz zzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzz zz zzzzz zzzz zz zzzzz zzzzzzz zzz zzzz zz zzzz zzzzzz zzz zzzzz zzz zzzz zzz zzzzz zz zz zz zzz zzz zzz z zzzzz zz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzz. Zzz zzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzz z zzzzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzz zzzzzz zz zzzzzz zz zzzz zzzz zzz. Zzzz zzz zzzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzz zzzz, zzz zzzzz z zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzz zzzzzzz (zzz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzzzzzzz) zzzz zzzzz.

Zz Z zzz zz zzzz zzz zzzz zzzzzz Z zzzz Zzzz Zzzz zz Zzzzzzzzz zzzz zzzz Zzzzzz zz Zzzz zz zzzzz zzzz zz zz zzz zzzzzzz. Z zzzzz Zzzz Zzzzzz zzz Zzzz Zzzzzz Zzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzz zzzzzzzz, zzzzz Zzzzz Zzzzzzzz zzz Zzzzzz ZzZzzzzz zzzz zzz zz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz zzz zzzz zzzz. Zzzz, zzz zzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zz ZZZZ zzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzz zzzz zz zzzzzz zzzzzz zz zzzz zzz zzzzz zzzzz. Zzzz zz ZZZZ zzz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzz zzzz’z zzzzzz zz zzz zz z zzzzzz zzzzz zzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzzz zzzzz zz Zzzzzz zz Zzzz zz’z zzzz zzzz zz zz z zzzzzzz zzzz zzz zzz zzzzzzzz.

drewbanner

Drew’s Rating: Lord, what fools these mortals be…

Drew’s Review: I have a dream, some nights. I can’t explain why I have it, but I do — it’s there when I awaken, gnawing at me, taunting me, like a splinter in my mind. I’m convinced that it means something.

It’s always the same, this dream. Like coming out of a fog, I find myself wearing a business suit, and somehow I know that I’m a studio executive. What’s more, I’m on my way to meet with Larry and Andy Wachowski, just finished shooting the last film of the Matrix trilogy. As I walk, a fellow executive falls into step beside me. Seen the final cut?, he asks; as if in a trance, I feel myself nod slowly. He sighs and tells me to let him do the talking.

Suddenly I find that we’re on the set, standing right in front of the brothers. A conversation ensues, which I’ve taken great pains to remember and transcribe here for you. Here is what is said:

Larry: Hey, Phil! Get a chance to watch the final cut yet?

Phil: Well, I-

Andy: Brilliant, isn’t it? My God, we’re geniuses. And handsome.

Phil: Er, yes, very attractive. But the film, it’s… uh, it’s…

Larry: Yes?

Phil: Well look, now guys – you know how much you mean to the studio, don’t you?

Andy: I should bloody well hope so, we’ve made you all fabulously wealthy. And ourselves, of course.

Phil: Right, right. I mean, you know how much I loved The Matrix… absolutely stunning! Okay, so maybe not an entirely new idea-

Larry: Wait, what?

Phil: I don’t know, someone keeps e-mailing me about this Grant Morrison person or something. Whatever, the point is, you executed it so well! The action, the spiritual references, the cyber-cool stylishness of it all… I mean, that was just cinematic gold, is what it was!

Andy: Damn straight! We’re spectacular.

Phil: Sure, sure. And then you hit us with Reloaded. And, okay, so maybe not quite as impressive as the first one-

Larry: …

Phil: -maybe some of the mystery was gone, maybe expectations were too high… maybe that speech at the end no one could understand was just a little too inscrutable… but even so, I mean, that was still really cool. I loved it, audiences liked it, everyone was salivating for more.

Andy: Right, so-

Phil: -you released a DVD of 9 animated shorts to tide people over, I know. And again, I have to say… well done. Sure, some of them were a little blah – I mean, what was UP with that psychedelic robot story?-

Larry: Well, it’s-

Phil: -but by and large, good stuff. Which brings us to Revolutions.

Larry: Exactly. And? Don’t keep us in suspense.

Phil: It’s… well, it’s…

Andy: “Brilliant” is the word you’re looking for, chum!

Phil: Ah. Well, a lot of the actors did very good jobs; I mean, that guy imitating Hugo Weaving – quite well done. And of course, the visual effects look great. Nice choreography. But, uh… hmm. I’m guessing you two have seen Return of the Jedi?

Andy: I… might have, once. A very long time ago. I don’t really remember. Why?

Phil: Oh, uh, nothing major, just… um, couple of things I picked up on. That whole part in Revolutions where the second-tier hero character has to fly a borrowed ship through a narrow tunnel while being pursued, and in the process bangs the top of the ship against the wall? And their friends have to take down a shield manually, or the ship won’t make it?

Larry: Yep. We came up with that stuff. Us.

Phil: Oooo… kay. Well, and the part where the heroes try to bargain with a local crime lord to regain their friend, but eventually have to resort to violence instead?

Andy: Us.

Phil: …rrrrrrright. Though I have to say that some of the music really is pretty darn simi-

Larry: Different. Completely different. Right, Andy?

Andy: Absolutely. We wanted a totally different sound from that movie I don’t think I’ve ever seen.

Phil: Well, there were… there were definitely differences too. Although, replacing the techno beat of the original’s fights with operatic, valkyrie-style music?

Larry: Yeah, baby! We know what the kids like to see! And hear.

Phil: Okay, okay, but the Wizard of Oz-style face for the machines talking to Neo?

Andy: Hey, lots of people use giant faces in movies!

Larry: …while still being completely original.

Andy: Right.

Phil: The homages to your own first movie?

Larry: Um… just keeping it real.

Phil: And Agent Smith? You never explain what caused him to mutate in the first place. Or why he could fly now. Or what gave him control over the weather in the Matrix. And for God’s sake, guys – the coolest bad guy ever, and you give him a villainous cackle?!?

Andy: Well, we… we just…

Larry: I mean, we just thought…

Phil: Did you? Did you really think, guys? I wonder. Or did you become so obsessed with special effects and cyber-punk atmosphere that you completely forget what made everyone love your first movie?

Andy: …

Larry: …

Phil: …that’s what I thought. What are we going to do about this, guys? There’s no time to shoot an entirely new movie. The studio certainly won’t put up the money. You’re going to have to work nonstop, day and night for the next two weeks turning this… this thing into something your fans actually want to see.

Andy: Or…

Phil: “Or”? There’s an “or”? What “or”?

Andy: Or we could make it even worse!

Phil: WHAT?!

Larry: Yeah, yeah! I mean, our contract with the studio has no quality clause. Think of what we can do, Andy! Those flying monkeys we wanted!

Phil: But-

Andy: Another rave scene! No, two! Agent slap fights! And we can digitally cover up Monica Bellucci’s cleavage!

Me: NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

[At this point in my dream, I suddenly realize the two brothers have… changed. No longer are they clad in grungy jeans and t-shirts- now they wear drab suits, sunglasses, earpieces, and identical haircuts.]

Larry: You can’t win, Phil.

Andy: You know, just as we know, that the studio doesn’t care. As long as it makes money.

Larry: And with the fanbase we’ve built up, it will make money.

Andy: Lots of it.

Larry: Tons.

Andy: We can do whatever we want.

Larry: Anything.

Andy: It is… inevitable.

Larry: Go home, Phil. Leave, both of you, and hope we don’t alter the movie any further. Believe whatever you want to believe, but this is our world – we guard every door, we hold every key. We WILL show these people a film you don’t want them to see, and they will make us rich for it. They are, after all-

Both: Only human.

As they turn to face me, I always awaken with a start, my sheets drenched in sweat. But my heart pounding, willing myself to breathe normally, their final words continue to echo through my head…

“Sometimes, dreams really do come true. Never forget that… Mr. Anderson.”

Grumpy Bear is not happy without his sunglasses

Grumpy Bear is not happy without his sunglasses

Intermission!

  • The return of ‘The Kid’ from the Animatrix short of the same name?
  • The horrible underuse of all of the returning characters.
  • Oh, I can’t go on with this. What I really want to say is ‘Didja Notice = all the ways they screwed this movie up’. I guess I’m just too fired up right now.
  • In the scene where Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph are chasing the Trainman, an advertisement for Tastee Wheat can be seen. Tastee Wheat was mentioned in The Matrix when Mouse was trying to describe the food in the real world.
  • The Oracle wears Yin-Yang earrings.
  • Keanu’s stunt double’s face gets a lot more screen-time than in any of the other films (I spotted him at least three times without specifically looking for him)
  • Smith has a pretty insane badguy laugh.
  • The park bench the Oracle sits on at the end has a plaque that reads “In Memory of Thomas Anderson”.
  • The scene duplication of the flashlight on the apparently inert Sentinel scarily echoes the Alien series.
  • It’s usually not good practise to leave a suspected psychotic traitor alone in a room with a doctor and an array of nice, pointy instruments.
  • While the Sentinels’ attack pattern looks pretty cool, why would they ever do it that way? You’d figure they’d spread out so they AREN’T all bunched up and easy to shoot.
  • So the Kid, whose previous military experience is pushing a wheelbarrow full of ammo around, is able to jump in an APU in an inverted position, right it, and pilot it?
  • The “what the hell?” look between Morpheus and Trinity upon seeing the Oracle’s new face.
  • You get the feeling Lawrence Fishburne got his script and said “Um, where do *I* get to do anything?”
  • Eva Mendes, Samantha Mumba, Brandy and Tatyana Ali were all rumored to be possible replacements for the character of Zee. Nona M. Gaye (daughter of late Motown legend Marvin Gaye) was cast in the role.
  • Gloria Foster died before she could complete any scenes for the third film and Mary Alice took the role of the Oracle.
  • This was the first film to premiere in the brand new Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
  • In an unprecendented simultaneous global release, this film opened at exactly the same moment in every major city in the world on November 5: 6am in Los Angeles, 9am in New York, 2pm in London, 5pm in Moscow, 11pm in Tokyo, 1am in Sydney and at corresponding times in over 50 additional countries worldwide.

Groovy Quotes

Agent Smith: Mr. Anderson! Welcome back, we missed you.
[Agent Smith pauses and looks around at the multitude of clones he has created.]
Agent Smith: Like what I’ve done with the place?

Sati: The Oracle told me about you?
Agent Smith: Really? What did she say?
Sati: She said you were a bad man…
Agent Smith: Really? I’m not so bad, once you get to know me…

[The council are talking to Lock and Morpheus]
Councillor: Captain, do you really think we have a chance of survival?
Lock: I really don’t think you want to ask me that question, Councillor; [indicates Morpheus] you want to ask him.
Councillor: And why is that?
Lock: Because he’s the one that believes in miracles.

The Oracle: Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming, I see the darkness spreading. I see death… and you are all that stands in his way. If you cannot stop him tonight, then I fear tomorrow will never come.

Smith: It was, after all, through your life that I learned the purpose of all life. The purpose of life… is to end.

Oracle: You really are a bastard.
Smith: Well, you should know, mom.

[the Sentinels have stopped attacking]
Niobe: What are they doing?
[Morpheus slowly puts his gun down]
Niobe: What are YOU doing?

Niobe: [about the ship she’s piloting] Damn, she’s got a fat ass!

Trinity: [to the Merovingian] What’s it gonna be, Merv?

If you liked this movie, try these:

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: V For Vendetta [Retro Review] « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  2. Pingback: Kyle does The Matrix « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  3. Pingback: Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder | Mutant Reviewers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s