Chapter Three of the Matrix series finds Neo in a coma and those creepy sentinels digging ever so closer to the last human settlement of Zion (no word on if it is near the National Park of the same name). Turns out, our hero is caught between two worlds (not for long thanks to the work of Trinity, Morpheus, and Seraph – who I think needs his own movie) and has to figure out what to do to stick it to the machines. In the meantime, the machines are a drillin’ down to Zion, and our favorite nemesis Agent Smith is quickly replicating.
Not quite as heavy handed as Reloaded, Revolutions manages to tie everything up in a spectacular entertaining way, but in the end, I felt short changed. The other two movies spent time building up Neo as the one, and when we get the big ending what happens? They spend way toooo much time on the machines attacking Zion angle. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the scene and thought it was a tremendous piece of film making, but I wanted more Neo, less machine attacks. I did get a cool Neo v. Smith showdown, but as the big battle scene was raging, I kept looking at my watch thinking “when are they gonna get back to Neo”. Maybe they just didn’t have that much material for him. Maybe they realize Keanu Reeves is better with less dialogue. Who knows? I think the best scenes of the movie all involved him and his quest, and the relative dearth of them in this flick hurt it. And maybe it is because I like Star Trek, but Councilor Hamann (Anthony Zerbe) looked suspiciously like Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) in Star Trek Insurrection – so while I watched both Reloaded and Revolutions, I kept waiting for him to betray the humans.
The first Matrix movie was cool in that it had a bit of everything and was an innovative piece of film making with a solid story and some hints to a cool philosophical musings. I think the second and third one only suffer by comparison because the first was so unique. Taken together, they still are great films, but will never recapture the magic of the first one — when it was all ‘new’. Sequel making is difficult at best — especially when the first film builds up a rabid fan base (just ask George Lucas how unforgiving fans are). Like Star Wars, all things Matrix will have to live up to that first time — and inevitably all will fail because the magic is gone.
If you have invested the time in the either of the first two Matrix film, you have to see the third — if for nothing than to get some resolution. Though, come to think of it, the ending was a bit open ended, so who knows we might be seeing more Animatrix movies or perhaps a series on Cartoon Network. Only the Oracle knows.