The Matrix Revolutions

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The Matrix Revolutions
Review (9/10)
(By Alex Riviello)

Everything that has a beginning has an end. This is it. The end of the trilogy. Are you ready for it? The first Matrix is an undeniable sci-fi masterpiece and has permanently become a part of our culture. This year The Matrix Reloaded was released, and while there were people who were disappointed with it, I am not one of those people. So how does the 3rd stack up to the first 2?

The movie picks up right where the last one left off - with Neo in a coma, laying on a table next to the man possessed by Smith. He's stuck in another place right now, between the real world and the Matrix. Unfortunately for him, the area is controlled by the Merovingian, who owns the only train that can transport people to the Matrix. Morpheus and Trinity learn of Neo's plight from the Oracle (played in this one by Mary Alice, who replaces the deceased Gloria Foster) and go back to him to bargain for Neo's release. Meanwhile, Zion is preparing for the attack from hundreds of thousands of sentinels. And in the Matrix, Agent Smith is taking control - becoming the mother of all plagues and taking over the entire planet. Where does it all go from here? Don't worry, you will find out yourself, but rest assured, it's the perfect ending for this trilogy. It's actually pretty sad to know this is your last time with this world.

All the actors are excellent as they reprise their roles, but Hugo Weaving seems to be having the most fun with it. In this one Smith has finally decided to stop suppressing his emotions and basically goes mad. It's fun to see. The actor who plays the man Smith possesses in the real world (Ian Bliss) pulls off a perfect imitation of Weaving's style...and is just as menacing. Mary Alice is a great Oracle. In the "Enter The Matrix" video game she only has a few lines and doesn't come off too well, but rest assured, she's much better in the movie. Jada Pinkett Smith gets a much bigger role in this movie, and she's very convincing as she steers her ship in one of the more exciting moments in the film. And what of our hero, Neo? Keanu's great, as he has been in this entire series. The people who criticize his acting must have nothing better to do, because if you watch all the movies, you'll see how much he's evolving this character. Great performances all around.

The pace starts off slow, with a lot of deep conversations and explanations to some of the questions raised in the second film. Some people might be put off by the pace - but it soon it kicks into high gear about a half hour into it, and doesn't let up for the rest of the movie. It's much darker than the other two films, but the tone fits with what's going on with the story. The people who didn't like Reloaded will probably not have a different opinion of Revolutions. There are a few faults with this movie. The first is by not opening up with an action sequence. It happened in the last two, and I expected something similar here, but it doesn't happen. Not to say the beginning is bad - not at all - just not what you'd expect from it. The other is that some of the main characters from the past films have far less screen time in this one. Considering that this is the last time you'll be seeing these people, you want to see as much of them as you can. Revolutions has a lot of the same style as its prequel - long philosophical discussions, visual style to spare, and amazing drawn-out battles.

Speaking of the battles - they are simply incredible. The longest part of the film is the siege of Zion, and the effects work here is at a level never before seen in film. Watching gigantic mechs shooting down hundreds and hundreds of sentinels is a literally jaw dropping experience, made even greater by the fact that the shots never have to pull away because of bad FX work. The ultimate, final battle between Neo and Smith is equally stunning. Producer Joel Silver described it as "comic book battle between two superheroes wrecking havoc on the world" and that's exactly what it is. Two invulnerable beings fighting on the ground and in the air, just destroying the environment around them. The blows are ridiculous - they cause shockwaves - and the fight goes on and on as you sit there stunned - or leap up screaming and cheering. It's made even greater by the music - Don Davis really nailed the score. The use of a chorus in a few of his songs make the fights that much greater.

An interesting note is that there is no Rage Against the Machine song at the end - unlike the first two. In fact, there are no bands at all in the movie, with the score taking the forefront here. The track played during the final confrontation, Neodammerung, is one of the most epic songs I've ever heard. This is one soundtrack I will have no problems buying in stores. Damn, first Kill Bill and now this? It's a great time for fans of movie music.

So go see this movie. Even the people who complain (unfairly) about Reloaded's faults will be entertained by the action. The fans of the plot will finally see the series come to a poignant conclusion. The story has come full circle. The Matrix has now set itself as one of the greatest trilogies in film history.

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