Compiled by: Jack Foley
THE success of The Matrix franchise is probably beyond the wildest
dreams of anyone involved in it, so it comes as little surprise
to find that its main stars look back on the experience with such
The journey began, in 1999, when Neo and co first gave George
Lucas Star Wars franchise a run for its money, and hasnt
really looked back since.
Reloaded, the second film in the series, opened in May this year,
and has since earned over $735 million in worldwide box office,
making it the highest-grossing film of 2003 so far and the highest-grossing
R-rated film in history, both in the US and abroad.
Additionally, Reloaded scored the record for the largest single
week ever, with $158.2 million and reached the $150 million mark
in a record-breaking six days in America, while internationally,
it has become the tenth highest grossing film of all time.
Its spectacular conclusion, Revolutions, opened on Wednesday
last week (at the same time around the world, thereby creating
another first), and has already proved tremendously
popular with audiences, who look set to help it break new records.
Speaking ahead of the release of the film, however, its stars
were suitably gushing about their involvement in the movies.
Keanu Reeves, who plays Neo, said he felt really proud
to be a part of them, adding that each of the three films
are all very special to me.
But he remains satisfied that writer-directors, the Wachowski
brothers, have brought his characters journey to a satisfactory
"He starts to make his own decisions in Revolutions,"
he explains. "There's a moment in the film where Neo makes
a decision and Morpheus says: "Is that what the Oracle told
you?" And he says, "No." He's gained his own way
now. Or, at least, is finding his way
"In the first film, Morpheus instructs my character to free
his mind. And I think he's gained sight progressively through
Looking back on the franchise as a whole, Reeves confesses to
having several fond memories, not least the numerous battles he
has enjoyed with Hugo Weavings arch-villain, Agent Smith.
For Revolutions, their hostilities climax in what has been dubbed
as the super burly brawl, a 20-minute, rain-soaked
sequence, which furthers the technical achievements of everyone
involved in creating the films distinctive action scenes.
Yet despite the size of the challenge ahead of the actors, when
the time came to film it, Reeves really enjoyed the experience.
"The final battle between Neo and Smith took quite a long
time," he admits. "And we did it in rain, so there were
certain elements to it that made it a little more difficult.
"Hugo and I oftentimes couldn't see each other, because
of the rain, so we were fighting just by feel. But we had fought
so much together by then, for almost two or three years, that
on the first take, when the rain fell, we started to do our fight
and we couldn't see, but we could do it. It was cool."
The brawl is something that the makers, themselves, are particularly
proud of, particularly the big money shot, courtesy
of the virtual cinema techniques employed, that enables them to
depict, in unprecedented detail, the surreal final impact of Neos
fist colliding with Agent Smiths face, and thereby creating
an impossible event captured at impossible camera angles as the
action shifts between super slow motion and supersonic speed.
The moment aspires to be the most photo-real, dynamically moving
computer-generated close-up of a human face ever created to date
and, to commemorate the achievement, the Wachowski brothers and
producer, Joel Silver, had three-dimensional sculptures of the
final result crafted into bronze medallions, which were given
to guests at each of the three Revolutions premieres, in Los Angeles,
Sydney and Tokyo.
It is clear, from talking to any of the principle people involved
in the three movies, that the experience will be something they
carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Laurence Fishburne, for instance, insists that the making of
the films will shape the rest of his life and career, and is gushing
in praise of his co-stars.
"I dont think its an accident that Im
a part of this," he observes. "I think it was perhaps
my destiny. I love Morpheus and hes probably the character
I will be most remembered for.
"And everyone that I spent time with, making these films,
will be part of who I am for the rest of my life."
And talking more specifically about his relationship with Reeves,
he adds: "Keanu and I had a great time. He is probably one
of the most generous people I know.
"He's got a great sense of humor, great intelligence and
great sensitivity, and it's been an honour and a joy to get to
know him, and to become friends with him."
The final major star of the series, Carrie-Anne Moss, who plays
Trinity, is similarly excited about her involvement, even though
the experience of filming proved quite painful, as she broke her
leg when performing some of the wire work.
For Revolutions, fans of the Trinity character can look forward
to yet more action sequences, and the continuation of her relationship
In terms of action, though, the Club Hell sequence, at the beginning
of the film, rates as one of her fondest memories, because the
pressure to get every move right and be in sync with all the squibs
and the explosions was immense.
"I was also nervous about getting back on the wire again
after breaking my leg, but Chad and the wire team really helped
me out," she recalls. "I wound up nailing a couple of
big moves in one take, and got a hurrah! from the
brothers, which is really rare for me."
And talking of her relationship, on-screen, with Reeves, she
believes that it evolves to the deepest place that it can.
"Their partnership is complete," she says, "and
I love the relationship between the two of them. I don't really
remember seeing such a relationship in an action film where they
are that close with one another. It's so real."
As for the completion of the franchise itself, she concludes:
"I really want to celebrate. It has been such a great ride
and I think people are really going to love it."
The film is currently on general release at cinemas across the