Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Revolutions Recalibrated (behind the
scenes overview). CG Revolution; Super Burly Brawl - view the
final Neo/Smith showdown with storyboards and behind the scenes
footage; Follow The White Rabbit; Neo Realism: The Evolution of
Bullet Time; Super Big Mini Models; Double Agent Smith; Mind over
Matter: The Physicality of The Matrix; Future Gamer The Matrix
Online. 3-D Evolution; Before The Evolution (3-D timeline including
the movie trilogy, The Animatrix and Enter The Matrix); Theatrical
EVERYTHING that has a beginning has an end, and so it is with
some regret that we must finish our journey with Neo, Trinity,
Morpheus and co, as one of the greatest science-fiction trilogies
of all time draws to its close.
But once the dust has settled, and the final punches have been
thrown, was the journey worth taking, and can Revolutions bring
the franchise to a satisfactory conclusion?
The answer is both yes and no, given the film's ability to frustrate
and delight in equal measure.
Picking up pretty much exactly where Reloaded left off, Revolutions
finds Neo (Keanu Reeves) drained of power, and adrift in a no
man's land between the Matrix and the Machine World.
While Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) holds vigil, Morpheus (Laurence
Fishburne), attempts to come to terms with the revelation that
the One, in which he invested a life's worth of faith, is merely
another system of control invented by the architects of the Matrix.
To make matters worse, Zion is hours from collapse, as the Machine
army bores its way into their stronghold, intent on the total
annhilation of mankind, while the rogue programme, Agent Smith
(Hugo Weaving), emerges as a bigger threat to the Machines than
the humans themselves, threatening to destroy everything and everyone
he comes into contact with.
With so many loose ends to tie up, and given the nature of the
psychological arguments put forward at the end of Reloaded, it
is little wonder to find that Revolutions has trouble realising
the sum of its ambitions, and disappoints on a number of levels.
Questions remain unanswered, while the film has a tendency to
become bogged down by its special effects.
So much effort has gone into sequences such as the Battle for
Zion, and the climactic Super Burly Brawl between Neo and Smith,
that there seems even less time for explanation and deliberation
than ever before.
And while said sequences are mightily impressive, raising the
bar still further in terms of what we have seen, one is left pining
for the comparative simplicity of the first film, in which the
effects and fight sequences dazzled without ever threatening to
jeopardise the elements which made the story so great.
At its best, Revolutions recaptures the excitement of those early
days, particularly during an early exchange, in Club Hell, between
Trinity and Morpheus and Lambert Wilson's marvellously sly Merovingian,
while also serving up an exhilarating variation on the infamous
lobby scene from the original.
Yet at its most over-indulgent, the film overdoses on spectacle,
never more so than in that final fight scene, which promises more
than it ultimately delivers.
So much hinges on the outcome of the fight between Neo and Smith
that the resolution ultimately feels something of a letdown, even
though the film's money shot (the impact of Neo's fist colliding
with Smith's face in unprecedented detail) is as spectacular as
could have been hoped for!
But then ending has never been something that any of the Matrix
movies have been particularly good at, especially given their
propensity for leaving things open.
And so, despite being promised that this is the final chapter,
certain revelations and discussions, post-set pieces, offer the
possibility of more to follow, should the Wachowskis ever be convinced
to do so.
Disappointments aside, however, there is still plenty to admire,
with the dark tone a welcome change from the usual saccharine-laced
And in terms of technical achievements and visceral pleasure,
the Matrix continues to be peerless, setting new benchmarks for
the rest to follow, and remaining consistently intriguing and
It's just that, rather than feeling overwhelmed, as we did, when
the original first enthralled us, there is an inclination to feel
underwhelmed by the finale.
While the decision to invest so much time on effects means that
the impact of the emotional stuff suffers somewhat too, leaving
you with the feeling that it is the machines (or the effects creators)
that have emerged as the overall victors when all is said and
Revolutions, while brilliant in places, falls some way short,
therefore, of achieving the classic status you feel it deserves.
But that shouldn't stop you from seeing it!