26 September 2004 | Buddy-51
'The Matrix Revolutions' is the much-anticipated conclusion to the Wachowski Brothers' cultic sci-fi trilogy, whose previous entries were 'The Matrix' and 'The Matrix Reloaded.' In the series' final installment, the messiah figure, Neo, does battle with the diabolical forces that have imprisoned most of humanity in a world of cyber unreality via a massive computer program known as The Matrix.
Of the three films, 'Revolutions' is definitely the least imaginative and the least interesting. What separated the first two episodes in the series from most other action films was the willingness on the part of the filmmakers to bring some thematic depth and narrative complexity to a genre that, all too often, finds no room for such qualities. The previous two films didn't always succeed in their endeavor - often emerging as more hollow and pretentious than meaningful and profound - but they managed to remain intriguing even in their moments of failure. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for 'Revolutions,' which spends so much time on repetitive action scenes and special effects that there is little time left over for storyline and theme. In a strange way, Neo himself ends up getting lost in this film, dropping off the radar screen for astonishingly long stretches of time, only to re-emerge periodically to remind us that there really is supposed to be a purpose buried somewhere beneath all this ear-splitting commotion (this could be re-titled 'Finding Neo'). The sad fact, though, is that, once we arrive at the climactic scene to which all three films have been building, the resolution turns out to be a ham-handed muddle, utterly lacking in clarity and coherence After an almost six-hour-long buildup over the course of the three films, the audience is left scratching its collective head wondering just what it was that happened before the closing credits started rolling by. Perhaps smarter people than I can figure all this out for, frankly, after the overall disappointment occasioned by this film, I couldn't muster either the desire or the effort to probe very deeply into the matter.
It goes without saying that the special effects in this film are spectacular - we would expect nothing less - but what we don't get from 'Revolutions' - which we did from the two previous 'Matrix' films - is that little something extra in the form of intelligence and sophistication that made them more than just the bland, over-produced, assembly-line products they easily could have become - and which 'Revolutions' very nearly is. Even the stolid earnestness of Keanu Reeves can't convince us this time around that there is anything hidden under all those cool gadgets and explosions worth our looking into.
Thus endeth the Matrix series, not with a bang but with a whimper - intellectually speaking that is.