"The Matrix Revolutions" Review
Although The Matrix Revolutions is the movie with the most bullets and explosions of the trilogy, it's paradoxically the most notoriously anticlimactic. Where Reloaded tried to fake depth, this one has let go of an attempt to seriously underpin the saga with philosophy. We are on a road to closure, but that's about it.
Let's start with the obvious: there are only three short scenes inside the Matrix, and only one of them features Neo.
Neo is the most forgotten and frustrated protagonist in any saga in recent memory. From being a spirited-rookie-turned-invincible-superhero, he ends up being an erratic paladin beaten over and over by his opponents.
Neo is the biggest victim of a plot that, having to solve many argumentative knots, doesn't pay much attention to its protagonist. At this point, Neo has only one reason for his existence, and that's to lose against Smith at the end. That's why the plot abandoned him many times.
At one point, we don't see Neo or Trinity for a half hour. We expend a lot of time on the battle for Zion. A war led by a lot of new characters (Yei! Clumsy apprentice with a big heart! Hurrah! new character's wife created to replace Tank and Dozer unsuccessfully) that we, honestly, don't care much about.
All this is clear evidence of the Wachowski's struggle. They weren't expanding the mythology but just trying (really hard) to close the trilogy, plotwise.
The soundtrack, fundamental part of the saga, is a reflection of this. Gone is the commitment to electronic music or rebel rock anthems. The Matrix Revolutions score is the good technical cinematic work of Don Davis (and sometimes Juno Reactor). It sounds like the Wachowski were admitting defeat. This is not another pop culture masterpiece, but just a movie focused on closing plot holes.
That's why The Matrix Revolutions doesn't entirely satisfy. That intention of simply culminating a trilogy narratively, like it was a writing exercise, without really delving into the philosophical issues that made the first film great, ended up sucking the life out of this movie. Where The Matrix felt fresh and with potential, Revolutions is just mechanically putting out fires.
The closure, I must admit, is correct. And a "correct" ending, as condescending and cold as it sounds, should be valued in a mythology as confusing and profound as this one.
But the resolution is far from being memorable. To get to this--temporary--human-machine truce, The Matrix Revolutions had to quickly insert confusing twists and devices that have nothing to do with philosophical, engaging debates. This is how we are suddenly exposed to programs couples that can have "children."
Or the existence of digital limbos. Or to the fact that the frustratingly cryptic Oracle is just a compulsive liar/program designed to motivate everyone who hears it and thus achieve the necessary matrix reboot, (only this time, it comes with a truce).
What's Your Rating For The Matrix Revolutions?
Trinity dies to help conveniently-blind Neo. Both sacrificed themselves, and their bodies now rot in some dark corner of the machine city, perhaps between some tear between battery 346 and "huge cable" 789.
The war has ended anticlimactically, the machines simply stop attacking and move slowly around Zion, in a scenario more terrifying than reassuring. The only peace guarantee is an arrogant and offended architect, who doesn't stop showing the same absolute disdain for the human race that fomented the war.
In less words, Neo ends up being a mere antivirus manipulated by The Oracle, and the entire human race is left at the mercy of the machines, that will—“for now”— respect the peace agreement thanks to the services of AVG-McAfee-Neo.
That's a beautiful multicolored sky that you have created, Sati AKA hope-coloring-program, but to me, that sounds like the machines won.
Fortunately, as I said, the closure is also correct. The whole trilogy tangentially goes around the concept of love. That will allow a broad debate about how this outcome is not necessarily a triumph of the machines, but an evolution of our society, now cohabiting with an AI that emulates their creators to the point of having learned compassion.
Peace, as a construct, is also an act of faith.
Title: The Matrix Revolutions
Release Year: 2003
Director(s): The Wachowski Brothers
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, a.o.
© 2019 Sam Shepards