Everything that has a beginning has an end
Running Time: 129 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States, United States
If making a whopping amount of cash at the box office is the primary criterion when it comes to judging what makes a good film these days, then we can already consider The Matrix Revolutions as a rip-roaring success. Such is the cult following of this series of movies, that we can rest assured this third and purportedly final instalment of the Wachowski brothers brain child will, to be frank, rake it in.
On the other hand, if your idea of a top notch cinematic experience relies less on how much the cast and crew are pocketing, and a little more on such old fashioned elements as plot, suspense, characterisation and entertainment, then prepare for the biggest disappointment since erm the last Matrix flick.
This one picks up more or less where Reloaded left off, with Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) and co preparing for the impending invasion of those dastardly machines, whilst inside the matrix itself the perma-grinning Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) continues to replicate himself and guffaw wickedly at nothing in particular.
In some places like a massively inferior version of Aliens, Revolutions features seemingly endless battle scenes, firstly with the raging (and at times fairly gory) war between man and machine, and then with yet another tiresome exchange of punching and counter-punching between Neo and Agent Smith. All of the other usual components are there as well: the droning philosophising, the unfathomably high quota of frayed knitwear, the emotionally redundant characters (despite the lukewarm attempts of Neo and Trinity to show us otherwise). In fact, the outright pretentiousness of it all is matched only by its total mediocrity.
What it has that Reloaded didnt is a solid ending, but even that left an unsatisfactory taste in this reviewers mouth. And, while the visual effects are outstanding as ever, theyre used only to illustrate what is an extremely hazy and poorly-told story. Besides, why should a film be given any extra credit simply for having a budget big enough to invest in the best effects? Invest from day one in a lead male who doesnt insist on doing an (admittedly good) impression of a wooden post, and then we might be talking.
The Matrix was a movie with a fantastic concept and will deservedly go down in film lore, but the two misguided and wholly unnecessary sequels have, for me, taken much of the enjoyment out of even that original. I can only hope that, just as The Matrix was the beginning, Revolutions is truly the end I dont think I could bear sitting through another two hours of this self-important guff.
Want a second opinion? Read Review of Revolutions.
It's Got: One of the least engaging romantic subplots of the year.
It Needs: To extract head from own buttocks.
Alternatives:Aliens, Avalon, Dark City, Scanners, The Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix: Reloaded, The Matrix: Reloaded
Visually stunning, but in every other way completely and utterly boring. I found myself rooting for the robots, if only for the sake of a swifter ending.