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The Matrix Revolutions

"It ends tonight."

The Matrix Revolutions is widely regarded as the trilogy's weakest entry and I am not going to dispute that. I will, however, dispute the idea that it's nothing but a complete train wreck.

When I first saw this film all those years ago I thought that it was absolutely bloody terrible. It effectively killed off what remaining love and excitement I had for the franchise after Reloaded. So when I sat down to watch it again a few days ago I was fully prepared for the worst. But it turns out that Revolutions isn't actually that bad. I didn't find myself cringing the whole time I was watching it, unlike a certain Spider-Man film (you know the one). But at the same time I did keep looking at the clock to see how much longer until it was all over.

Revolutions isn't a terrible film, it's just a rather boring one.

It's not a train wreck, it's a late train home that gets stuck two stops before yours because there's leaves on the line.

With this and Reloaded the Wachowski sisters fell into the same trap a lot of people do when they make back-to-back sequels. Rather than write two films with two separate plots that roll into each other, they just wrote one big movie and split it up without thinking if they had enough story material for two whole films. Which they obviously didn't. I'd say they had about three hours at best and most of that ended up in Reloaded. Revolutions is basically the third act of that film, just bloated to fill out the two hour runtime.

That whole bit about Neo being stuck in a train station is just pointless filler. It adds nothing, not even a decent action scene, just one lame shootout in a lobby which comes across as a pale imitation of the iconic one from the first film. And then we're forced to endure another agonising Merovingian scene. I swear, if they bring that wanker back for Matrix 4 they can kiss my potential patronage goodbye.

The film's biggest sin is that, for a fucking Matrix film, the action set-pieces are all so lazy and forgettable. The central battle for Zion is big and epic and obviously where all the money went, but it's a slog to get through and rather repetitive. The whole thing is just a load of shouty guys in mech suits shooting swans of Sentinels over and over again, with the occasional bit of Link's wife and her mate firing some rockets at drills.

It also doesn't help that all the combatants are people we barely saw in the last film. All the main characters, the people we actually give a shit about, are off elsewhere while all of this is going down. We don't know who any of these people are, so why should we care that they're fighting and dying? This is like if they'd done the Battle of the Pelennor Fields without a single member of the Fellowship present until Aragon and his ghost army showed up to save the day.

The final showdown between Neo and Smith is a damp, dark and dismal disappointment that mostly consists of two super powered beings repeatedly crashing into each other and creating shock waves. It ends with Neo just giving up, letting Smith take him over, then the Machine's baby faced leader doing something and Smith getting deleted and the Matrix being rebooted. Even though they've got no reason to, the machines honour their deal with Neo, sparing Zion and allowing those who want out to leave the Matrix. His job done, Neo is carried like Arthur to some techno nightmare Avalon.

And that's how the Matrix saga ended (for now). Not with a bullet time bang, but with a rain soaked whimper.

Notes and Quotes

--The name of the train station Neo is trapped in is Mobil Ave, Mobil being an anagram of Limbo.

--It takes Neo forever to realise that Bane is Smith even though he keeps calling him "Mr Anderson" which only Smith does.

--Trinity's death is frustrating, and not just because we already saw her die and get resurrected in the previous film. It's clear the Wachowskis didn't know what to do with her once they got to the Machine City so they just killed her off to get her out of the way. She deserved better than that. Lana, you better fucking make up for this in Matrix 4.

--The hovercraft seen in this film is called the Hammer because its actual name is Mjolnir, Thor's hammer.

Trinity: "You wanna make a deal? How about this? You give me Neo or we all die, right here, right now."
Merovingian: "Interesting deal. You are really ready to die for this man?"
Trinity: "Believe it."

Roland: "Bullshit. I'm captain of this ship, I'll say where it has to go. And believe me, this ship will go to hell long before I let you take it anywhere!"
Niobe: "He can have mine."
Roland: "Niobe! You can't do that!"
Niobe: "Don't you even begin to tell me what I can and can't do with my ship after that little speech."

Agent Smith: "You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?"
Neo: "Because I choose to."

Two out of four leaves on the line.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig


  1. Thanks for your review, Mark. I was confused and disappointed by this movie and I think I've blocked it from my memory because I don't really remember what happened in it. :)

  2. Billie, maybe you don't remember what happened in it because it just wasn't very memorable. I wasn't sure if I'd actually seen it, but having read the review I'm pretty sure I did.

  3. Revolutions isn't a terrible film, it's just a rather boring one.

    Yes. Strong agree with everything you said in this review, in fact.

    Also, thank you for clarifying that the Mobil station was an anagram for limbo. I spent the whole time thinking of gas stations and Mobile, Alabama.

    This may sound weird, but watching Reloaded and Revolutions back-to-back made me realize how much better they would be if they were a TV show rather than two films. They could expand the secondary characters (so we cared about them), build up the world a bit more, and clarify some of the stakes.

    I know that no one would have thought TV was the right medium for something this expensive in 2003, of course.


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