Trying to fall in love with film again.

'The Matrix Revolutions' is not the ending this series deserves but it is the ending the series got

MATRIX REVOLUTIONS POSTER ] | Science fiction movie posters ...Story 

Unlike the last movie that contains a time jump, this movie takes place where its predecessor ended. The city of Zion is defending itself against an invasion while  Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus are trying to stop Agent Smith.

The story in this trilogy has always been leading to this point and this is where it pays off, or it's supposed to. The story in this movie is more simple than its predecessors and the movie is all the worse for it because you expect something that isn't going to happen.

Acting 

The acting in this movie isn't bad however it is inferior when compared to the first two. The actors work with what they're given and produce adequate performances but I never felt engaged.

Neo has transitioned from everyman who has no idea how the Matrix works to 'The One' who is destined to save all of mankind and Keanu Reeves embodied that transformation. He balances vulnerable and confident really well. Although Neo has almost limitless power in this film (which take away some of the stakes) you still see him struggle and that makes him human.

Laurence Fishburne lacked the dynamic presence he had in the first 2 films and we never get to see him in his element (that has to do more with the writing than his acting). My complaint about his acting is the exact same complaint I had in my last Matrix review, overall it feels very flat. In the first movie, Morpheus was the wisest person in the room but the Morpheus in this film is a far cry from that character.

Carri Ann-Moss' had the most emotional performance in the last movie and you can see remnants of that in the first half of the movie. Towards the halfway mark she drifts away from the Trinity of the previous two movies who was some to be feared and this in part her over-reliance on Neo.

Agent Smith is a great antagonist and that's because of Hugo Weaving. However, as the movie progresses Agent Smith takes a back seat to everything which is a shame because he is one of the best parts of the movie.

Writing/Direction

I mentioned in my previous reviews that the Matrix movies have very strong philosophical themes. Two of the main arguments the film presents are 'Free-Will v Choice' and 'Illusion v Reality.'  This movie abandons those philosophical elements in favour of special effects actions scenes which made this film feel like it was missing something.

Due to the change in location (from the Matrix to the real world) you feel less invested in what's actually happening. The first movie spends a lot of time explaining the Matrix and its endless possibilities but we spend less time there as the trilogy goes on. We were introduced to new characters in the second movie (which isn't out of the ordinary in a sequel) and we spend a lot of time with those characters. The lack of time spent with the characters we've come to care about meant my interest in the film decreased. During a lot of the action scenes with minor characters, I caught myself wondering what Neo, Trinity and Morpheus were up to.

Much like the second film, this movie has bad pacing (the pacing in the second film is better) the film doesn't flow very well and felt like I was watching blocks of film that moved from scene to scene rather than one coherent movie.

Even though this was filmed concurrently with The Matrix Reloaded the writing in this film is a step down from the previous two. Where those two felt profound and ambitious, this feels lazy and less thought out.

CGI/Set Design

The CGI in this franchise gets worse as the series goes on and it's borderline unbearable in this movie. This movie has a higher budget than the first and was released 5 years later, but there is no reflection of that when you watch the movie. When you watch a movie and can't decipher what is going on during an action scene, that's not good. This is the same complaint I have where Transformer movies are concerned, there is so much going on, you have no point of reference and lose interest in the scene as a whole.

Even though there are many elements of the first 2 films that are CGI (more evident in the second film than the first) the scenes feel grounded in reality to some extent. That grounding doesn't appear to exist in this movie. It's clear that the vision of the directors was too complex for the visual effects available in the early 2000s.
Overall the CGI and Set design in this movie look cheap and unrealistic especially when you compare it to the movies that came before it.

Score/Soundtrack 

This score doesn't stand out in this film at all. Everything else that happens in this movie is incredibly distracting and you can't hear the score at all. It's very rare that a film score doesn't produce a reaction from me. Even with movies I don't like, the score brings out some sort of emotional reaction but I didn't feel that with this film at all which is disappointing because an emotional score would have elevated a lot of the scenes.

Overall Thoughts

This doesn't feel like it's in the same series as the first two. You know where the story is going but there is so much happening that it can be very hard to follow. The characters feel like caricatures of their former selves especially Morpheus and Trinity.

Having watched all 3 Matrix movies relatively close together, there is a glaring dip in the quality of the movies, which is disappointing because the premise was so original and groundbreaking. The whole thing feels anticlimactic.

The finale of the movie and trilogy feels very underwhelming, even though the ending is earned, it didn't sit right with me. A lot of the characters never truly come to a resolution. A movie like this should move at break-neck place as the trilogy has been building to this but it falls flat and left me feeling hollow, unsatisfied and bored.

If you want to read my reviews of the first two Matrix movies, you can read them here and here.

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