Matrix 3: No real Revolution

Did the Matrix's grand finale have any revolutionary surprises after all? Technically brilliant, the much-hyped movie fails to deliver on plot and substance.

In The Matrix: Revolutions, the Zionists must do or die to protect themselves against a death blow from the future world's all-powerful electronic ruler.
Agent Smith is becoming ever more powerful and threatens total domination of the machine world while Neo edges closer to his destiny, be it his death or saviour of mankind.

There is such an air of familiarity about the Matrix films; the stylised chop-socky, the dingy green colour palette, the bewildering plot, that you know the Wachowski brothers would have had to do something really special to make their final instalment memorable.

Unfortunately, the boys misfire right from the off by committing the most heinous crime of launching into one of those dreaded wordy sections that casual fans of the series, like me, simply have given up following.

The result being that immediately you realise how hopelessly lost you are with the plot.

All this talk of key-makers, sentient programmes, Frenchmen and train drivers would befuddle even the most ardent of the film's fans.

Perhaps the choice not to start the film with a slam-bam opening scene adds to the feeling of seamless continuation from Reloaded, but in reality it just works against any excitement that the casual viewer may have had when taking their seats.

But fear not, because where Revolutions hits all the right buttons is in its action scenes. And we are not disappointed.

The Wachowskis do not baulk from the term “groundbreaking” and without doubt we are presented with the fullest realisation of what it means to be superhuman in the now-traditional battle between Agent Smith and Neo.

The directors explore the blistering possibilities of not being constrained by normal physics, and more importantly, utilise this in an almighty gravity-defying biff-up.

Whereas the first movie was an introduction to the Matrix concept, and Reloaded sought to complicate matters with unfathomable plot twists, Revolutions is at its root a simple battle to save Zion from the invasion of the machines.

What has always dropped jaws among audiences is the films’ envelope-pushing use of CGI.

Revolutions again does not fail to please in this respect with a swarm-like onslaught of the robot Sentinels on Zion, at times causing sensory overload. But in a good way.

We are also treated to the Zionists’ fantastically cobbled-together heavy military machinery, which they use to resist the Matrix’s offensive.

Every mech lovers’ dreams are answered by a battalion of cool gun-slinging robots the size of mini-tower blocks that resemble Ripley from Aliens Bayloader on steroids.

With the fight now centred on the real world, things get surprisingly gory.

This works because our heroes are now more physically vulnerable than ever before and it highlights the fact that the Zionists really are fighting for the survival of the free human species.

One fault with the film is that in its division of plots and introduction of yet more characters (an eager underage Zionist would-be soldier, for example), we sometimes forget who is on what mission and why.

Confused?

Even poor old Morpheus is sidelined into being a nervous passenger on Niobe's ship.

At the end, Revolutions offers little more than what we have come to expect from this franchise.

You will at times be thrilled, but you will also be confused.

For less devoted fans this may reduce the movie to a visual theme park ride; thrilling at the time, but not something that will be remembered in any depth.

For those who have kept up with the plot, Revolutions may provide the closure that the first two films’ loose strands were crying out for.

But could the Wachowski brothers ever really give this trilogy an ending that would live up to the weighty expectations we all had from Neo’s debut outing?