Wednesday, May 14, 2008

REVIEW: The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions

Year: 2003
Director: Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

The Matrix Revolutions was shot back to back with The Matrix Reloaded which is why it took 4 years for it to come out. After I had seen The Matrix Reloaded in theaters and saw the cliffhanger ending, I wanted to see Revolutions to finish off the trilogy. I thought it was smart for the Wachowski brother's to film this and Reloaded back to back so we don't have to wait much longer to see the series end. The Matrix Revolutions grossed an estimated $424 million worldwide on a budget of $150 million. While the movie certainly passed its budget worldwide, it fell short of about $314 million compared to Reloaded. Now, I knew how Revolutions was mostly going to end since it was mentioned in Reloaded, but that didn't stop me from going to see it.

Plot Outline:
Picking up right were we left in Reloaded, the machines are about to breach Zion, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is in a mysterious coma stuck between the matrix and the real world, Zion's defenses are being prepared and finally Bane (Ian Bliss) awakens, but in a very hostile manner. When Neo awakens, he realises that he has to confront the source of the matrix and finally confront Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) if Zion and all the people are to survive. While he and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) both go to the Machine City, the others; Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Link (Harold Perrineau), Niobi (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the crew of the Hammer go back to Zion to help its defenses. Inside the dock of Zion, its an all out war. The machine diggers have breached the walls and thousands of sentinels are ready to kill all its inhabitants.

After reviewing Reloaded a couple days ago, I already knew what was going to happen in Revolutions. I think this was a big problem that the Wachowski brother's made a mistake with. They made it so obvious on how Revolutions was going to end. This in my opinion was the biggest reason for Revolutions somewhat average box office numbers. That aside, the plot is much darker this time around. Revolutions is the darkest in the trilogy probably because its the last in the series. Sure we get a huge Smith vs. Neo fight scene at the end, but It doesn't come close to the awesomeness that we got when Neo was fighting 100 Smiths in Reloaded. When you usually see a Matrix movie, you obviously get left with unanswered questions, but Revolutions really pushes this with parts of the story that are not even explained. You would have had to seen the Animatrix and have played the Xbox game, Enter the Matrix to fully understand the plot elements in Revolutions. The ending in Revolutions is pretty good and conclusive, but I would love to see an alternative ending in a future ultimate special DVD edition.

Mostly everyone from the second film returns for this last and final film in the illustrious Matrix trilogy. Whats even better is that most of them give great performances. Keanu Reeves returns once more as the main character Neo. He gives a very good performance that very much makes up for the decent one he gave in Reloaded. Laurence Fishburne also returns as Morpheus and he too gives a good performance. The bad thing about his performance here is that his character isn't used much. He had much bigger roles in the previous films, but their somewhat limited here. Carrie-Anne Moss reprises her role as the sexy Trinity and she too does a great job in her role. She gives a more believable performance here than she did in Reloaded. Hugo Weaving also returns as Agent Smith. He gives a performance that puts the one he gave in the first 2 films to shame. I thought he was the star of the show and really marked the first time I have seen him give an above average performance.

The visual effects in The Matrix Revolutions are just plain phenomenal. I have never seen such a movie that blends such cool artwork, background and detail in the machines together. I raved about how great Reloaded looked, but Revolutions is a huge step up from that. Just released 5 years ago, the movies source is in great shape and really clean for a movie like this. Since the movie is much darker than the first 2 Matrix films, the color palate isn't something to brag about, but it does have moments where the color truly shows its vibrancy for example the 2nd half of the movie when the machines attack Zion. Detail is pretty outstanding and much improved from Reloaded. Detail on Neo's face is just outstanding. This upscaled on a very good DVD upconverter can easily be mistaken for a High Def release. I have said it before on previous Matrix films and Ill say it here again, The Matrix Revolutions is an easy contender for being one of those titles you cannot miss on High Def. I cant imagine how amazing this movie can look on High Def if it already looks this damn good on DVD.

Composer Don Davis who scored the first 2 Matrix films returns once again to create a powerful score that really shows that this movie means business. We don't really get an great music from Rob Dougan though since we don't have too much epic fight scenes that we had in Reloaded. Although some music from him would have totally rocked this out, but even without it, the music is still great. We get some mixed music mostly when Neo fights Smith, but whats their is great. Bass sounds even more fuller than ever. I have praised the Matrix films for having amazing bass usage and this one is no slouch. The bass in Revolutions sounds even better than the previous films. Watch out Cloverfield because Revolutions easily tops yours by a milestone. I noted that Reloaded had some quite dialogue in some scenes, but Revolutions hardly has anything that's quite. This soundtrack is easily a solid one and easily demo material.

The Matrix Revolutions is the epic conclusion to the Matrix trilogy. It wraps up this story that started in the first Matrix. While the story is good, its got flaws. Its too predictable and it leaves out information that becomes crucial to fully understand the story of this universe. I also think their could have been an another ending made. The cast is be all means great and they really shine in this movie compared to the previous films. Hugo Weaving really puts on a performance that's going to surprise you. The visual effects of the movie are just flat out amazing. This movie stands even to this day as one of those movies that really showcase how far technology goes. The soundtrack easily matches the visuals and is definitely something I would use to demo my surround sound. I'm somewhat happy and saddened by the end of the Matrix trilogy. It might not be as imaginative as the first Matrix or have insane fight scenes like Reloaded, but its certainly enjoyable.

Grade: C+

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