The Matrix Revolutions, the final installment in the Wachowski brothers’ trilogy, is being released by Warner Brothers simultaneously all over the world. It will also be released to Imax theatres on the very same day. It will be shown in Los Angeles at 6 a.m, New York at 9 a.m., London at 2 p.m and at respective local times in 50 other cities spanning the globe. All around the world, at the very same moment, thousands of people will witness one of the worst movies ever made. A collective, “You gotta be kidding me,” will be heard from the peaks of the Ural mountains to the depths of the Red Sea. That’s if these people were prepared to come see a movie. But people who love The Matrix are actually coming for a video game, and if that’s what they’ve come to see, they’ll be bowled over. I know that’s not the big unprecedented “event” Warner Brothers had in mind when they released the movie like this, but it will happen, and no Oracle or Architect or Trainman had to tell me so.
Matrix Revolutions opens exactly where the first two dropped off. And while the first Matrix had an intriguing enough story to compensate for the beyond-stiff dialogue and leather-coat-and-designer-sunglasses posturing, the second film advances the story only slightly, insinuating more forcefully the prophesy that Neo is “The One,” and that his nemesis Mr. Smith is now a rogue virus with his own vengeful agenda.
Neo (Keanu Reeves) is lost in a purgatorial middle ground between the Matrix and Zion. Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne), pudgier and seemingly more bored in this installment, is busy trying to save the poor, writhing throngs of Zion from the millions of metallic octopi unleashed upon them by the Matrix.
The action, like in the first two installments, is prompted by the grandmotherly musings of “The Oracle”. Everyone visits the Oracle. Everyone gets to hear about chances and choices and possibilities and answers. Why aren’t the musings about artificial intelligence, control, power and consciousness really that important? Because all the energy you expend in imagining this is really good sci-fi, a really potent philosophical exercise about identity and character and fate is thoroughly insulted by the 15-minute jujitsu/machine gun/crouching tiger jumps you have to swallow when five minutes would have been just fine. Overkill, thy name is Wachowski.
Dan DeMaggio writes about film for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].