The Matrix Reconsidered

In a strange way, I'm grateful for the myriad of bad reviews for The Matrix Revolutions. They lowered my expectations enough that I was actually able to enjoy the movie for what it was.

So what is it? It's a pretty good sci-fi action flick, but not much more.

The key problems with this movie are indeed that there aren't enough answers to questions raised earlier in the series. The strange thing is, I actually believe that the Wachowski brothers know the answer to every question anyone has about the series, but they ran out of inventive ways to tell the story. In the original, the signature was the way the tale was unfolded before your eyes. In Reloaded, this was less natural, with the storytelling focused on a few densely-worded scenes. In Revolutions, they nearly gave up on storytelling, with only a few scenes unfolding any additional story, and even then only in passing.

Another failure in the latter 2 movies was the lack of theme, as hinted at from my impressions yesterday. The first movie was clearly about the nature of reality, and the second movie loosely about the nature of choice, though not as crisp. Revolutions has the clear opportunity to embrace a theme of balance – Neo and Smith, Oracle and Architect, Man and Machine, but after setting up that opportunity, the film turns away and decides to weakly extend the choice theme. And there's room for more story to be unfolded, but sadly this screen time is hogged by several overly-long scenes that could have been just as effective in half the time.

So in the end, what we get is an entertaining film, with lots of action and special effects. It doesn't answer all the questions the series has asked – just enough to move the story along. It doesn't live up to the hype, and draws some scenes out too long, but there are much worse things to do with 2 hours, and you know you're going to go see it anyhow.