The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure and Martial Arts Running Time: 2 hrs. 9 min.

Release Date: November 5th, 2003 MPAA Rating: R

Director: The Wachowski Brothers Actors: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harold Perrineau, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gina Torres, Anthony Zerbe, Bruce Spence




iobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong) are still missing. Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss) are still comatose. And the digging and cutting sentinels are getting closer and closer to Zion, the last human city. Meanwhile, this direct continuation, picking up mere minutes after “The Matrix Reloaded,” invents new situations for the returning characters to contend with, including renegotiating with the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and navigating a nonsensical purgatory controlled by the trainman (Bruce Spence). Almost comically, just after these predicaments are fabricated, they’re resolved, as Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Seraph (Collin Chou) manage to sort things out rather quickly.

“The power of the One extends beyond this world …” Once again, the plot doesn’t really grow more interesting or sensible; it merely meanders from place to place, setting the stage for various battles and additional martial arts action sequences. Balletic gun duels and slow-motion posing midair are still the favored forms of confrontation, while Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) wreaks havoc on the computer-simulation world with his innumerable self-copies. This is the sort of final chapter in which everyone embarks on separate, last-ditch, sacrificial missions, incurring a wealth of damage and attempting to inflict as much as possible on enemies. Essentially, the bulk of the runtime is a setup for the final showdown between man and machine.

Just as much as the last entry was a piece of a story, this one is a fragment, telling so little of the yarn that it’s the least complex and most inessential of the series, save for the fact that it finally wraps up character loose ends. As for comprehensive resolutions, those are much less decisive; after all, when the reasons behind vague events are dismissed as unexplainable, anything can happen quite suddenly. Fortunately, the special effects are spectacular and the destruction is colossal; there’s no shortage of action and large-scale, FX-heavy annihilation, mostly arranged like levels in a video game, piloting through tight squeezes and unloading unlimited ammo at swarms of alien invaders.

Unlike the last two episodes, this one chiefly takes place in the real world. The Matrix itself is absent for long stretches, as the filmmakers are content with focusing instead on the postapocalyptic war set in an atmosphere-scorched Earth, blanketed by storms of electricity and darkness. Even when the messianic Neo reenters the construct to solve some issues with the rogue Smith, the background is little more than flashing lights and a murky downpour; the distinguishing features between the Matrix and the real world are no longer black and white. And the ensuing superhero-like clash is about as goofily overdramatic as imaginable. At least this one opts for a proper ending, even if it’s anticlimactic, a bit of a downer, and makes about as much sense as the Architect’s long-winded speech at the end of the second film.

– Mike Massie

  • 4/10