“The Matrix Revolutions” is the weakest of the 3 live-action Matrix films but is still worth seeing even with the flaws that carry over from “Reloaded” and the lack of setup for some of the events in this film. Still I do recommend this fun and flawed film. It isn’t as good as “Reloaded” but it is still compelling for what it tries to do.
The film was directed and written by the Wachowskis.
Neo (Keanu Reeves) finds himself trapped in a limbo reality as Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) work to save him as the machines close in on Zion.
The Premise – The race to find some way to stop the machines is powerful as well as the threat of Agent Smith and his possessing of a human and this is on top of trying to rescue Neo from the limbo reality and facing the Merovingian again. You feel the stakes in this film from the very start.
The Rescue of Neo – Neo is rescued when Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity take out the Merovingian’s men guarding Club Hel. It is a great action sequence and Trinity outsmarts the Merovingian as her love is shown to be greater than his selfishness.
The Machine City – The Machine City is haunting with dark tubes, the human pods and electricity everywhere and a variety of machines. It feels completely alien and I wish we could have explored it more. It was the only interesting place outside the Matrix.
The Characters – The characters are once again great with ones who deserved more exploration being Commander Lock and Captain Mifune who are the most memorable faces of the Zion resistance against the invading machines. For programs, I wanted Persephone and the Merovingian to get more development as well as Seraph. Great in the scenes they are in at least.
The Oracle – Mary Alice is great as the new oracle as we see how changing forms hurt as well as how much she fights for human freedom and is Neo and humanity’s ally. Every scene she is in is strong and I like that she is the character at the end who tells us Neo will return again.
Captain Niobe – Jada Pinkett Smith gets the chance to shine this film as she gets the survivors to Zion and stops the first wave of the machine invasion and is active throughout the film taking control of her destiny. It is thanks to her that peace happens as without her giving Neo her ship he never would have made peace with the machines and stopped Agent Smith.
Morpheus – Laurence Fishburne is once again fantastic as Morpheus. His arc is leaving Neo to join humanity in their last stand and from it his love and relationship with Niobe is reestablished. I wish he’d done more but even after his faith was broken he still found a way to have hope and believe again.
Trinity – Trinity is the driver of this story as she is the one to rescue Neo and to help Neo reach the Machine City even though she dies in the process. It is a powerful scene and like Neo her choices drive the story and Neo would have failed without her. Carrie-Anne Moss owns this role.
Agent Smith – Hugo Weaving clearly had so much fun in this role. He gets to laugh and ham it up so much. This character was endearing in “The Matrix” and he is a consistently great antagonist through this entire series. You can see how he is the death to Neo’s fighting for life and how he can’t see anything beyond his own existence and destruction. There are moments he clearly hates himself which I didn’t expect but fits given his insecurities. Before he turns the Oracle into him he calls her Mom showing how personal this mission is for him.
Neo – Keanu Reeves is so iconic as Neo and is one of the strongest parts of this film. His love for Trinity feels real in this film and I like how he’s coming to understanding the humanity, personhood, sentience of the programs and how that understanding leads to his eventually making peace with the machines and realizing it is possible. It is a powerful arc and I’m curious how he’s going to be brought back in “Matrix Resurrections.”
The Final Fight and Dialogue – The final fight is like the finale of an anime and is fantastic. It doesn’t even feel long since we get a variety of locations (the air, in a building, on the ground, etc.) and Neo and Smith’s dialogue with Smith on the inevitability of death and Neo choosing to persevere. It is great and this is Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving completely in their element. It is a great end for the characters with Smith’s final defeat and Neo’s sacrifice.
Personhood and the Perspective of Programs – One thing I loved were the moments of humanization we get of the programs. Two programs make a deal with the Merovingian so their daughter won’t have to return to the source and we see the pain the Oracle went through when the Merovingian forced her to take another form in which she lost parts of who she was prior. Smith’s hatred and nihilism is there as well as the Merovingian’s selfishness too. We also saw Persephone’s drive as she once again recognizes Trinity’s love which in the end forces the Merovingian to free Neo.
The Missing Program Resistance Against Smith – Why didn’t we see Agents of the machines and the Merovingian’s minions fighting Agent Smith? They knew he was conquering so why couldn’t we have seen that resistance? It would have given reason to why the machines take Neo’s peace offer too.
The Fight in Zion – The fight in Zion goes on way too long and it doesn’t vary enough to keep it interesting. You have mechs fighting sentinels and infantry fighting the machine drills and that is it. There is no variety in the action except Captain Niobe trying to get back to Zion with Link and Morpheus. This is repeated again too after they arrive so the action in Zion is never good.
Excess of Action – Like “The Matrix Reloaded” the action scenes end up going on too long, especially the defense of Zion that could have had a half hour cut out and be better for it. None of the characters defending Zion are given much dimension either, which is a shame given how fleshed out the Programs we meet are.
No Setup for Deus Ex Machina – Given that Dues Ex Machina is the leader of the machines I would have liked it being mentioned at least once. The programs would know about it so why wouldn’t they tell Neo that he needs to speak to it? This was a mistake that could have been a really easy fix. Deus Ex Machina still looks haunting and amazing at least, like the rest of Machine City.
The characters, exploration of the programs, the action and sequences in the Matrix and the Machine City carry this film over the problems of excess and some of the very real plot holes in this film. I enjoyed it even though it isn’t as good as “Reloaded” and I do recommend this universe if you are looking for a wonderful cyberpunk world. “Revolutions” works for what it is and is worth your time.
Final Score: 7.4 / 10