Who knew the Wachowski brothers had a Jesus Christ fixation? As it turns out, the entire “Matrix” series is nothing more than a remake of Jesus’ life. Who would have thunk it?
“The Matrix: Revolutions” opens with human rebels Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) stuck in the open plains, even as Zion, the last human city, gears up for the inevitable machine attack. But as it turns out the annoyingly French Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) has somehow gotten his mitts on Neo, trapping him in a “train station” that acts as a conduit between the Matrix and the real world. It’s up to Trinity, Morpheus, and Jet Li-wannabe Seraph (Collin Chou) to kick some sense into the Merovingian, save Neo, and through him, save the human race from complete extinction.
Along the way, a whole lotta stuff blows up at the cost of, oh, about $100 million or so; give or take a couple of dozen million.
As mentioned, the entire series has been building toward the life of Christ, with Neo standing in as the Savior of Man. It’s not very subtle, proving once again that the Wachowskis are not skilled enough writers to make an allegory without smashing their audiences in the face with it. Neo has done everything Christ has, including bringing his beloved Trinity back from the dead ala Lazarus. Now, with the rogue Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) having somehow become Neo’s exact opposite, wishing only to destroy and having gained the power to do so, Neo and the machines have something in common. They must put their battles aside to stop Smith, or all is lost — both in the Matrix, and in the real world.
Of course with the script’s insistence on prophecies and choice and fate and destiny and enough blah blah blah to bore even the most patient and mindless audience, it’s no surprise how the film will end. And taking the whole Neo as Jesus Christ angle to the very end, it’s also no surprise how the characters will come out of this — if they do at all, that is. What’s left, then, is a simple ending, painless and, unfortunately, mostly pointless. For those who groaned during the lengthy blah sessions of “Matrix: Reloaded”, have heart. “Matrix: Revolutions” is all about action, action, and more action. The movie breaks down into two sequences: the battle for Zion and Neo’s battle with Agent Smith back in the Matrix.
And to be honest, it’s a good thing the series is ending, because Keanu Reeves has never looked more bored, or dull. To say that he sleepwalks through the role is too kind. I don’t want to sound mean, but Keanu Reeves is a mannequin masquerading as an actor. I’m quite sure you could have inserted a completely CGI Reeves into the role of Neo, and there wouldn’t be much of a difference. In fact, considering the expressive realities of CGI nowadays, I’d dare say that a CGI Neo would have felt more alive. I kid you not. Reeves is a walking dead man here.
On the bright side, special effects junkies will get their fill with “Revolutions”. The movie is chock full of state-of-the-art effects, including “fire effects” meant to represent a blinded Neo as he “sees” the world in a whole new light. Unfortunately the cost of this barrage is that there’s barely any humanity to be found, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If “Reloaded” spent much of its time rambling about uninteresting junk, then “Revolutions” spends the vast majority of its time delivering the money shot.
It’s often been said that the series is parts pseudo philosophy and parts allegory. I like to think of it as a remake of the Bible, with a piece of driftwood playing Jesus Christ. To take the series seriously is to believe that George Lucas was trying to accomplish something important with his “Star Wars” films. It’s all pure entertainment, folks; nothing more, nothing less. Taken as just that, “The Matrix” series is actually quite outstanding. Part 1 was allowed to be talky, as it needed to explain a lot of things; Part 2 was needlessly too talky, as it just spent most of its time regurgitating the same things that had already been said and done in Part 1; Part 3 closes out the series with sound and fury that attempts to signify nothing — or at least, very little.
If you like seeing giant walking metal robots taking on giant flying metal robots, then “Revolutions” won’t disappoint. There’s a 15-minute sequence in the film that mind as well be a video game. The film as a whole is rarely boring, and things are generally always moving. All of which is a good thing, especially coming after the talkfest of the previous installment.
To sum up the series: You never knew movies could talk so much for so very long and yet say so bloody very little.
Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski (director) / Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski (screenplay)
CAST: Carrie-Anne Moss …. Trinity
Harold Perrineau Jr. …. Link
Jada Pinkett Smith …. Niobe
Keanu Reeves …. Neo
Hugo Weaving …. Agent Smith
Lambert Wilson …. Merovingian
Laurence Fishburne …. Morpheus