In "The Matrix Revolutions", the final chapter of the Matrix trilogy,
the war between man and machine reaches what the production notes call,
"a thundering crescendo." I call it, "a shoulder-hunching, 'HUH?'" The
movie does a great job at showing the latest visual special effects
capabilities that unlimited money can buy, but somewhere along the way,
someone forgot that there was a story to tell, or people to care about.
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To review the plot would be futile, mostly because it's sort of
irrelevant. But, I can try: You see, in the first Matrix movie, the
premise was established that life as we know it is really the product
of a huge network of machines that humans are hooked up to so as to
give our brains the illusion that reality is what we perceive it to
be. This reality is driven by software programs, which aggregate all our
individual responses, thereby resulting in a huge elaborate simulation
game. Our real-world bodies that react to this simulation to emit energy,
which is harnessed for the machines to build themselves and carry on.
The second movie, released a few months ago, was about Neo, played by
Keanu Reeves, and his quest to destroy the machines. But the film ended
with him powerless, in a pseudo purgatory state between reality and
the simulation, which is where "Revolutions" starts. Neo gets direction
and motivation from "the Oracle", a software program cognizant enough
to know that it lives in the simulation world that is the Matrix. The
Oracle knows everything, but that "everything" is only within the realm
of the Matrix and the programs that make it up. So, giving Neo "facts"
isn't helpful. Instead, she gives him hope, which is the fuel he needs
to move ahead and fight.
Well, so be it, but this is pretty much where the movie just drops
everything on the floor and just kicks right in to the battles between
the special effects widgets and humans. This part of the movie, which
takes up about 2/3 of it, constantly reminded me of the line in "Spinal
Tap", where Christopher Guest proclaims his guitar's amplifier is better
because it goes to "11". In the same way, "Revolutions" also goes to
"11": that is, it's big - really big in the "bigness" scale. But, like
the amp that goes to 11, one might ask, "why not just have it be just
as loud, but call it 10?" In short, Revolutions doesn't need to go to
11, since we were already blown away by "10", and the added point is
unrecognizable. And by the way, what about the plot?
Who'll like this film? Good question. But, I must say that, as I walked
out of the theater, I was hearing a lot of joyful comments about how
great it was, and how fun, and so on. I also heard someone ask another,
"but what happened?" The gleeful response was, "Oh, I don't know. I just
liked it." I can't say I felt that way, because I've seen a lot of my
share of sci-fi special effects films. That this one goes to 11 is the
same reason why I don't go see loud concerts anymore. After a while, it
all looks the same. But if you're young, and this is still new to you,
sure: go ahead and see it. I envy your enthusiasm. You must also be 11.
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