Tag Archives: wachowskis

Movie Review: The Matrix Revolutions

“‘Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why do you persist?’

“‘Because I choose to.'”

Warner Brothers made a daring decision in 2003 to release both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in the same year, something no studio would have the gonads to do today. It was a move that may have cost them. Reloaded had a box office haul of $740 million while Revolutions ran out of gas at $427. Over a billion for two films is a good day’s work but had the third and final chapter been held hostage until the next calendar year, it’s possible the sum might have been doubled.

The two sequels were made concurrently, similar to Peter Jackson’s initial photography of all three Lord of the Rings films simultaneously and despite that, The Matrix Revolutions is an disowned cousin of its older family.

I’m unsure if the studios put pressure on the Wachowskis. Given how long ago these films were made, it’s information not readily available but it’s certainly worth wondering. The Wachowskis are artists in the purest form. It’s hard to believe they’d bend but with pressure, sometimes it’s only a matter of time before we break.

Image result for matrix revolutions movie poster free use

The Matrix Revolutions runs like an imposter, a copycat and shell of its former self. It lacks original tone and message and becomes a The Hobbit: The Battle of the Seven Armies gorefest rather than what the material dictated. A series thus far built on heavy dosages of thematic dissertation and sociopolitical undertakings runs like a wounded soldier jacked with Toradol.

That might be a bit harsh. The Matrix Revolutions still offers a pedigree on spectacle. As with everything else, it can’t compare with its elders but it hasn’t completely lost its identity. It knows what it’s good at and where its talent lies. It’s just overzealous and doesn’t know when a little subtlety and tact would be to its benefit.

With its brains run amuck, chapter three is a nonstop shoot ’em up reminiscent of scores of blockbusters who have tried bullet porn as a cinematic formula. The Wachowskis are capable of much more and audiences deserve better than this effort.

The Matrix Revolutions gets so bold as to throw in a Man of Steel bout in its final stage, one whose punches can only land so hard given the lethal combos we’ve seen in earlier installments, flurries this match never brings whether because of preparation or fatigue. I think it’s more likely the dog’s heart wasn’t in the fight.

This trilogy built itself on complexities of the human psyche and lectures of intellect. This was a welcomed approach. I think viewers would agree most action novellas don’t get very mentally taxing. Many of them are braindead. Go read my review of The Fast and the Furious, for example. I could hyperlink quite a few more of them. At times, it feels like they’re this blog’s calling card.

This trifecta’s want to be an individual made it appealing and enabled its rebellious nature. It meshed well with the punk nature of the 90’s. It both had its own style and adopted it from the direction America was taking at the time: one of character discovery, technological innovation and an expanded understanding of what was and wasn’t possible. All three of those identities are present in The Matrix. It’s little wonder why this premise caught on. Yes, the visual flourish was some of the best of its decade but the message was what really hooked you. Visuals can awe you at a high level but story and character are where it’s at, my dudes. The Matrix had that.

The Matrix Revolutions? Not so much. Established characters find their arc limited to the arm strength of a teeball player while any new supporting characters or transfers from part two will find their script lacking any emotional impact. The writing the Wachowskis’ reputation is built on doesn’t arrive and in bonanzas like this, actors find themselves doing more action than acting.

With few lines and much of the camera’s time spent on visual effects, Keanu’s presence is shortchanged. The film’s second act completely removes him, leaving nearly a half hour absent of two of the franchise’s principle characters and very little of the third. Without the team’s star playmakers, the unit struggles. Better casts can hold a film together, carry the torch per se but not The Matrix franchise. The series has orbited Neo from beginning to end. Abandoning that orbit has consequences for everything else in the system. Keanu Reeves in his signature role is almost purposefully pushed aside in the finale, abandoning the choir with a dissonant chord.

I found myself waiting for the cavalry during this presentation. Surely, the generals will send them in. It’s a neck-and-neck race and they have the aces. We’ve seen them before. What are they waiting for? Why is this the path they chose?

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The Matrix, L.A. ConfidentialHerTakenCaptain America: Civil War)

80-89  It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Matrix Reloaded, WantedLaw Abiding CitizenScott Pilgrim Vs. The WorldThe 40-Year-Old Virgin)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Triple FrontierI am LegendIp Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull Island)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (2 Fast 2 FuriousDoctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide Squad)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The SilenceThe Fast and the FuriousBrooklyn’s FinestDeath RaceWind River)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (DoomThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesPower RangersUnderworld: Evolution)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (High-RiseMost Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturion)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The SnowmanAvalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe Visit)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Matrix Revolutions: 76.

Allured by theatrics rather than its own talents, The Matrix Revolutions tastes of betrayal and views like splatter art: disinterested and without any sense of decorum. People dabble in blotches hoping to accidentally uncover splendor. The first two introductions already had it and so, while it’s an average picture, The Matrix Revolutions feels like a waste of time.

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Movie Review: The Matrix

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Adolescence is a time when you’re still discovering yourself. I’m of the opinion life is about the continual growth of an everchanging persona. We as people evolve and adapt the same way most creatures do. Who we are five years ago is different from who we are now and we’ll have a greater understanding of ourselves in another five years.

When I first watched The Matrix, I was not impressed. Understand this was in the late 2000’s. I had just entered senior high school and The Matrix, as the public is ripe to do, had hyped it quite a bit. Unreasonable expectations were put upon it. I also acknowledge I didn’t understand some of the content. No such problems for me these days.

Image result for the matrix movie poster free use

The Matrix was made in 1999, which is quite shocking when you look at it now. Oscars were bestowed for film editing, visual effects, sound effects and sound editing. Oscar winners usually age like fine wine and so is the case here.

The Wachowskis are visionaries, fluid artists and studied penmen. They are makers of the eye like Luc Besson, persons of vivid imagination and the essential ability to translate those images from mind to parchment. They conjure spectacles and impossibilities in their spare time. The Wachowskis are magicians of sorts, highlighting bravado with a deft touch. They’re obsessed artists, enamoured and fully committed to all aspects. If only all makers could be this way.

The digital effects are perforating and the stunts elegant. That’s where a lot of the film’s value comes from, as well it should. It’s hard not to look at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and think that’s the only thing that matters there. It’s a genuine masterpiece.

I don’t want to go over the top and compare The Matrix to the Mona Lisa but The Matrix is a great movie, one with chivalry and superb texture. Time reveals all things, they say and I think The Matrix would be received with more acclaim today than it was in the last century. Each frame glows in a different way, each segment utilized to its highest propriety. The Matrix has an aurora going for it, all crafted and brewed by master chemists of literature. I’ve mentioned the vitality of tone many a time and The Matrix has its theme firm in place. A lack of substance can make all the beauty in the world go to waste for the wise. A task removed from heart feels diluted and a mind without activity will decay. The Wachowskis best novella has all three elements and it’s hard not to fall in love with that.

The punk era’s scent is all over this film. Surprised they didn’t sneak Feels Like Teen Spirit into the discography. It’s rebellious and challenges structure while preaching autonomy.

The movie is not for those who struggle to operate upstairs. You can soak in the action and drink it that way if you want to but there’s a lot more you’ll be missing out on, including the trashing of all preconceptions and the introduction of a familiar philosophy. The Wachowskis were so dedicated to these principles they tested the cast on theme-based literature. Break out of the chains, breathe in and storm forward.

Now to Keanu, a man I have a love/hate relationship with because for as talented as Mr. Reeves can be, he can also be very bland (Constantine, Speed). Johnny Mnemonic is an entertaining bad movie but removed from one scene, isn’t exactly a calling card. 47 Ronin is truly awful. The Replacements is manageable. Reeves has had a lot of one-offs and great actors don’t generally have that many blunders.

There are roles the man was born to play. The Matrix series was one of those and that’s likely because Neo could be literally anyone. He is a white sheet, an amorphous character. While given direction, Reeves’ long stare serves as an asset. Neo has quite the story to tell but not a lot of words to tell it with. The chosen one trope is an overdone concept but placed in ripe condition here. Just because it’s a piece used often doesn’t mean it can’t work.

A final shoutout to Hugo Weaving, who carries command in every role and Lawrence Fishburne, who reminds us that fate and destiny can be intertwined and despite that, we all have a choice.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (L.A. ConfidentialHerTakenCaptain America: Civil WarDeadpool)

80-89  It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Wanted, Law Abiding CitizenScott Pilgrim Vs. The WorldThe 40-Year-Old VirginThe Conjuring)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Triple FrontierI am LegendIp Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull Island)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (2 Fast 2 FuriousDoctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide Squad)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The SilenceThe Fast and the FuriousBrooklyn’s FinestDeath RaceWind River)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (DoomThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesPower RangersUnderworld: Evolution)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (High-RiseMost Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturion)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The SnowmanAvalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe Visit)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Matrix: 93.

John Wick is critically exceptional and Bill & Ted has a large following but The Matrix is the product Reeves will be known for. This film is visually timeless thus far and that’s quite an accomplishment. That, along with researched, educated writing makes for a sci-fi punk film worth watching this summer if you’ve pushed it off for the last 20 years.

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