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Matrix Revolutions, The  (2003)


Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Harold Perrineau

Directors: The Wachowski Brothers

Rating: R

Distributor: Warner Home Video

Release Date: April 6, 2004
Review posted: April 27, 2004

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by Dennis Landmann




Morpheus and Trinity help Neo escape from the train station, which is run by the Merovingian, as the human city of Zion gears up to defend itself against the massive invasion of the machines. However, the final confrontation is between Neo and rogue Agent Smith, now a virus corrupting the Matrix.




The Matrix is a fantastic science-fiction action film as there is real mystery and suspense to its story and action. When The Matrix Reloaded rolled into theatres last summer, fans expected another classic tale of humans versus machines. Instead, the film turned some fans off, but excited others. I liked that film even though it wasn't perfect. The Matrix Revolutions opened strongly on November 5, 2003, but dropped significantly each week after that. Despite a less than exceptional box office intake and poor reception from critics and general moviegoers, I liked most of what I saw in the film.


The flaws in the script are evidence of the writers churning out scene after scene without taking into consideration the factors that the first film so exciting and involving. The story here is pretty straight-forward, but also too linear. The script is not complex enough, events taking place in real time, and in the case of several scenes this storytelling format slows down the film's pace. Parts of the film are also boring, especially the whole philosophy angle and scenes with the people of Zion.


Despite its flaws, The Matrix Revolutions is an above average action film that delivers with pulse-pounding action and fantastic visuals. The enormity of the sets and special effects is something to behold, for sure. Making the film seem alive with spirit, something the script alone can't accomplish, is the performance of Keanu Reeves. He really has the character down to his roots, but any doubts or angst of a certain Mr. Anderson are now gone, only Neo remains. Neo's intergalactic battle with Smith, so to speak, is a fight of epic proportions. It runs on a bit, but is very exciting.


Reeves' chemistry with Carrie-Anne Moss is not entirely there, but during the last half hour they create realistic drama. Lawrence Fishburne comes off as somewhat stale-like in his performance of leader Morpheus. The character itself slightly disappoints. Of the supporting characters, none are really that interesting. Niobe (Pinkett-Smith) and Link (Perrineau) make a rather forgettable exit in the story. It also doesn't help that The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and Persephone (Monica Bellucci) are in the film for only five short minutes. The exception, of course, is Hugo Weaving's menacing Agent Smith. In terms of filmmaking, the Wachowski brothers deliver great visuals and direct rather well, but as writers they lack to make the dialogue interesting.




Warner Bros. presents The Matrix Revolutions in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are rich, vibrant, crisp, and very well-saturated. The print image is in great condition without any flaws. Sharpness looks great and the amount of detail is very good. Black levels and dark tones are very deep and look terrific. Compression artifacts do not appear, but a little grain shows up here and there. Overall, a great presentation.




Warner Bros. presents The Matrix Revolutions in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. The many explosions, gun fire, creaking metal, throwing fists, and the large arsenal of cool sound effects are greatly reinforced by the surrounds. The rear speakers place the audio in the zone, and there is some sweet dynamic range here as well. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, never underscored by the sound effects or Don Davis' score. This is a terrific auditory experience. French and Spanish Dolby dubs are also available. Optional subtitles include English, Spanish, and French.




This release is a double-dip, but the extras deliver nonetheless. The first disc holds the film, while the second disc includes all the extras. That's how things are done, but again a commentary track is missing.


Disc 2 starts with Revolutions Recalibrated (27:00), a making-of documentary on the film with the usual cast and crew interviews. Joel Silver goes on about the action while Laurence Fishburne references Matrix philosophy. The behind-the-scenes footage here is pretty cool and quite revealing, but there's still the element of familiarity to this documentary.


CG Revolution (15:23) concentrates on the special effects of the Zion battle against the machines and the APU machine gun units. Revealing footage is shown, but again the subject is familiar. Better and somewhat interactive is Super Burly Brawl (6:17), allowing viewers to watch the humongous battle between Neo and Agent Smith from three different angles, namely storyboard, set footage, and final edit. Included here is the white rabbit feature, which will take you to a separate featurette on a specific event. More on those later.


Future Gamer: The Matrix Online (10:59) takes a look at the game that continues the story after Revolutions ends. It seems cool, but I don't think I'll play it. Next are text/picture-based extras, Before the Revolution, an interactive timeline, and 3-D Evolution, a neat stills gallery featuring conceptual art, storyboards, and film stills.


In case you missed the white rabbit feature in Super Burly Brawl, the Operator menu gives you the four featurettes one after another. Neo-Realism (12:22) covers virtual cinematography and bullet-time applications, Super Big Mini Models (8:47) looks at large scale miniatures and other things, Double-Agent Smith (7:11) explains the technique of creating all the Smith clones, and finally Mind over Matter (8:04) takes a peek at wire work and stunts.


If you have DVD-ROM, you'll get even more stuff. Included is the Tunnel Recon Flash Game, The Matrix Comics in full color PDF files, and a Preview Player, an interactive tool to plug the new website.


The 129-minute feature is organized into thirty-three chapters. A neat paper insert lists scene selections and special features. The two discs come in an Amaray keepcase.




The Matrix Revolutions suffers from a slow pace and the lack of an involving story, at least the script doesn't tell it like it should. Overall, this is not how I envisioned for the trilogy to end exactly, but what's here remains above average for an action film. Warner's video/audio presentation is fantastic. The extras cover familiar territory, but most are still interesting to watch. Fans should make a purchase, and for anyone else it's a recommended rental.




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