Welcome to Simulated Reality Week: Day 3. Today, we’re finishing up the movie trilogy most known for its simulated reality aspect, with The Matrix Revolutions. This is the film that finalizes the long-awaited mystery of the prophesy, as well as the fate of Zion. At the same time, critics everywhere generally dislike this film the most, but why? We’ll get into that in a little bit, but first, what is it about?
“Neo discovers that somehow he is able to use his powers in the real world too and that his mind can be freed from his body, as a result of which he finds himself trapped on a train station between the Matrix and the Real World. Meanwhile, Zion is preparing for the oncoming war with the machines with very little chances of survival. Neo’s associates set out to free him from The Merovingian since it’s believed that he is the One who will end the war between humans and the machines. What they do not know is that there is a threat from a third party, someone who has plans to destroy both the worlds.” (IMDb)
The first thing you should probably know about this film is that 1, there’s actually very little focus on Neo. 2, there’s very little focus on the matrix, and 3, there’s very little martial arts. As far as I can tell, that’s a clear math equation that would certainly disappoint people, because typically speaking, those are the very ingredients that actually make a Matrix film…a Matrix film. Instead, this is a very Real World-centered film. There’s a lot of Zion in this and a lot of war with the machines in this, which makes for a very loud and action-oriented war film, but that’s about it. Now, this is completely biased, but I’m not always a big fan of war films, and I’ve always hated Zion in these films. It’s just…a weird place. I get the idea of the last surviving humans, but at the same time, I wouldn’t cry if they all died. Just saying.
Ultimately, for the reasons I laid out above, it just doesn’t feel like a Matrix film (for the most part). It still has all of the actors and the underlining story, but visually speaking, it really is a disappointment. However, let us look past that and break it down. We can’t focus on one negative thing and ignore the good parts, right? Let’s get into it.
PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
It is now safe for me to say the people score was exceptional in the entire trilogy. While there weren’t any real characters that were added to the story, the ones that we have met up to this point have proven that they are memorable and know how to beautifully play their roles – which tells us that the acting, characters, and casting are all perfect. Once again, everybody seems to add to the plot, which gives them all an independent reason to be there – and they still work really well together.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing score, which is probably the worst score for this category in the trilogy, but the score itself isn’t really that bad, it’s actually rather average. There is one really memorable speech in this movie towards the end, but everything else regarding dialogue is more or less forgettable in this movie. This also feels a little convoluted with the war on Zion, the multiple Smiths, the powers in the real world, the Smith in the real world, the train man, the train man’s world…I mean, the movie is ultimately simple, but they don’t take a simple approach. The story itself is just a continuation of Reloaded versus its own story. I like the story, but I wanted this to have something of its own. Finally, I still consider it original and interesting – all the way to the end.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 1|Music – 2
Behind-the-scenes is also okay. I’ve never had a problem with the visuals in any of these films. While I don’t necessarily call this movie eye candy, like the others, I do say a lot of work went into the visuals and it looks great on a technical level. As far as directing goes, I think there were some major flaws here. A director has a couple of duties in movies like this – telling a story and filming fight sequences. The story itself was a continuation of Reloaded, and even though it should be simple, it’s still a bit convoluted. Also, the one fight sequence in this film to end all fight scenes was not as threatening as the burly brawl in Reloaded, a major disappointment, and technically the worst shot fight in the history of the series. It looked nice with the rain and slow mo, but most of the time, I had no idea what moves anyone was making. Other than that, I think the editing and music were really good. The only other thing I have to say is…this wasn’t as advertised. It was advertised as a Matrix film, and based on the ingredients I laid out above, it really doesn’t feel like that.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 1|Inciting Incident – 1|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’ll talk about the narrative arc score, which was mostly fine. The only issue I had with this film was both the introduction and the inciting incident, and I was very nice giving them half points because both are grasping at straws. The introduction was truly the cliffhanger in Reloaded, so it does exist, just not in this movie. The inciting incident probably doesn’t actually exist, because the real one also happened in Reloaded. If you wanted a point in this film, you’d have to go to the halfway point in the film (an hour in), when Neo decides what he ultimately has to do. Typically, they aren’t an hour in though, so I don’t know what to tell you. Grasping, like I said. The obstacles were fine, that was mostly the war on Zion. The climax was the neodammerung, and the falling action introduced us to the new norm, just like it should.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 4/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience In – 1
This is where the movie begins to falter with its points, though. I believe a lot of the technical aspects aren’t terrible, but it is not a very entertaining movie. Let’s begin with the rewatchability – you can’t even watch this movie on its own without seeing Reloaded first, but you can mostly watch Reloaded on its own. So I’d rewatch this as part two of that movie, but that’s the only reason. Is it fun? In some sequences, yes, in most others, not at all. Does it suck the audience in? Like with the other subcategory, yes, but in most other scenes, no. Do I have an impulse to buy it? No, but I wouldn’t mind having the film as part of a collection of the other movies. What about an impulse to talk about it? Not this time.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 25/50
Sequel – 5|Adds New – 5|Martial Arts – 5|Keanu – 0|Halfway Decent – 10
Here’s where things ultimately get interesting. These are the five questions that I wrote out before seeing the film. It had to do with being part of a franchise and the typical questions I ask for that, and my basic expectations when it comes to this movie series. First of all, it is a sequel, so does it feel like it fits in with the series? I mentioned above the ingredients, or subcategories to this category, which are all missing from this film. The only thing there was the characters and Zion, which isn’t really the reason I watch, but I guess that sort of feels like it fits. Half points. The next question I had is if it added anything new. Not really. You can count the Zion vantage point and the war, but I don’t really care about that. How is the martial arts? Not that great. They only have like one scene with it, and even though the concept is tense, the actuality of what happens is a little underwhelming. Would I suggest this film if someone brings up Keanu? No. Not at all. I’d mention part one and two, and then I might suggest Bill & Ted, Speed, and John Wick…not Revolutions. Is it halfway decent? Well, I think, for the most part, the Wachowskis achieved what they sought after, so I must say yes to this.