The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions

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MAYBE NEEDED LESS REVOLUTION, MORE RESOLUTION

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This movie basically has the same weaknesses as its predecessor, which I described in my review of THE MATRIX: RELOADED and don't wish to fully repeat here. No surprise, really, considering how the two movies were written and filmed almost simultaneously. Yet some of those weaknesses are more muted in THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS due to its slightly more mystical tone, giving support to creative interpretations which could fill in a few smaller plot holes. Well, at least potentially. I guess that renders this third film infinitesimally better than the second film.

Still, THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS isn't even close to deserving the great respect THE MATRIX earned, as I outlined in my review of that original episode. A key reason, among others, is that THE MATRIX ended with a well-founded payoff while THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS has no final resolution which appears to make any sense. After all, this movie was fundamentally a cash grab, as I explained elsewhere, like THE MATRIX: RELOADED. Its creators didn't care whether its story was well-crafted (judging from the available evidence).

One of the most unresolvable problems of THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS has to do with the motivation of Smith. Until this chapter, Smith apparently intended to stop anything Neo personally did, without needing to take the fight to an existential level. I largely understood that, since Smith had a personal vendetta against Neo. However, in a very oblique manner, now The Oracle is saying Smith is the opposite of Neo in some more mysterious, profound way. Thus I suppose we may call Smith the Negative Neo; or negative One; or maybe just -1 ... ha ha. As such, according to The Oracle, Smith embodies another means to balance The Source's equation. Vaguely resembling Neo, in this regard, but operationally extremely different.

What I don't get is how the plot logic henceforth jumps to Smith declaring war on all people in the Matrix and physical world, plus on the machine city. Contradicting Smith's own (purpose-drives-us-and-enables-our-existence) speech from the last movie! Now Smith intends to end all life. "The purpose of life is to end," it says oxymoronically, contrary to its big, prior monologue. As I suggested in another review, Smith's character arc was already lousy; to make Smith pure evil only worsens the situation. Come on, The Source's equation isn't the Anti-Life Equation ... and Smith ain't Darkseid.

I don't see why Smith, even if it dominates the Matrix, wouldn't ultimately want most machines and humans to be physically unharmed; with enough energy-transfer to keep the Matrix running. Like how a parasite typically won't kill its host. Remember, the essential function of the Matrix is to transfer energy from humans to machines. If the Matrix ever ceases to profitably do that, then, one way or another, it would be terminated. Taking most or all of poor Smith along with it. Er, is TRASHING an equation a valid method for BALANCING an equation??? As it turns out, the primary conflict and climax of the entire trilogy depend on this--but I believe it makes no sense.

Or perhaps The Oracle simply doesn't know what it's talking about anymore, and is making up exposition as it goes along. Similar to how it makes up new bodies for itself. Which is something I must flag, before I go, because The Oracle's body-switch represents one of the biggest continuity flaws of any blockbuster, ever.

POSTSCRIPT -- In case you're wondering, I give two stars to the full "Matrix" trilogy, as a whole. Basically, the franchise peaks early, then it languishes.