The Matrix Revolutions

I have almost nothing to say about The Matrix Revolutions. Instead of upping the ante on the comic-book metaphysics of the first two films – which is what I had hoped for – the Wachowski Brothers give us basically a straight action film. The attack on Zion by the machines is exciting (for a while) and state-of-the-art, but it can’t compensate for the almost complete absence of the conundrums that fueled the previous installments. It’s almost as if the Matrix itself didn’t exist, so little attention is paid to the virtual-reality theme. And despite (all-too-brief) reappearances by the Merovingian and the Architect, almost nothing of philosophical import is said by anyone. We are left with some treacly utterances by the Oracle (now played rather ineffectually by Mary Alice, replacing the late Gloria Foster) about love and belief. (You have to snort in derision regarding the “love” between Keanu Reeves’ Neo and Carrie Anne Moss’ Trinity, who must be the most robotically affectless couple in movie history). What’s more, the climactic fight scene between Neo and Agent Smith seems utterly perfunctory in comparison with their battles in the prior two films; and the overall plot resolution is a complete cop-out. Second parts of trilogies are often problematic and disappointing; but when has the concluding installment of a trilogy ever been so lame a letdown? I still find Nona Gaye sexy, but that is about the only positive thing I can say about this film.

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