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The Revolting Matrix
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Okay, okay. Here I my comments on Matrix Revolutions. I should have jotted them down when the movie was fresh in my mind, after seeing it last Friday...but a little sober reflection isn't a bad thing, either.

Anyway, spoilers abound. You've been warned.

First, you should check out James Lilek's review, because,'s entertaining. For example, on the middle Matrix film:

Nothing meant anything. Why should I root for Zion? The machines had built this enormous civilization for themselves, and the guys down in the Rave Hole hadnít even figured out how to make decent shoes. Me, Iíd be begging for admission to the Matrix, but not Morpheus and crew: oh, no, youíre not sending me back to the world of steak, tailored shirts, cigars and fine bourbon! Iím staying right down here in the Temple of No Particular Deity with Cornell West and that guy who used to be in Night Stalker!

I didn't quite like the third film as much as Lileks apparently did, but like his experience, my incredibly low expectations actually helped make it a reasonably enjoyable movie experience. From the torrent of bad reviews, I expected a turd. What I got was what I would call "better-than-turd".

The first half hour was the worst part of it. Slow, talky, with lots of ponderous crap about computer programs spawning little girl programs, and a snaggle-tooth "Trainman" who was straight out of Ghost. I half expected him to teach Neo how to push a penny with his mind. But he didn't do that, or much of anything else. Like the Merovingian, and Persephone, and pretty much every minor character in the last two films, he was a throwaway.

The fight scene in the gun-check room was lame. Oh, they're running on the ceiling. Wouldn't this actually make their vitals (esp. head and heart) easier to shoot? Am I the only one who thought this was a stupid tactical fight maneuver? Basically, the martial arts choreography has gone much more downhill by the third film. And while I initially found it quite stupid that a "jacked-in" human would battle a computer program with kung-fu, once I went with the premise, I really did enjoy the action in the first film.

So they rescue Neo from limbo and he "knows what he has to do". We don't see him or Trinity again for a half hour. Meanwhile, we get The Hammer racing for Zion while the humans in big robot suits have to defend it.

Now there were all sorts of dumb things about the seige of Zion, so I will enumerate them:

1) Why couldn't they just have ammo depots where the APUs could just squat and reload themselves? It makes much more sense for guys in t-shirts with carts to dodge hundreds of squids to reload them.

2) What the hell were the squids doing most of the time? You'd see hundreds of them seemingly flying around in circles while the guns shot them apart. Did they have some sort of attack plan?

3) Why the hell can they only put EMPs on ships? Maybe they explained this and I just missed it. But why don't they have one of these things as a last-ditch backup in the dock area? Or gosh, how about buoys of them guarding the perimeter of the city?

And yet...and yet I still enjoyed this sequence. It didn't make a lick of sense, but it was still visually appealing, tense, and well-paced.

And I liked the trip to the machine city. And I liked the bargain Neo struck with the big robotic machine head. And I liked the big fight with Smith. I liked that there was some sacrifice necessary for the resolution. I liked the way the machines and humans find an uneasy peace, rather than one side or another completely destroying the other. And I liked the semi-ambiguous resolution.

I've heard some suggest that because Neo was jacked in via the biggest, baddest machine god, that when Smith absorbed him, the machine did most of the work in defeating him. Personally, I thought the Oracle and Neo together were the ones that obliterated Smith, once inside him. All in all, I don't think it much matters. It doesn't make any more or less sense than in the first film, when Neo jumped into Smith and blew him up.

So while I can't say it was really a good film, I don't think it was an entirely bad one either. Nowhere near as well-done as the first, maybe slightly better than the second, hopefully it will be the last.

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