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The Matrix Revolutions, the film that concludes the tale. Finally!
Matrix Revolutions (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Matrix Revolutions (DVD)
Advantages: At least this is an ending
Disadvantages: Should have stuck with one stand alone film
The Matrix Revolutions, the film that concludes the tale.
The machines are still tunnelling toward Zion, while Neo lies comatose aboard the Mjollnir. However Neo is jacked into the Matrix without any physical connection, trapped in a form of digital Limbo after his mysterious burst of power in the real world. Morpheus and Trinity go into the Matrix to rescue Neo from the clutches of the Merovingian, then Neo visits the Oracle one last time to find the answers to his questions.
Yet while Agent Smith is busy remaking the Matrix over in his own image, a sinister traitor awakes aboard the Mjollnir. Still, Neo learns what has to be done, and while he and Trinity set out to accomplish this, the others must return to Zion as the humans make their last stand against the machines, even now breaking into the hidden city. Tonight the war will end, one way or another.
The Matrix Revolutions gets a pristine 2.40:1 anamorphic transfer. The picture is pin sharp. Once again the Matrix can be distinguished by a faint greenish tinge and despite the prevalence of dark scenes, and the fact that the climax takes place in a rainstorm with plenty of particulate motion, the image remains as reference quality throughout.
This film is once again a special effects bonanza, with all disciplines used in bringing the dual worlds to life. The fight sequences are just as explosive as before and Revolutions makes substantial use of computer generated images just as Reloaded did.
There's been a quantum leap in image quality and photo-realism in the intervening months though, and there is little as distracting as the Burly Brawl. Still, I do find the excessive use of CGI distracting, no matter how well accomplished it looks, and certain moments in the climax were jarring in their unreality.
Once again the sound comes in DD 5.1 English and German and befitting an action movie, it's a powerful vibrant soundtrack that makes full use of the surrounds. You would expect nothing less of a film like this and just as Reloaded, it's impossible to fault technically.
The dialogue is clear throughout, and Don Davis' music is exactly what we have come to expect from the Matrix movies. The music for the climax and the end credits fits the tone of the film and makes a change from music of the first two. Subtitles are provided in several European languages, both for the film and the extras.
I couldn't begin this section without mentioning the cover, which is simply horrendous. It's as if they couldn't make up their minds about which image to use, so they stuck all four on. In addition, it's stylistically different from the first two discs. The animated menus are once again gorgeous to look at, and once again they give too much of the story away, not that Revolutions has that much story to begin with.
On disc 1, as well as the film, you will find trailers for all three films, as well as a short trailer for the Animatrix.
On disc 2, Revolutions Recalibrated is the main documentary that runs for 27 minutes. It's the making of, with behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with the cast and crew. There's some interesting stuff among the monotony.
CG Revolution is 16 minutes and shows just how much CG was used in this film, and how it was used.
Super Burly Brawl is 6 minutes and is a multi-angle featurette that looks at the film's climax via the final footage, the storyboards and the behind the scenes footage.
Operator leads to four featurettes, Neo Realism, 13 minutes, looks at more CGI and how it was used to replace actors and digitally create bullet time. Super Big Mini Models, 9 minutes, looks at the models used to realise some of the effects. Double Agent Smith, 7 minutes, looks at how the many Smiths were realised for the final scenes. Mind Over Matter, 8 minutes, looks at the stunts and how the wirework was accomplished and enhanced for Revolutions.
Before The Revolution is an update for all that has come before, to help you catch up with the story. This is presented in chronological order in five sections, Birth, The Matrix, The One, Zion, and Truth. You get information in the form of text and images, as well as the occasional movie clip.
3D Evolution is a fairly comprehensive image gallery, of concept art, storyboards and the final scenes. There's a fair number of images you can view in a 6-minute slideshow, but navigating through the images via the remote isn't easy, and the interface is clumsy.
On the whole the extras are a vast improvement over Reloaded, but still lack depth.
The Matrix was such an amazing film that bettering it would have been difficult. With the Matrix Reloaded, it rapidly became apparent that it was as nowhere near as good as the first, but the hope remained that in conjunction with Revolutions, the two sequels would combine to form a whole worthy of the first film. Unfortunately Revolutions reveals that hope to be a forlorn one.
Yes, it completes the story and it is in a few ways better than Reloaded. In some ways it's worse though. Revolutions is a technically accomplished film, as visually striking as we have come to expect, filled with action but on the whole it's just not satisfying. While it isn't that good, it isn't a turkey either, it's just walks a fine line of mediocrity that leaves the slightest of sour tastes in the mouth.
Revolutions is overlong, we get a slow build up as Neo recovers and a course of action is decided on. Then comes the climactic defence of Zion, an amazing piece of cinema, stunningly choreographed and like little seen before.
When that battle ended, I wiped sweat from my brow and relaxed, but there was more to come, nearly an hour as Neo has yet to face his final confrontation. I simply didn't care at this point, though that may have more to do with the nature of the Super Burly Brawl itself. In hindsight, both Revolutions and Reloaded feel like one film split down the middle and stretched tenuously to fill four hours.
The script is tired and rehashed. There's another lobby shoot-out, Trinity gets to wheel out her trademark Scorpion and Dragon kicks, Neo has yet another chat with the Oracle and yet another battle with Smith.
A complaint I had about the first sequel, Neo's invincibility has been addressed, but the Matrix is now a sterile neutral place. We get a glimpse early on of the Merovingian's nightclub, but by the end it has become a rain soaked Smithville. It's an imbalance between the sequels that actually makes Reloaded, despite it's lack of story the more satisfying experience.
The dialogue similarly suffers. In the first film there was an intelligent dialogue that hinted at a complexity underlying the story. The second film attempted to expand on this, but the dialogue became stilted and cumbersome, especially by the time the Architect was introduced. In the third film, the dialogue is laughable. It's as if the writers thought, "We still have twenty minutes to fill, let's add a few more syllables."
The final confrontation between Smith and Neo is actually something I found tedious. Once again CGI rears its ugly head, I still can't accept digital actors in place of the real thing, and CGI bullet time is a poor substitute for the ingenuity of the original optical technique.
I think the sheer implied energy of the combat strains the bounds of fantasy, let alone reality, when both Smith and Neo take to the air to fight in a sort of free-fall dance, there's no frame of reference, and the mid-air kung fu lacks weight and is unsatisfying, also the earth-shattering collisions between the two quickly jade. Smith himself is a parody of the character created in the first film, indeed in one of the story points of Revolutions he is reduced in stature to little more than an aspect of Neo. Even Don Davis' music sounds tired and repetitive. As the visuals of the Matrix Revolutions scream, "More! More! More!" everything fundamental about the film just whispers "less, less, less".
The Matrix Revolutions is a visual experience on a par with the first two films. Stunning set pieces, amazing action and mind blowing visual effects unfortunately do little to hide a narrative vacuum. The extras on the discs surpass those on Reloaded, but are still thin, no doubt anticipating the inevitable Super Special Editions. But if you are a Matrix completist like myself, you probably already have the disc or anticipate buying it soon. As long as you don't fool yourself into expecting something this film isn't, you won't be disappointed.
Summary: After the provise of the first film, the final two let the trilogy down