Final helping of the Wachowskis' techno-shock triptych
DIRECTED BY Larry and Andy Wachowski STARRING Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Laurence Fishburne Opened November 5, Cert 15, 129 mins
Splitting action films in half?that was a revolution we could have done without, wasn’t it? Between The Matrix Reloaded and this is buried one tight, kick-ass sequel?but instead we were given two, padded out with hours of vapid dialogue and pointless characters. Good news for the studio coffers, bad news for the honourable profession of blockbusting.
None of which matters if you’re 15, of course. Johnny Target Audience is prepared to wade through any amount of bollocks to get to a giant punch-up between metal squids and soldiers in exoskeletons, and Revolutions doesn’t disappoint on that count. We join the action with Neo (Reeves) suspended between dimensions due to some impenetrably complicated business involving the sinister Merovingian. Once that’s sorted (via a 100-way Mexican standoff in a fetish club), he’s back to save the world. Two worlds, in fact: inside the Matrix, Agent Smith (Weaving) is ‘assimilating’ folks at a terrifying rate, and in the real world the machines are minutes away from pounding the human outpost of Zion to a pulp. And the Zion scenes are what makes the movie.
See, once humanity’s raggle-taggle defenders start locking and loading their robot war suits and welding together last-ditch defences over a pounding score, the heart starts racing for the first time since part one. Do-or-die war scenes are so much easier to follow than cod-Buddhist guff, after all. The momentum continues with Neo’s fight against Agent Smith. It starts like a kung-fu duel and rapidly goes nuclear. The Wachowskis always said they wanted The Matrix to be the first believable superhero film, and with this scene they nail it.
As stylists, the Wachowskis are peerless. As screenwriters and storytellers, they’re wretched. So the special effects bar just raised another notch. And the intellect bar just sank one lower. No revolution for us, then.