The crews of Mjolnir and the Nebuchannezer are trying to make sense of what is happening to the Matrix, which seems to be malfunctioning. Morpheus asks to search for Neo, even though his body is in a coma. Trinity looks over Neo’s body along with that of Bane, which stores the brain patterns of Agent Smith. The Mjolnir receives a call, and Link answers. It is Seraph, who has a message from the Oracle.
In the Matrix, Neo wakes up inside a subway station, where a young girl has a conversation with Neo. She goes back with her parents, who are waiting for a special train. Elsewhere, Morpheus and Trinity meet with the Oracle, who has a different appearance now. They discuss where Neo is, and who has him. Seraph accompanies Morpheus and Trinity, and they find the Trainman. He rebuffs them immediately, and a chase ensues. Unfortunately, the Trainman escapes. Trinity and Morpheus decide to take on the Trainman’s boss, the Merovingian.
Back in the train station, the family reveals that they are computer programs that want to live in the Matrix. As they discuss the meaning of love with Neo, the train shows up. Neo attempts to board, but is violently assaulted by the Trainman. The train leaves with the family aboard and Neo is left behind.
Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph reach an underground club, and fight their way inside. The Merovingian and Persephone wait on the second level for them and surround the group with armed guards. The Merovingian makes a deal with them: Bring him the eyes of the Oracle and he will release Neo from the Train Station. Trinity, however, has another idea. Stealing the gun from one of the guards, she threatens the Marovingian with his life unless he releases Neo.
In the train station, Neo finds that he cannot leave, regardless of how he tries. He uses his other powers and finds that something is indeed wrong outside the Matrix. A train shows up and Trinity steps out. Neo and Trinity share a kiss. Neo goes to the Oracle, who tells him that the end is coming. When Neo leaves, Oracle has Seraph take Sati and run. However, they are soon captured by a squad of Agent Smiths. The Oracle is then confronted by more Agent Smiths. He then subsumes the Oracle and Agent Smith’s powers increase exponentially. Using the Oracle’s power, Agent Smith begins to laugh, apparently at a forseen outcome.
The Mjolnir comes across the Logos and after a search, they find that Logos used their EMP to fight off a Sentinel attack. When the Mjolnir recharges the Logos, they find that the Matrix is completely malfunctioning. At the same time, as Neo comes out of his coma, Bane wakes up. Neo takes himself out of any planning that has been taking place. He returns a little while later asking for a ship. Niobe gives Neo and Trinity hers. The crew of the Mjolnir take the supplies and ammunition off of the Logos and they get underway. However, they find that Bane has killed the medic and has boarded the Logos.
Back in Zion, the people are preparing for the Sentinel invasion. Commander Locke prepares a defense plan that should repel the Sentinels for a time. The Sentinels drill their way into the dock and the humans train their weapons on the opening. The first Sentinels come through the opening and Captain Mifune’s robots open fire. The battle is fierce and furious from the outset. The drill that pierced the dock has re-oriented itself and has begun drilling into Zion itself. The infantry soldiers, armed with rocket launchers, try to stop it.
On the Mjolnir, they try to find a way back to Zion without encountering resistance. Niobe finds a path, and takes the helm. Unfortunately, they are detected and the Sentinels on patrol pursue the Mjolnir. Morpheus takes the co-pilot seat and Niobe accelerates the Mjolnir to maximum speed. As the Sentinels attack, Niobe pilots the ship in ways that no one else had been able to do before.
On the Logos, the ship begins to malfunction. Trinity goes to see what the issue is, and is assaulted. Neo comes to look, and finds that Bane has captured Trinity. Bane and Trinity struggle, and Trinity is knocked down. Neo and Bane fight, but Neo is blinded. Bane taunts Neo and Neo finally realizes who Bane really is. Neo defeats Bane, but realizes that the end is indeed coming.
In Zion, the battle does not go well for the humans. The Sentinels have been systematically destroying the human’s weapons systems. The Mjolnir is attempting to fend off its own attackers with little success of its own. They manage to make it back to Zion to be able to use their EMP weapon to disable the Sentinels and the Drillers. The crew celebrates, but Locke has to restore the defenses for the next level of possible attackers. When the second wave of Sentinels appear, Locke destroys the passages to Zion. Some of the Sentinels, however, sacrifice their life energy to the Drillers and the Drillers start digging again.
Trinity and Neo take the Logos to the Machine City and encounter resistance. Neo uses his powers, but is soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of defenders. Trinity takes her craft above the dark cloud line, which deactivates them, but her ship is disabled. She manages to restart the ship, but crashes into a building. Neo is relatively unharmed, but Trinity dies from her wounds.
Neo walks to the center of the Machine City, and encounters the machine version of the Architect. Neo offers a deal: He will stop Agent Smith if the Machines stop the war. The Machines hook Neo into the Matrix, which has turned into a dismal area. As Neo walks through, he finds that everyone is an Agent Smith now. The original Agent Smith appears, and tells Neo that he will be defeated. The two of them fight, and the battle’s intensity increases with every passing moment, although it becomes clear that even Neo’s powers are no match for Agent Smith.
Neo tries one final attack, which seems to defeat Agent Smith, but the other Smiths are still there. Agent Smith appears from the rock pile and defeats Neo. Agent Smith, using the Oracle’s powers again, finds that he will completely defeat Neo this time, but then, Oracle’s powers give out. Agent Smith fears that he will be defeated, so he subsumes Neo, and Neo becomes an Agent Smith. The Architect then sends a power surge through Neo’s body and Neo-Agent Smith explodes. The other Smiths also explode, along with the Original Agent Smith. The body of the Oracle is lying in the crater as the rain continues to fall.
The Architect declares the wars over and withdraws from Zion. The humans celebrate their newfound solace. The Matrix resets itself, and Oracle shares a moment with Sati and Seraph. The Architect appears, and banters with Oracle. He promises to free any humans that wish to leave the Matrix. Sati makes a rainbow, and the sun rises in the Matrix.
Review and Analysis:
The Matrix Reloaded took the story and background of the original Matrix and completely tossed it out in the water. The Matrix Revolutions takes the story and background of the Matrix Reloaded, tosses it alongside the Matrix, and sinks them both with torpedoes.
The Matrix asked a question of what the purpose of reality is supposed to be. Is life real, or are we all simply a battery inside a computer program, living in a dystopian world of boring life? The Matrix Reloaded, however, turns into a movie-long fightfest devoid of any plot. Revolutions, on top of this, turns into a bullet-ridden mess after the first act is in the books.
The Wachowski Brothers Crib George Lucas…far too often:
In Return of the Jedi, the first act of the movie was Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Lando Calrissian rescuing Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Nearly every angstrom of the setup was shown, and a quarter of the movie was taken up by the rescue. The Matrix Revolutions, following in the footsteps of Star Wars, does the same thing here:
Cannon Fire Overkill:
The big action sequence of the movie was the battle on 2 different fronts taking place at the same time: The Mjolnir, now piloted by Niobe, attempting to make it back to Zion, and the humans attempting to stop the Machine attack at Zion’s dock. All-in-all, the sequence lasts 25 excruciating minutes and the whole scene is nothing but a worthless setup for the big fight at the end.
However, we are forced to watch a repeat of this sequence just a few minutes later. Neo and Trinity are attacked by the Machine City’s defense systems upon their approach. There aren’t too many people watching this movie from this point that actually care about the sequence. It’s as if the movie itself forgot what it was supposed to be about during the original filming of Reloaded, and just decided to call the armory for more requisition ammunition.
About Trinity’s Death (and Life):
Like most things pumped full of action sequences, attempts to ratchet up emotion often go too far overboard. Like a death scene, with Don Davis attempting his all of his ability to make the scene as touching as possible, lasting for four minutes.
As I stated in my previous reviews for The Matrix and The Matrix: Reloaded, the entire purpose of Trinity’s life has been to serve as Neo’s arm candy. No action that she has taken in all three movies has ever been to actually assist the human resistance, nor to lend her expertise and experience when it all matters, except to save Neo from being killed prematurely. Her assisting Neo to rescue Morpheus only comes about because Neo decides to jump in and rescue him; the thought never seemed to cross Trinity’s mind at all. Likewise, in Reloaded, the only time she gets angry is when she feels threatened by Perspehone’s wanting to kiss Neo. The only other time she acts brashly is when Neo is endangered by the Vigilant’s crew being killed before they completed their objective.
Nothing changes in Revolutions, where Trinity was willing to kill the Merovingian and Persephone in order to get her Neo back to her.
So, to sum up: Trinity lived for Neo’s sake. And Trinity dies for Neo’s sake.
While the movie spends the majority of its time with the people in Zion, all of the people in the Matrix are assimilated into Agent Smiths. This part of the story was simply skipped over; it was apparent that very little thought was given as to how to make this proceed believably onscreen. Would the people still hooked into the Matrix be able to resist? Could they stop a computer-generated self-aware program that has the ability to fly, with reflexes quicker than any human hooked into the Matrix, and simply takes over the body of anyone he touches?
Wouldn’t such a scenario already throw the Matrix into the very chaos that the Architect was looking to avoid? Also, since anyone who is subsumed by Agent Smith has their neural pathways rewritten, does this mean that every human hooked into the Matrix has now died? Or did the Matrix keep a backup of the original human personalities? You never get a sense of how these questions are answered here.
Take note that other than the random people we see outside of the car that Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and Seraph ride in, we do not see anyone inside the Matrix itself that is not some computer program imported from the Machine City mainframe.
The movie lost its way when it decided that the people of Zion and the programs of the Machine City were of such utmost importance that the people who have been enslaved by the Matrix (as established in the first movie) no longer mattered.
Too Much Inference:
The biggest problem that the Matrix franchise demonstrates is the balance of allowing your audience to allude to a conclusion based on available facts versus spelling it out to them on screen. If you show a result without a direct cause, your audience may not reach the same conclusion that you may have intended. If you detail the events leading up to the result too finely, the point gets lost because of too much lead-in of information.
In the case of Revolutions, the most important portion of the movie, the denouement, is done with few words on the right topic. After Agent Smith subsumes Neo, thus assimilating him into the Smith program, the Architect sends a surge of power through Neo, making him and the other Smiths explode. Since no real explanation is given as to how this is possible, one can only infer that the Architect could only do that to The One. But you have go back to Reloaded when the Architect says that Neo is the manifestation of the anomaly that marks the beginning and the end of the Matrix itself.
Then there is the Merovingian’s Underground Rave. The Merovingian and Persephone often made reference to earlier versions of the Matrix – and that they survived through all of them since their own creation. Is it here that they remained as viable programs while the Matrix itself continuously reconfigured its internal programming? And considering that Agent Smith would probably have continued its conquest beyond the Matrix (at least, according to Neo), would the Merovingian’s hideout have even been safe?
Then there’s Rama Kandra, Kamala Kandra, and Sati Kandra. They all wax poetic about love and what love is. However, you have to go back to Reloaded once again, to remember that Neo has seen this character before:
The whole purpose of Mobil Station was to give us…her:
It should be noted – and again, this is inferred – that for Sati to exist in the Matrix, both Rama and Kamala apparently had to terminate their own programs in their deal with Merovingian. However, rewatch the scene where Rama and Neo debate what love is. And then tell me why this woman:
Never speaks about the love she has for her daughter, or why she is willing to sacrifice her program for Sati to survive.
Hollywood at it again, ladies and gentlemen.
And That Jesus Allegory Rears Its Head Again:
Perhaps the most uncomfortable part of watching Chosen Ones these days is the fact that many writers like to have their “Hero” suffer through trials and travails like those found in the stories of Jesus Christ. In the case of The Matrix, Neo’s allegory is taken all the way to its end – Neo dies to erase the “Sins” of War between Humanity and the Machines they spawned centuries ago. Also, the Oracle hints that Neo may indeed return someday…much like the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
Morpheus…Does Even Less:
Most of the people who watched Laurence Fishburne in this movie were looking so hard to praise a well-spoken Black Man that many failed to note that he never really did anything in any of the movies themselves. However, in Revolutions, the Morpheus character takes a backseat to everyone in this film:
First, it’s to the Captain of the Mjolnir.
Next, it would be to the Unknown Asian Kung-Fu Master and the Hero’s Arm Candy. Once again, Morpheus offers no meaningful assistance.
Then, there is this scene between Roland and Niobe. Let’s remember that Morpheus has been through these same passageways and has dealt with the same enemies as everyone else. And he is supposed to be a commanding officer. Yet, he offers nothing.
At this point, Laurence just seems content to collect his paycheck; this movie offers no additional insight on his character, except that it is almost certain that he and Niobe will
relight their boilers rekindle their relationship by the end of the movie.
What was supposed to mark the wellspring of Morpheus’ belief in the Chosen One simply comes off as a man who ultimately knows absolutely nothing. But he has faith. How is this any different from those who believe in The Force? But since the producers have to pay Mr. Fishburne, they might as well give him a line to spout here.
Remember that rousing speech Morpheus gives in Reloaded? Throw it out the window. He doesn’t even get to announce that the war has ended to the people. The kid that Neo “rescues” (from Reloaded) gets that honor. But note that while Morpheus could rouse a crowd into a frenzy, this kid cannot; it takes Link’s scream of joy before the crowd bothers to join in.
This is the one time I was the Wachowski Brothers cribbed George Lucas; at least Lando Calrissian lead the Rebel Fighter attack AND blew up the Death Star with a blast at point-blank range.
Women of Color Sidenote:
While the Matrix franchise has done a better job of including Women of Color, they still fall down on the job in regards to East Asian women. There were a total of four such women in the franchise, and they all appear in this movie. 2 of them work for the resistance, and 2 more of them are actually computer programs that reside in the Merovingian’s Underground Rave.
A Fearful Image:
There are several couples of color, albeit hetero in nature. Link and Zee, and Morpheus (or Jason) and Niobe. None of them are involved in the usual litany of “Black” movie idiosyncrasies (such as out-of-wedlock pregnancies, gang/urban violence, interpersonal relationship violence, or sexual abuse by either partner).
I wish this were true of modern Black filmmakers, who seem to have an overwhelming desire to showcase some part of Black Pathology as an end on to itself these days. While the “Black Experience” includes stories of violence and suffering (often at the hands of the greater White Society/Privilege/Racial Framing in general), localizing such stories and casting blame or levels of blame on the same or opposing genders seems to be the order of the day. As I outline in “On Missed Opportunities,” the only way to change the landscape is to show the landscape as it needs to be.
As long as Black Men and Black Women continue to create films where Black Men and Black Women are at odds with each other; are never shown to be respectful of themselves or each other; and are never allowed to reconcile their differences or let their attraction grow to something heartwarming…these outcomes will never appear onscreen.
The Philosophy of The Matrix:
The Matrix franchise lost its way with the beginning of Reloaded, mostly because it stopped being about the question (which was “Is it real, or is it Memorex?“) and simply did the usual sequel devolve into a pointless shoot ’em up/beat ’em up franchise. It happens to personify The Problem with the Rebel Alliance like so many other franchises do. This movie also makes you wonder what the Machines were really looking to accomplish with this setup.
Final Battle – And the Choir:
I’ve posted elsewhere that final battles with choirs are successful only under the following circumstances:
- The choir is scored by Danny Elfman. I’m amending it to add James Horner; OR,
- The movie somehow involves Batman; OR,
- The composer is Japanese. I’m changing this to any East Asian nation in general; OR,
- The DC Comics Animated Universe is somehow involved in the film’s production.
The Matrix Revolutions does not meet any of these requirements.
Final Battle Choir FAIL.
So, What Changed With the End of the Movie?
Not a thing.
Zion will need to be rebuilt, and it’s not clear if the Architect will lend his machines to help.
Billions of people are still hooked into the Matrix. Since they still have the after-effects of Agent Smith in their brains, how are the Architect and the Oracle going to reconcile this for those who want to stay in the Matrix? And, while we’re on the subject, if the point of the war was to free Humanity from the Matrix, then Neo’s sacrifice, while maintaining the Jesus allegory, is rendered completely pointless. The Matrix will continue to exist, and thanks to Neo, insures that the Machines will act as the aggressor when the timing is right once more. This will especially be true if the Architect program is somehow deleted or corrupted and a more “malevolent” program is instituted, especially if the humans that remain in the Matrix cannot produce the kind of power needed to keep the Machines operating.
And why would the Humans allow such a condition to persist?
And what of the Agents? They would still be needed, simply because the Matrix still exists.
In short, Revolutions: What a Letdown.
The Matrix: Revolutions is a case study of trying to reclaim what was thought to be cool while at the same time mis-allocating movie resources and focusing on the wrong things. This movie had no plot, just a bunch of scenes that were connected together in haphazard fashion. Your top four billed actors were either killed (Reeves, Moss, Weaving) or pushed to the side to promote others (Fishburne). Men and Women of Color take up arms to defend their lives, but have to be saved by the Jesus Allegory, whose death will turn out to be rather pointless in the passage of time in the Matrix universe.
Enjoy the battle between Neo and Agent Smith. At least it gives a slight glimpse into what a battle between two people of Superman’s abilities would actually look like – since this feels like a battle that JJ Abrams would have penned if he had been given control of the Superman franchise (read this script…it’s a doozy – and shows why Abrams should never be given the keys to any sci-fi franchise (It’s in PDF format) – I’ll get to his Star Trek…later). Otherwise, there isn’t much to like about this movie, nor the franchise at the very end.