Jen and I went to see The Matrix Revolutions on Saturday, along with Dan and Dave. I’ve put a lot of thought into the movie since then, and here is my review, kinda.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. If you want to be surprised when you see the movie, don’t read this. Click here instead. You’ve been warned.
I’ll start off by saying that the movie left me wholly and completely unsatisfied. We do not know if Neo is dead or alive (although I suspect the former). We do not know how Neo was ever able to stop the sentinels in the real world. We do not know if the real world is actually another Matrix.
There were some high points, and some surprises. I was very surprised that Trinity died. Not when it happened, but that it happened at all. When it happened, after they crash landed in the Machine City, it was pretty obvious she was breathing her last. Then they panned back and showed all the spikes piercing her. Yep, I though. I was right.
The battle for Zion was interesting, although as has been pointed out many times before, the sentinels could have been way more effective had they not clung to that stupid swarming pattern. Sure, it looks ominous and everything, but it makes for incredibly ineffective combat. Same for those big mech suits. Nice job: a fully armored giant robot body with a weak and puny human adorning the tippy top. Not too hard to find the weak spot there.
Don’t get me wrong: I liked the movie, I really did. I didn’t like it as much as Reloaded, or as much as the original Matrix, but I liked it. It didn’t ask as many probing questions as either of the first two; unfortunately, neither did it answer many of those same questions.
I’m still trying to muddle through the ending, through various conversations with Jen, Dan, and Dave. I know this much: Smith had the eyes of the Oracle (which is what the Merovingian was also after), and it was the Oracle-Smith fighting Neo at the end. This much is revealed to us. And we know that Smith, using the Oracle’s eyes, foresaw the end of the fight. As had been hammered into us, you can’t see past the choices you don’t understand. Smith chose to assimilate Neo; apparently he didn’t understand that choice, or at least its implications. He certainly didn’t foresee that it would bring about his own destruction. The question is: how did Neo know? Did he something in Oracle-Smith’s eyes that told him the Oracle was still inside, telling him that he would still be Neo once assimilated, able to break out and defeat Smith from within? Or did he just give up, hoping the machines he was jacked into would help (after all, he was saving their butts as well)? And was he alive or dead afterward? We don’t know. I think he’s dead. But I think the machines have a copy of his brain and personality, just in case (shouldn’t have been too hard to make an image of the guy’s brain). I also think he’s dead because of the equation balancing that the Oracle talked about.
And here’s the most daunting question of all: why didn’t the machines just build a giant tower with a solar panel on top, for crying out loud? That would have solved their energy needs a lot better than trying to use humans as batteries, since we require more energy than we put out. Perhaps the machines were using us for something else? Maybe a Beowulf cluster? I don’t know. I’m probably overthinking this part. I’m sure the Brothers Wachowski just want me to accept that, for some reason, we’re trapped.
Now, having said all that, the fight between Neo and Bane was pretty tense. We’re in the real world, now, and Neo has no superpowers (at least, apparently not against humans). But Bane is possessed by Smith, who is by this point totally psychotic, and unconcerned for his own welfare, which makes him an enemy to be reckoned with.
I also enjoyed the scene where Smith assimilated the Oracle. I loved how she sat calmly while Smith went nuts. “The great and powerful Oracle. We meet at last. I suppose you’ve been expecting me, right? The all-knowing Oracle is never surprised. How can she be, she knows everything. But If that’s true, then why is she here? If she knew I was coming, why didn’t she leave?” Here, he flings the plate of cookies against the wall. “Maybe you knew I was going to do that, maybe you didn’t. If you did, that means you baked those cookies and set that plate right there deliberately, purposefully. Which means you’re sitting there also deliberately, purposefully.” That was my favorite Smith speech in this one.
And now, since I’ve rambled too long, without really saying much of value, I close this post. Because I choose to.