Matrix: Revolutions (Spoilers)

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Matrix: Revolutions (Spoilers)

Post by Gomer » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:04 am

All right. Got out and saw this flick this weekend. I was anxious to see it for two reasons: 1) Because it was the series-ending movie to a trilogy that begins with perhaps one of my all-time favorite movies, and 2) Because everyone said that it was such a shitfest that I simply had to see how bad it was for myself. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, I will give you fair warning right now (in case you were too dense to glean it from the post subject): SPOILERS AHEAD.

Now that we have that little formality out of the way, on to business. Worst movie ever? Hardly. An admirable way to wrap up such a groundbreaking series? I'd have to say no. Lots of unanswered questions and dismissed plotlines that made things that happened in earlier movies all but worthless were the biggest areas of discontent that I had. And there was a certain cheese factor that creeped it's way into this movie that didn't seem evident in the first two.

First of all, the unanswered questions. Let me rattle off a few that come to mind immediately:

Why was Neo able to bring his uber powers out of the Matrix and into the real world? Why was Smith able to "copy" himself to a real human being?

Did they ever explain this? Yes, I remember there was that scene with the Oracle where she talked about how the two of them were one in the same, so I guess if you could explain it for one, you could explain it for the other. But did they ever really address this in a non-philosophical-psychobabble way? Perhaps I just didn't "get" the explanation they gave, but that was something I still didn't understand when the movie was over.

How did they get Neo out of the Matrix after the train-station place?

Yes, I remember the part where they went into the club for the obligatory rave scene, and just strolled right on up to the French dude and basically said "Bitch let him go". Thing is, he wasn't plugged into the Matrix when that happened. but once they "rescue" him from the train station, the next scene shows them "unplugging" him from the Matrix. So did they just pick up his comatose body and plug him in at some point? They left that part out. I'll get to another gripe I have with this in a sec.

Speaking of the train station, what the fuck was the significance of the Indian family?

In particular, that little girl. The father explained, at the beginning of the movie, that they were all programs, and because he "loved" his daughter, he was sending her to "a better place". What better place was he referring to? Since they were programs in the matrix, and they were at the train station, that would imply that he was going to try to send her to the "real world", since sending her to any other place in the matrix wouldn't have required the use of the train station. So why the hell was she kicking it with the Oracle then? What was her significance in the movie as a whole? Why should I have cared about her? In my opinion, you could've completely removed her from the whole flick, and it wouldn't have made things any more confusing (in fact, it probably would've made things less confusing). The implication I got was that she represented some important aspect of the story, but what exactly that aspect is was lost on me.

What the fuck was that ending all about?

I've heard people bitch about the ending, but my only problem with it was the fact that I had no fucking idea what happened. So he goes to the machine city, they plug him into the matrix. He proceeds to fight Agent Smith. He proceeds to lose said fight. Then all of the Agent Smiths explode, and the matrix is happy again. The war is over. Trilogy done. What the fuck? Did I miss something?

After doing a little poking around, an astute comment poster over at fark offered up this description of the ending, that actually made some sense of it for me:
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Revolutions I've seen: that Neo destroyed Smith. In truth, he did not. The machine did (I've heard it being referred to as the Deus ex Machina?...the big spikey thing that is, for all we know, the all-important king of the machines. If the machines have any concept of hierarchical structure, but I digress). I'll explain:

Computers can only affect other computers by having a connection to one another (duh). This is the manner by which files and programs get written, read, copied, moved, deleted, etc........

The Deus ex Machina KNOWS that the virus Smith is a problem, but it can't do anything because it doesn't have a connection to him. It's essentially like my computer trying to contact another computer on the other side of the world that doesn't even have a modem. Can't be done.

Smith is disconnected from the machine world, and running amok in The Matrix. The Deus ex Machina jacks Neo into the Matrix to fight Smith. Neo loses, and succumbs to Smiths copy routine. When that happens, Neo is written over with Smith--A HA! Now the Deus ex Machina has a connection to Smith via Neo, and NOW the Deus ex Machina can destroy him, which it does. That's what it's doing when it floods Neo's body with energy--sending a powerful anti-virus routine to wipe out the Smiths.

In effect, Neo sacrificed himself, and the Deus ex Machina kept up its end of the bargain. The end.
Thank you poster. Whether or not that is, in actuality, what the movie meant to convey, it certainly makes enough sense out of things to me to feel better about it. Originally, the machines created Smith just like any other Agent - but when Neo "killed" him in the first one, it disconnected him from the matrix, thus giving him free reign to run amuck in the matrix unmolested by its rules and regulations. Now insert that ending I quoted from the fark poster, and you have wrapped up your trilogy in a remotely logical fashion. Yay. I feel all warm inside now.

I'm sure there are plenty of other unanswered questions that I've missed thus far (feel free to add to the list yourself), but this post is getting long enough and I've a few more things to discuss...

Things from the last movie that made events of the previous two irrelevant/unimportant. We have:

Jacking in and out of the matrix.

In the original movie, a lot of the suspense was built around being able to "hack" into the matrix from a safe location, and being able to find a way out before the Sentinels tore your ship a new one. Hell, that was what made the ending of the first one so nerve-wracking. In this final movie, however, this was a mere afterthought, as the rebels seemed to plug in and out of the matrix at will. Being tracked by Sentinels in the real world? Bah.

What happened to all of the "backdoors" from the 2nd movie?

Um, explain to me again what the point of these were. I remember leaving the 2nd movie thinking that they would serve some sort of purpose in the last, but no mention of them was ever made. Wha? This makes the keymaker dude that they fought so hard to save in the 2nd one somewhat irrelevant as well.

Those Rastafarian Albino twins from the 2nd movie - we are to believe that a simple car explosion killed them?

These guys were portrayed as elite matrix manipulating asshanders, clearly capable of defying most of the "rules" of the matrix, yet they are easily dispatched via a car explosion. I accepted that in the 2nd one, merely because I expected them to make their return in the final one. But no, it wasn't until after the 3rd one was over that I realized, "Hey, those albinos with the dreadlocks never showed up. Wtf?"

Why was Morpheus even in this movie?

They spent the first two flicks building him up as this major character, and he plays a very minor role in the finale. He's in one Matrix fight scene, where they save Neo, and the rest of the movie he is in the passenger seat of the Hammer, taking commands from Naiobi. That obnoxious kid that they introduced in the 2nd movie has about as much dialogue as Morpheus. And arguably, a bigger role. Sad.

What purpose did it serve killing off Trinity?

Ok, you've got this character, she has been integral to the story thus far. She's survived numerous agent encounters in the matrix, escaped being prematurely "unplugged" by a human saboteur, brought back to life after dying in the matrix, and her grand exit from the trilogy is - a plane crash? What the fuck? This would be like Holly Hunter's character in Die Hard (the wife of John McClane) getting hit by a bus after being rescued from the Nakatomi Plaza. What a waste. Her build up from the first two movies is destroyed in one single scene. For shame.

Ok, this post is getting much too lengthy. My final major gripe is with the cheese factor. This was most prominant in the "Zion defense" portion of the movie. Ironically, this portion of the movie was probably my favorite overall, perhaps because it was just lots of mindless action. I would've enjoyed it more, however, if that "kid" that they introduced in the 2nd one wasn't running around spewing horrible dialogue the whole time. I swear, the absolute lamest part of the movie (and the trilogy as a whole) is when he's in the APU about to fire on Gate 13 to open it for the Hammer, and he stops to say:
Neo...I believe!
UGH! I aboslutely cringed when he uttered that line. Whatever editor overlooked chopping that bit of dialogue out needs to be shot. Simply terrible. Does it get any cornier than that? The other major problem I have with this character is his absurd cheering at the end of the movie, when the war is over. The Sentinels are swarming the last line of human defenses, and then they just fly away. Upon seeing this, the kid promptly leaps up and screams, "THE WAR IS OVER! THE WAR IS OVER!" Um, and you know this, how? How in the fuck could you possibly start chanting a statement like this at that point? For all you know, those machines are just leaving so a more efficient wave of asshanding mechanics can come swoop in and beat down the human race. And don't give me that "But his faith in Neo convinced him that Neo had saved the world" crap. Don't give me that horseshit for a second. There was no way for any of those humans to believe the war was over at that point, yet they all start cheering like jackasses when this lame kid starts running around screaming that it's all gonna be OK. This ending felt very rushed to me.

So I've gone through the trouble of detailing most of my major gripes with the movie, but that's not to say it wasn't without its plusses. Again, I did like the whole "Defending Zion" sequence, the first in-matrix fight was kinda cool, and the last fight with Neo and Agent Smith had some cool aspects (though it still doesn't top their showdown from the first flick - Best. Fight Scene. Evar.) But the ending was a bit too open-ended and "left to the viewer's imagination" for my liking. Perhaps it's because I didn't understand the message they were trying to get across. But hey, it's a movie, not rocket science - I want to be entertained, not brain teased.

Anyway, there is supposedly a really good overall interpretation of the story at this site: I've not looked at it yet (as I'm not sure the work filter would like me going to a site called "Corporate Motherfucker") but I'll check it out eventually. Perhaps it can shed some light on some of the things I've touched on here.

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Post by Asshander » Mon Nov 10, 2003 3:10 pm

Just to add a thing or two, since I think you've covered it quite well, let me agree first on the ending feeling rushed. That farker mentioning/calling the machine deus ex machina seems very appropriate.

Forgive me for being heavy handed, but a quick bit on this. The translation of deus ex machina is the god from (in?) the machine. It originated in Greek plays, which had this way of going on and on and on and on until there were so many plots and sub-plots and side-plots going on that it was no longer possible to resolve the story. Sound familiar? Thus, by way of a crane, a god would come "floating" in (for some reason I'm thinking they came in via a floating hand, but I may be remembering incorrectly) and declare the ending. Case shut. Now, my point is, while I didn't think of that specific machine as being deus ex machina, I did have that general feeling to the ending. And I hate that. The farker's explantion/guess of what happened leaves me feeling a little better, but not entirely.

Last thing I'll mention since I wanted to keep this brief, is I was getting bored of that defense scene. After the car chase in the second, any extended action sequence in that series lost a lot of what made it enjoyable -- tension. Too bad for me, I suppose. I'm glad someone enjoyed it anyway. I was mentally calling all of the shots of what was going to happen (with pretty good accuracy), that's how bored I was (usually I just watch and enjoy and don't think of what's going to happen, if that helps explain my position).

Anyhow, some good questions/thoughts raised. I wouldn't mind seeing it again, just to see if it'll answer any questions, but I'm not sure it would. I might check that link out later if I'm feeling like doing some reading. Maybe it'll have answers.

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Post by Gomer » Mon Nov 10, 2003 3:26 pm

I've also read that a "Deus Ex Machina", when referred to in the context of a story or movie plot, is a kind of "out of left field" ending. An ending that doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense, and that wasn't initiated by the protagonist(s) of the story. Example:

Group of good guys are making a journey from point A to point B, where, upon their arrival, they will save the world. Group of bad guys attempts to stop group of good guys halfway to their destination. During the ensuing fight, a giant flood crashes through the area, washing away all of the bad guys, allowing the good guys to complete their journey. The end.

In this case, you have this completely random occurance (the flood) which ends up being the cause for the good guys' victory. Which, in my opinion, is a completely shitty way to write a story, and it is my understanding that this sort of ending is taboo amongst writing circles. I can understand why. It sucks.

I can see how you can somewhat tie that into what happened at the end of The Matrix to a certain extent, but I think the whole of the ending can be summed up in one word: interpretation. You aren't given a concrete ending, where it is explained to you that "Character X performed Action Y to accomplish Goal Z" - you, the viewer are left to "interpret" what you've seen. I don't know about others, but I really hate that. I want to be told how a movie ends. I've got no qualms with being forced to think, but there are certain payoffs that one expected with this series that weren't delivered on. Instead, we were given this "you decide what happened" kind of ending, and I think that's what upset a lot of people. Hell, I could've dreamed up my own ending for free - I paid to see the movie to see how the Wachowski's decided it would end. And that ending just didn't deliver, in my opinion.

Again, perhaps it will take a reviewing or two with some of these things in mind to really appreciate the movie. It is possible I simply missed a lot of the "subtle" messages that were being told. So maybe when it hits the dollar theaters I'll go again. Or wait for the DVD, which I'm still unsure I'll bother to purchase.

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Post by Hellraiser » Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:48 pm

It is a good thing you mentioned that there were spoilers in your post. I am one of those dense readers that failed to glean that info from the title. I clicked to quickly to notice it.

Will read your review after I watch the movie.

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Post by Asshander » Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:34 pm

Just read the stuff on the provided link (well, the link didn't work but the article's link is on the front page, and seems to have the same address as the link provided here. Odd.) and assuming this guy is spot on, it helps make sense of things. Whether he thinks he knows about philosphy or he does, it was an interesting read. I may take the time now to go back and read what he has to say about the first two and see how they all fit together, or don't.

I wonder if Brian gets this shit. He was a philsophy major. I'll have to ask him next time I see him.

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Matrix spoofs

Post by Flaming Chode » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:50 am

if you guys were upset about the ending in the last matrix you should vist

it dubs over the voices to make some funny shit

extremely funny and stupid

Acura all the way bitches

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