What is The Matrix? In 1999, Andy and Larry Wachowski introduced the movie, The Matrix, to the world. The Matrix offered moviegoers and science fiction fans a movie with heart, a solid storyline, some biblical and computer-related references and ground-breaking special effects. It pays homage to Japanese Anime and reinvented the way martial arts movies are choreographed in the United States. In many ways, the first movie is considered to be the “Star Wars” of this generation.
The story revolves around the human struggles against machines. Humans are energy sources for the machines and a majority are grown and cultivated to supply that energy. To fight the machines, a few enter the virtual world of The Matrix searching for their savior known as “The One”. “The One”, Neo, has the power to manipulate The Matrix, fight against the machines, and ultimately, save mankind from the machines.
In The Matrix Reloaded, the movie continues with the struggles of the humans and the evolution of Neo’s powers within and outside of The Matrix. It serves as the mediocre filler in the trilogy and was a minor disappointment for extreme fans of the original movie. The movie lacked the charisma, story, and character development of the first film and relied too much upon CGI and over-the-top martial arts and action scenes. It also had no ending. The ending of The Matrix Reloaded sets up the last movie, The Matrix Revolutions.
The Matrix Revolutions begins exactly where The Matrix Reloaded concluded. The machines are pressing on the boundaries of Zion and an inevitable war between the two entities will occur with massive casualties if Neo cannot find a way to stop the machines.
The Sunday before the release of The Matrix Revolutions, my friends held a watch party for The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded. We discussed the philosophy behind the story and the rare possibilities of a similar scenario in our world. We marveled at the technological genius of the first film and grumbled over the lack of anything new or revolutionary in the second movie. The second film was corrupted by the predecessor’s success, CGI, the video game age and studio greed.
The Matrix Reloaded made me apprehensive about seeing Revolutions, but I attended the movie on the day of release anyway. The Matrix trilogy could have been so much more. It could have been the “Original Star Wars Trilogy” of this time, but The Matrix Revolutions suffered from many of the things the second movie suffered and failed to recapture the magic of The Matrix. While the action scenes and CGI are spectacular and will overwhelm most viewers, there is something lost with the two sequels. The brilliant dialogue and heart of the first movie was completely lost. The relationship between Neo and Trinity is forced and Morpheus’ role has been reduced to a babbling man with mixed beliefs. Character development is minimal and the thrill and excitement of getting out of the Matrix without confronting the dangerous agents is gone. Many characters introduced in the second movie have very limited roles in the third movie. The final fight between Neo and Agent Smith is anti-climatic and the result leaves one with a feeling of indifference. Answers to questions raised throughout all three movies are only revealed if people work with computers and think outside-of-the-box. Even the ending leaves one searching and wanting more.
The Matrix trilogy raised the bar for special effects. Unfortunately, it suffered creatively to make the almighty dollar. As Agent Smith would say, “It was inevitable”.
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