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The Matrix Revolutions
...in readiness for a big finish. Big, but hugely disappointing. Spectacular, but ultimately meaningless. The answer to the big question is summed up with the extraordinary exchange between Morpheus and the Oracle: 'Did you know it was going to happen?' 'No, but I believed it would.' So faith is the issue, then, not knowledge or predestination. Okaaaay... but then you have to ask Faith in what?
This third film in the trilogy is packed with familiar fight style and with the most impressive sequence of special effects as the city of Zion is attacked. But other filmic essentials, such as characterisation, plot and theme have been largely side-stepped.
On the plus side, Trinity is back in her Diana Rigg role, especially in the excellent scene with the splendidly bountiful Persephone, and Neo seems less self-doubting. The Oracle is fun and the Mr Smiths are crazier than ever, but somehow less menacing as the movie proceeds. Maniacal laughter with reverb isn't all that meaningful.
Morpheus, however, is merely a commentator, and then fades into the role of Phones to Mrs Smith's Troy Tempest, as they mount an attack on the machines in their version of Stingray. The effort that was poured into the main characters through the first movie has not continued through the sequels, but minor characters who seemed walk-ons in part two have become heroes and essential to the action of part three. How odd that Neo's role is not to buckle much swash worth mentioning but to rescue the Indian family in the underground station on the road to nowhere and to blindly stand against the wierdness which fills the screen for the final twenty minutes.
I was left with the distinct feeling that the first film is much stronger without the other two; the answers to the questions are hopelessly incomplete and intellectually unsatisfying. Belief isn't enough. You have to have faith in something - yourself, your God, even in some daft motto, such as 'love means never having to say you're sorry'. I could have coped with a silly ending, but to leave me dangling in mid-air with what the author feels is a solid conclusion is just annoying.
Having said that, the motorbike chase sequence was (I'll say it again) thrilling, and made the 2nd film worthwhile. But even with $40million looking well-spent on the battle scene, I wondered how this was answering the philosophical questions posed in the first movie.
Coen Brothers? Unfunny Marx Brothers more like!