It’s been a little over a month now since the first trailer for the upcoming Matrix film, The Matrix Resurrections, came out. As we wait the time away for its December release, I decided to finish what I started over two years ago by watching the second and third films of the franchise.
For The Matrix Revolutions, I once again went into this not knowing anything, aside from the flash of sneak peeks given following the end of the previous film. I also was aware that the role of the Oracle had to be recast following the death of Gloria Foster, and was curious to see how Mary Alice would embody the character.
In chronological order, these are my thoughts and reactions to different scenes and moments from The Matrix Revolutions:
- The film starts pretty much where the previous one left off: Seeing a Matrix film not begin with Trinity kicking ass feels really unnatural.
- Morpheus and Trinity meet with the Oracle: I guess the Wachowskis didn’t want to wait too long before introducing Mary Alice as the character.
- Trinity asking the Oracle who she is: Ah! I’m glad they’re acknowledging her different appearance.
- The Oracle: “I wish there was an easier way to get through this, but there ain’t. I’m sorry this had to happen. I’m sorry I couldn’t be sitting here like you remember me, but it wasn’t meant to be.” –> I mean… talk about a gut punch to the audience.
- Seraph, Trinity, and Morpheus jump over the train station gates while chasing the Trainman: I’ve seen people do that all the time at BART stations, and yet no one has ever made them that elaborate.
- The Trainman checks the time on multiple watches he has on his wrist: Any particular reason why he has so many?
- The fight scene between Trinity, Morpheus, Seraph, and the bouncers(?) at the club: Okay, I know that was meant to be epic with the shoot out and continual defying gravity, but it just… didn’t.
- Trinity points her gun at the Merovingian and everyone else around has their guns drawn: Really? Everyone here has a gun? Man, they all suck!
- Neo still at the train station: He’s not going to be stuck there the whole film, is he?
- Sati to Neo at the Oracle’s place: “I’m glad you got out.” –> Aww!
- The Oracle’s exchange with Neo: I don’t know if it’s the dialogue or the performance, but this exchange between these characters wasn’t as resonating as their conversations in the first two films.
- The Agent Smith clones come into the room where Seraph and Sati are hiding: Those fools better stay far away from them!
- Agent Smith assimilates the Oracle: No!
- Zee is making shells and getting ready to fend Zion: We didn’t see her do much in the previous installment, so I’m glad we’re going to see her in action this time around.
- Neo saying goodbye to Morpheus before he and Trinity head off to the Machine City: Wait, Morpheus isn’t going with them? That’s just not right.
- Neo not recognizing that Bane has been assimilated by Agent Smith when he has Trinity at knife point: He’s straight up calling him Mr. Anderson. How does it take him this long for him to figure it out?
- Neo getting his eyes burned and blinded by Bane/Agent Smith: That is really hard to look at.
- Captain Mifune leads the charge on the Sentinels in Armored Personnel Units: Here are the Wachowskis, taking advantage of the (then) latest in special effects again.
- The fight against the Sentinels as they attack Zion: Let that previous observation apply for this entire sequence.
- When we finally catch up with Neo and Trinity as they arrive at the Machine City: This film feels really disjointed with them off doing their own thing.
- As they navigate through the chaos thrown at them in the Machine City: At this point, I’m exhausted from watching the previous battle scene, and so to then watch this one just makes it hard to follow. There’s a lot going on.
- Trinity dies: This one cuts deep. Also, I can’t help but wonder as to how she returns in Resurrections.
- When Neo re-enters the Matrix: I’m just realizing that this is the most amount of time in a Matrix film that’s spent in the real world. That’s kind of strange.
- Neo walks past numerous Agent Smiths towards (I’m assuming) the original one: All this, plus the rain, feels really excessive.
- Neo vs. Agent Smith: Let the previous statement apply for their fight as well. It just doesn’t feel as grounded as their fight scenes in the first film.
- Neo’s body is carried away by the machines after Agent Smith is defeated and the Sentinels retreat from Zion: Wait, is he dead?
- Seraph, Sati, and the Oracle reunite: Yes!
While The Matrix Reloaded fried my brain, The Matrix Revolutions just left me mentally exhausted. With so many special effects going on, it not only made it difficult to keep up, but it also didn’t hide the fact that the story was even less developed that its predecessor. I craved for the more grounded martial arts sequences that were prominent in the initial film, and I didn’t like that Neo and Morpheus, whose bond has been prominent from the moment they met, was barely there in this installment. Plus, I have no idea how the fourth film is going to follow this, given the fates of characters like Trinity and Neo.
At this point, it’s fair to say that I understand now why the sequels have the reputation that they have. Even though I’m disappointed, they’re not going to stop me from watching the new one when it comes out. Aside from the trailer looking amazing, it also seems to lean towards the elements that hint at why this franchise has a following to begin with.
Well, I finished the trilogy, with two months to spare. I’m thinking that maybe The Animatrix anthology series might be worth a viewing at some point with the time remaining.