It started with a bang and ends with a whimper. "The Matrix" presented a universe wherein what we saw and inhabited was not real. Reality was unknown, but there was a man, Neo, with the ability to bring salvation to the millions caught in this Matrix.
"The Matrix Revolutions" is in theaters now. (Warner Bros.)
Earlier this year, "The Matrix Reloaded" began the tale of how Neo was going to foil the Matrix and reveal, to use his words, "a world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries—a world where anything is possible."
"Reloaded" shot some wonderful ideas and lots of action to moviegoers. I gave it a positive review because I was still intrigued with the cinematic universe of the directors, the Wachowski brothers.
"The Matrix Reloaded" ended with a cliffhanger. Why? Because it was essentially the first half of one movie. That second half—"The Matrix Revolutions"—just hit theaters.
"The Matrix Revolutions" begins where "Reloaded" ended. We find Neo trapped in a world that is not part of the Matrix or the real world. Confused? It gets worse. We see the re-emergence of the Merovingian and Persephone. These two characters were intriguing in the first movie, but here they do little to move the story forward.
In fact, "Revolutions" has little story. It is merely a series of events played out on screen, with a lot of action—but little explanation.
In the end, the movie is good and bad. The special effects work is good and will be imitated for years to come. Also, the Wachowski brothers have cast various ethnic groups and placed women in roles that call for bravery, cunning and combat skills. This movie sets a new standard for diversity on screen.
The bad, however, can best be summed up with a line from another movie: "An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure." This movie shows its pretense in the dialogue. It becomes so predictable—a sign of a bad movie.
It may have some "gee whiz" effects to it, but the ideas given in the first installment are nowhere to be found in the third. All we see are some fantastic battle scenes reminiscent of Japanese anime.
This Matrix isn't the same one that began with such style and intelligence that you left the theater wanting more. This Matrix just leaves you wanting out.
Mike Parnell is pastor of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax, Va.
MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and brief sexual content
Directors: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Writers: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Cast: Neo: Keanu Reeves; Morpheus: Laurence Fishburne; Niobe: Jada Pinkett Smith; Trinity: Carrie-Anne Moss; The Architect: Helmut Bakaitis; Agent Smith: Hugo Weaving; The Oracle: Mary Alice; Lock: Harry J. Lennix