I got the house to myself the whole day. So what should a guy like me do? Invite people and hold a crazy party? Eat all the food in the refrigerator? Walk around the house naked? Nop, instead I did something that I’ve been thinking of doing. THE MATRIX MARATHON!!!! I don’t have the ‘Ultimate Collection’ DVD nor HD dvds so I have to do it the old way, dvd by dvd. The Matrix, Reloaded and Revolutions. So, here we go:
Released back in 1999, this movie is still fun to watch. I like the noir feeling of the movie especially in the early parts. I also liked the references to Alice in Wonderland (follow the white rabbit), Wizard of Oz (“Buckle up Dorothy coz Kansas is going bye bye”) and even 1984 (room 101). It’s kinda cool to see certain hints of information revealed at the sequels (the TV monitors from the Architect’s room was briefly seen and Agent Smith mentioned about the early utopian version of the Matrix). The lobby shoot out still pumps me up and the bullet time sequences still looks good.
Back in 2003, I rated this installment as inferior to Matrix Revolutions. Most of it because back then, I wasn’t satisfied with the lack of conclusion for Reloaded. Sure, not all questions were answered by the third movie but it had some form of resolution; Smith died, Neo died and peace between man & machines. But watching this movie again makes realize that I actually under rated it! For me The Matrix was about two things: Crazy action and thought provoking philosophy. What Matrix Reloaded did was make those things bigger. Crazy action became over the top action while the philosophy turned from thought provoking to thought exercising (or confusion in most cases).
The action sequences were incredible like the Freeway chase and the Chateau fight. Although the graphics for the Burly Brawl (Neo vs Smith army) looks obviously fake but you can’t help getting adrenaline rush watching it. Even small fights like Neo vs agents (I like the music of that fight) or Morpheus vs the twins looks cool. It’s kinda funny though, I mean in the first movie Morpheus could not beat Agent Smith yet he can at least stand a chance against an ‘Upgraded’ agent in this movie.
Some interesting ideas are also thrown in the movie that I don’t fully understand anyway or just irreleveant to the story. For example, Merovingian talks about “causality” and it is interesting to hear t but what does it have to do with the plot (I bet some hardcore Matrix fans would immediately have the answer) The Architect scene is great when I watch it again WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES hehe. I think it’s up there with Empire Strikes Back’s ‘I am your father‘ in terms of movie twists.
Btw, I still don’t like the rave scene.
If Reloaded was Empire Strikes Back then Revolutions is Return of the Jedi; a movie that wasn’t as good as the other installments but have enough emotions to serve its purpose of ending a series. It is more dramatic with Neo spending most of the time thinking and doubting himself or more epic by potraying heroism of minor characters like the Kid (I’m not a fan of the character) or Zee.
All the philosophy and introductions happened on the first two movies. How about making the last one more action while providing answers to the questions presented in the first two. Why didn’t they include that scene from the game, the one with Niobe & Oracle talking about Neo’s fate? The oracle’s explanation for her changed appearance in this movie is bad. Why not just copy and paste the explanation given at the game. Not everyone played the game.
I also wanted more crazy action scenes within the Matrix. How about a Neo vs the Twins with rotating blades (I remembered that rumour. Would’ve been cool though) or Seraph kicking more ass (the Seraph kicks at the parking lot was a tease) or Trinity beating the living shit out of Merovingian! (I would be highly satisfied by that!! How else do you handle a highly arrogant villain? With a brutal death offcourse!). I guess I just missed the gun battles and kung fu fights.
Enough complains, let’s go to the good part. My demands for more action doesn’t mean that those we have were bad. I love the battle scene at Zion and the final fight between Neo and Smith at the end is awesome. The music, the rain and mid air fights. It’s the closest thing you get to a genuine live action Dragon Ball Z movie complete with the face punch close up and people falling to the ground creating crater.
I also notice that some scenes were sort of a homage to the first movie. The Coat Check gun fight reminds us of the greatness of the lobby shoot out. There is a scene where Neo looks over the window of a car; similar to a scene from the first movie. Other reference to the first movie includes the oracle pointing out “Know thyself” at her kitchen and Morpheus saying that he’s honored to meet Neo echoing the scene when they first met back in the first movie.
I have no problem with the whole peace between machines and humans. I’m ok with the final scene with the sunrise but I have an idea that I think would be cool to follow up that scene. Sort of like an epilogue. After the sunrise scene, we cut to few months later in the city. There is a group of Zion operatives walking on the street on a survey mission. They spotted an agent but he just nodded and walk away (showing that the truce is in effect). One of the operatives is the Kid and he spotted Neo among the crowd on the street. He shouted his name but Neo dissapeared. The Kid tried to tell the others that he saw Neo but they don’t believe him. The final scene shows Neo standing on top of a skyscraper looking down at the city. He wears his glasses and vanishes. THE END 8)
Despite the problems of the sequels, the Matrix series is good as a whole. It will continue to be part of the pop culture. I think people will begin to appreciate the series more in the future because that’s how it always happen.