I absolutely loved MATRIX REVOLUTIONS!!!
Guess what… it doesn’t give you all the answers, you know why? Because there are no answers, only the questions and the beliefs we have about those answers. In the creation of any religion, the answers are never written out, clearly stated for all to understand. That's one of the basic flaws that skeptics of religion have. I mean, these prophets, didn't they like ask God about the bottom line? And if ya just follow those 10 Commandments, is that enough? I mean, I can chow on Pig right? In MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the mysteries of that universe have to be preserved, because the only answers are found in one's own contemplation of what you've seen, experienced and sought to understand. The whole point of GOD isn't to give you the answers, but to give you the strength to attain those answers for yourself. None of us know for sure what “it” all means, but ya know what… The Wachowski Brothers struck that balance that I loved in the original MATRIX… Here, I give a shit about my characters again. The fights… this time they mean LIFE & DEATH again, not testing programs vs programs, or as a metaphor for whether or not you could “crack” the “meaning of the Matrix.”
This time, characters FIGHT to be reunited with the people they love. They RACE to get back home. They FIGHT desperate last stands to protect a way of life. They fight for the very existence of it all. THAT’S WHAT WAS MISSING LAST TIME FOR ME!!!
This time, the religious, psycho-babble mumbo-jumbo returns to the subtext where it belongs, with characters CARING about what was going on. Being AFRAID of what was next. TERRIFIED about not being in control. And learning the lessons that lead to understanding and life.
This time, the ACTIONS define the characters, not lengthy tired monologues out of 2nd Year College Comparative Religion Studies or Basic Human Psyche-courses. This time they focus the story on individual POINTS OF VIEW, so that we can have a HUMAN GUIDE through the spectacle at any given moment. This time, they show us things we’ve never seen before that are cool. This time, they remembered that for all the well written hammy lines, it’s still has to come down to “Looking Cool” and “Meaning Something to the Characters Living It!”
I can’t express to you how utterly relieved and happy and exhilarated I am. Is it perfect? God, no… Like I said, the dialogue is hammy, the emotions milked, churned and cheese… But ya know what? I loved it. Is the BDSM Club utterly ridiculous, hilarious, funky and stupid??? YEAH! But it made me smile. Eventually I’m going to hop into spoiler territory, but for now… and until I say so… it’s safe to read.
Big PowerSuit battle versus a bajillion squiddies… COOL. If I hear one more person say, “ALIENS” in regards to those suits, I’m liable to roll my eyes and consider them addicted to lead paint chips. Please… for my amusement. Point to the scene in ALIENS, where the outfits were firing 150mm exploding rounds into bajillions of Squiddies in a last stand to save humanity. Please… I’ve seen the Director’s Cut of that film, is it a sequence in the deleted scenes somewhere? I thought I went through all of those.
Someone griping about wheelbarrows of ammunition… Yeah, but did they talk about the ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT style running for supplies… the men and women armed with electro-cannons to protect the ammo runs? Did they discuss the tentacles and how they take people apart or shred them? How else exactly do you want them to deliver the ammo? In a fucking Mustang? A forklift? And how would that navigate the debris caused by the thousands of Squiddie parts all over the ground?
Sigh… I can’t believe how much I loved this thing!
I really wasn’t looking forward to this. ALL the reviews I’ve been getting have been negative. I haven’t been… “Picking” the reviews to post, I’ve posted them all. That’s just the way it was coming in. I think two things prepared me to be open to this today. One… right before I left the house to get in the car to head to the theater, I got an email from one of the screenwriters I’m working with on a project, that hasn’t been announced yet that just filled me with glee. It was the beginning of the evolution from MY IDEA to THE FILM, and he took the ball I gave him and he ran with it and scored like 5 unanswered touchdowns and got me giddy to make sure that movie gets made. THEN… I get in the car, and Father Geek and I are backing out of our driveway, and a FED EX truck pulls in front of the house. Mr. Fed Ex Man, gets out and gives me the big ol package, and leaves. I see that it’s from Alex Ross, so I open it like a boy on Christmas Morning and it’s his new book… MYTHOLOGY. That collection of all of Alex Ross’ DC art. OH JOY.
As we’re driving to the theater… I’m a kid in a candy store. Alex’s art completely changed the way I thought of comics and envisioned them taking place in the “real world” of movies. Looking at his 3 year old drawings, his 6 year old drawings, his 10 year old drawings and his 12 year old drawings… well, they filled me with a geeky glee that just ruled. The toilet tube heroes he made… WOW. Very cool ‘folk art’!
Then there were his paintings. All these sketches and illustrations and charcoals and paintings. Glorious renderings of a world I’d love to just disappear into. I had Father Geek take this amazing picture book into the theater with me. My head dancing with Alex Ross paintings right up until the second the lights dimmed. Quint and Kraken and Massawyrm and Father Geek and I… All just mouths slack jawed staring like Cavemen at the Alien Mothership beauty as dropped off Amazon goddesses for the Neanderthals to mate with to evolve our species. That’s what it was like.
Then when the lights dim and I closed the book, I was like… “No, not the movie…” Seriously… that’s what I said. Then THE LAST SAMURAI trailer played… and then the Green tint Warner logo… and I was like… “Oh man, don’t suck.” Then I thought real hard… “BE COOL,” you know that feeling… it’s the one you’ll have right before STAR WARS EPISODE 3 plays for the first time. That… “BE COOL,” not because of personal investment, not because someone pays you to think that… but because in your heart… right there in the deep of the thump thump, you need to see it be cool. Why? No reason in particular… Basically it’s just a hope.
I think many of you think I pre-judge films. I do, when I’m writing in advance about a movie, editing reports… preparing the news daily for you guys… it’s impossible to not be affected by it all. Before MATRIX RELOADED, I said the same thing. I said the same thing before the original X-MEN… remember how bad the buzz was on that one. I was terrified. I mean, I was sick to my stomach, I literally wanted out of the theater before it played.
You see… there’s a fundamental difference between me as a GEEK and most critics. A lot of critics go to movies because it’s their job to see movies. But, if they were not being paid to go see every movie, they wouldn’t go to many of them. They just wouldn’t be interested. Many critics run skipping to the art house, and drag their feet in dread to see the big “EVENT” films. To me, I go to both with enthusiasm, but personally… as much as I love being “Intellectually Stimulated” by a work of “Art,” I also just love… LOVE to be transported by awe and wonder and the whole big gosh gee whiz awesomeness of an honest to goodness ol fashioned FLICK with thrills and chills and romance and drama. I love my Saturday Matinee fun. No denying it. I’m a geek and I love me some coolness fierce.
MATRIX REVOLUTIONS would work for me, I believe, even if I had never seen the last one. I read in an interview that ol Smilin’ Jack did with Joel Silver, that the purpose of the 2nd film was to “Wipe the slate clean” “forget what you know” type of thing. Well, the odd thing is… MATRIX REVOLUTIONS restores everything you “thought” and believed in the first film. At least it did for me. Oh sure, without the second film, you wouldn’t know who the Merovingian was or the Architect, but ya know what… as key as they are, they’re not the cat’s pajamas.
You see, ultimately this film is about… OK… SPOILER TIME. Sorry, can’t discuss this stuff if you want to remain pure for a lot of the “theme” material going on here. So run off, twiddle your thumbs… Wake up really early Wednesday and go see the biggest Comic Book Fun Time in a movie you’ll have till SPIDER-MAN 2.
SPOILER STUFF… Adios… See ya later… Hasta La Vista, Vaya con Dios mon capitans!
Ok… You see, ultimately this film is a lot about what is going on in the world right now.
You see, The Machines… They’re the United States and Capitalism. Ultimately they want society operating in the 9 to 5, eat your food, grab a movie, raise the kids, go to church and get back to work sort of daze. That’s the Machine way. Don’t worry about the “MEANING OF IT ALL” just do your job, be a battery and power the big society forward.
Ultimately… Neo, Morpheus, “the rebel alliance” – essentially… In a lot of ways… they’re the bad guys. You see, they’re fucking everything up. The come into our “Society” blow shit up. Cause problems. Get all violent and shit. Do little hit and run missions. Neo is for his people… basically, he’s Bin Laden living in a cave somewhere… and the Machines… they’re drilling to put a stop to it all. Now, the problem is… the only person that can put a stop to “The War” on Terrorism are the terrorist. Essentially, Bin Laden has to come forward, tell his people they’ll be ok, give himself up, negotiate a cease fire and allow his life to be the symbol of peaceful co-existence between both cultures. “The Machines” and “The Humans” “The Capitalist” and “The Fundamentalist Extremists”
NOW… What is Agent Smith? Essentially, Agent Smith was Communism. If we are all the same, then there is no reason for violence. Resistance is Futile. Communism was fantastic as it represents an ideology that the Capitalist and the Extremists both hated. And it was spreading and taking over and trying to assimilate cultures and suppress belief systems. Or you could say AGENT SMITH is that Born Again Christian type that is trying to eradicate another’s belief system… and ultimately – the elimination of both either politically, humanly or functionally is a move towards peace.
In the end… When the Big White Man meets the Oracle at the park with the little Indian/Pakistani girl at her side… Essentially the Big White Industrialist is saying, so… How long will this peace last? And she is essentially the U.N. A governing body that tries to disrupt the all powerful and to give all sides a voice. She says, “As long as it can.”
EXACTLY. Ultimately, it’s about reaching understandings by which both sides can co-exist and live. It’s about stopping the madness because it is madness. Because tearing each other apart is a waste of resources. The toil on both societies is counter-productive to co-habitation on this big green planet of ours.
Ultimately what they believe or we believe is inconsequential. What gets you through your cold dark nights and hours of depression to that day in the sun… well it may be entirely different from mine, but what doesn’t work is governing by MESSIAHS positive or negative. Then we have a society RULED as opposed to a society governed. That’s why all Messiahs must die. Why religion should stay out of governing bodies, and ultimately we should adopt a live and let live sort of way of life. And the fighting, well… as all good geeks that were raised with WARGAMES, the only way to win is not to play. A lesson that is hard fought and learned in this film.
That’s all there… Of course I saw it, doesn’t mean you will. That’s the great thing about Sub-text. It’s there if your Liberal, Right-wing, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist loving mind can see and interpret it.
MEANWHILE… The cool shit was cool shit.
As for all this talk about how on earth can a SUPERMAN movie be cooler than the NEO vs AGENT SMITH flying fight?
A fundamental design flaw with the fight is the outfits the characters are fighting in. Ever wonder why SUPERMAN and SUPERHEROES and BAD GUYS dress outrageously in the comics?
It’s so they STAND OUT FROM THE BACKGROUNDS and are easily defined so that the action is clarified. They dress that way to be the bits of color in an otherwise drab world.
Watching that last fight… It is clearly a proto-SUPERMAN vs LEX LUTHOR in a Kryptonite Powered Steroid Injection type of thing. Only… because they’re both in black… at night… in the rain. Sometimes the action is lost, and you find yourself for brief moments getting them mixed up here and there. Also, to me… there’s just something fundamentally cooler about SUPERMAN’s outfit than a black “Nehru” overcoat. NOW – in life, I’d prefer to own the black “NEHRU” overcoat… but in picking superhero costumes fighting up in the sky… give me my big blue bird any day of the week. And while we’re at it, shaving Agent Smith’s head and putting him in the ol Purple and green Lex Luthor outfit and giving him “magic powers”… well, that’d just own.
I have no concern about SUPERMAN topping that. Simply because, SUPERMAN has and always shall be cooler than NEO.
That being said… This is a fitting conclusion to the series. No whimper, but a helluva bang. Filled with tiny “moments” for characters I love… be it Trinity’s blue sky or Neo’s Oz… They each have seen things we people wouldn’t believe, but unlike tears in the rain… this time they’ll keep quite nicely on the silver screen and on DVD. God, I fucking love this movie!
P.S. For the Record, I didn't hate MATRIX RELOADED - as I've repeatedly stated. I felt it was lacking. As in, it didn't quite lick that special spot that makes go "OHHHHH." In watching the 3rd film, it's quite evident that nearly every single complication from MATRIX RELOADED was about one's test of faith. Conversations with a Devil to test one's faith. Ultimately what the various saints and sinners had to say, were the temptations to stray the ONE from his Path. To court him into the wrong decisions. I STILL FEEL those fights were unemotional video game pointless endeavors of masturbation. No fight was ever won or lost. All draws. Every conversation was about standing in the corner and deciding to jack off with the left OR right hand. THIS film has tangible cause and effects, and hokey emotional schmaltz, no more cheesy than a thumbs up from a T-800 on his way to oblivion. Besides... the last film didn't have Bruce Spence, who rules Earth. And Mr Smith's scene with the Oracle is one of the most delicious scenes in film this year. Not to mention his conversation with Neo in... "the crater" fucking A cool over-the-top Bad Guy ZOD cool KNEEL type of awesomeness. BUT... hey, frankly I don't care if you like the film... I love it, and that's what's important to me. You want to piss on that, fine... I got my warm fuzzy glow and happy face from this one. Pee away!