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Quint makes sweet fanboy love... kinda... to MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my views on the second most anticipated final chapter coming out in 2003, MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.  

You may remember my disappointment with RELOADED. I liked the film more than Harry did, but had some HUGE gripes... I felt the film was a cop-out of the terrific set-up of the first film. It seemed long and ultimately pointless. Plot-wise, what happens in the movie? Neo and Co. look for the Keymaker. They find him. Neo visits the Architect. The End. Sure, lots of characters and smaller (pointless) events happen in-between, but it sure was one helluva long movie for such little plot progression.  

Then comes REVOLUTIONS, which I liked a lot more. Much like the difference between Harry and my opinion of RELOADED, I didn't quite like REVOLUTIONS as much as Harry did. I dig we don't get all the answers at the end of the movie, but so much is left unanswered that my first thought was the Wachowski Bros couldn't come up with anything satisfactory, so decided to leave everything ambiguous. That might not be the case, but that's how it kind of comes off to me on the first viewing.  

On the whole, REVOLUTIONS is a far superior film. The fights are less in number, but ten times more impactful. Agent Smith has much less screen time, but is so much cooler. The effects are far superior and there are only a few moments of what I call "Final Fantasy Neo" popping up... you may remember him from his large amount of screen time during the flying scenes and the "Burly Brawl" in RELOADED.  The change over to the new Oracle is well handled, but it does throw off the pacing a tad at the beginning... but I'm getting ahead of myself.  

The real success in REVOLUTIONS is its comfort with itself. With RELOADED, the Wachowski's tried so very hard to make the film  high and mighty... Even though the film was a romp-and-roarin' actioneer, they spent way too much time sticking their noses in the air. By trying too hard, they undermined their own story... or maybe they just forgot how to incorporate the philosophy subtly like they did in the original MATRIX.  

But I don't buy that they just forgot how to incorporate the philosophy so it feels real and not just like it was being read out of the text book because at the beginning of REVOLUTIONS they have this great little exchange in the train station between Neo and the father of a young girl program about love. The father and mother have made a deal with the Merovingian to smuggle and hide their daughter into the matrix because she is scheduled for deletion (since she is a program without a purpose). Neo asks how a program can love, it's a human emotion, after all. The father smiles and says, "No. It's just a word." A word is only as good as what we associate with it... This philosophy is said in a character moment, something that gives the film greater depth, but only because it has a real purpose. Neo sees a new side to these programs. It doesn't feel like some ham-handed mumbo-jumbo trying to disguise an action film for something deeper and more "important."  

REVOLUTIONS knows what kind of movie it is and doesn't try to be anything else. It's the last desperate fight. Surprisingly, The Wachowski's actually made me give a shit about things I didn't care for in RELOADED... Like Zion and the many characters in Zion. The Kid and Link's Wife actually carry their roles effortlessly. That was a great surprise as I thought the stuff I'd like least in REVOLUTIONS would be the Zion invasion and that turned out to be one of my favorite parts in the movie.  

I find myself, a day after having seen the movie, looking back on it and seeing a damn good movie with a few minor flaws. In comparison, I still look back on RELOADED and see an all right movie with a few major flaws.  

My nitpicks of REVOLUTIONS are so small and petty that I'll only bring up one or two... The first in particular is such a surface nuisance that it doesn't even bring down the scene it is in. This is in the real world, during the confrontation between BANE and NEO. It's a very nicely constructed scene, but Jesus god... Here's how the dialogue goes...  

Neo: "Who are you?"  

Bane (in a note-perfect Agent Smith voice): "Don't you know, Mr. Anderson?"  

Neo: "Tell me who you are?"  

BANE: "Mr. Anderson, I think you do know who I am..."  

Neo: "No, I don't."  

Bane: "Don't you recognize my voice? The Mr. Anderson part?"  

Neo: "......."  

Bane: "Black suit? Sunglasses?  

Neo: "......."  

Bane: Receding hairline? 'Mr. Anderson.' Any of this ringing a bell?"  

Neo: "That's all fine, but WHO are you?"  

OK, so that's exaggerated a little bit, but I found it so damn annoying that for three minutes of dialogue Neo can't figure out that Bane is somehow Agent Smith. Bane is doing his voice and keeps calling him "Mr. Anderson." I mean, c'mon!  

My other problem with the film is the upside-down gunfight at the Merovingian's club... Trinity, Morpheus and Sereph go the club and there's a shootout with the collectors at the door... When the first one is popped, the rest of them flip upside-down and run around on the ceiling... All I could think about during the scene was "Why?" Does walking on the low ceiling somehow make you harder to shoot? I guess it was just for aesthetic purposes, which I can buy... Still, it bugged me when watching.  

All right, how about the good? The great even? The before-mentioned Bane and Neo confrontation is great, even if you just want to get up and slap Keanu three times in the face, grab him by the hair and scream: "It's Agent Smith, you DUMB FUCKTARD!!!"  

The invasion of Zion is fan-fucking-tastic. The big Robot thingies are kick ass and Mifune is actually put some great use (even if it is him screaming at the camera, guns blazing for 85% of his screen time). The detail of the resistance is well established and executed. The reloading of the Robots, the bazooka sniping of the "Diggers," etc. The squidies are like ants. Hundreds of thousands of them swarming the place, slowly but surely overtaking everything.  

Some of my absolute favorite stuff in the film happens with Agent Smith, though. There's one moment (I won't tell you when or where because that'll give away something big) where he literally points out how ridiculous most of the philosophy-speak in RELOADED was. He rants on and on and on, getting funnier with each new level of bullshit. It's hilarious (and intentional, by the way).  

The final fight between Neo and Agent Smith is a thing of beauty. I do have some questions as to the logic of a few of the moments (SPOILER... How does Smith fly? When did he figure that one out? I don't quite understand...), but when the lightning flashes behind Smith in his power-pose you can't help but smile. My only really big complaint with the fight is the repetition of the slow-mo exploding water shots. There seems to be five hundred of them in the scene...  

I think a lot of people will be pissed off with the end, especially since it doesn't have many answers, but I really liked it. If I hadn't had some major spoilers given to me while down in New Zealand (where you can't walk down the street without bumping into someone wearing a Matrix crew shirt or cap) and online I would have been hugely surprised at how we leave some of the characters.  

During the film I was excited, intrigued, happy, sad and elated. That is four more feelings more than I had for RELOADED, the only feeling I had for that was disappointment.   

I don't know if many people will share my feelings on the film... There will be those that'd love it if it was just Joel Silver and Larry Wachowski in leather slapping each other's asses while reading PHILOSOPHY FOR DUMMIES  for two hours. On the other side of the coin, there will be those with such a sour taste in their mouths for the whole series that they'll just focus on the few negative aspects of the film. I'm in the group that'd buy the eventual box-set and just never watch RELOADED. Which one will you be?  

Before I go, I want to put up a little announcement. Like last year, I'm going to be writing up a column listing some great geek gifts, to be posted on Thanksgiving, the day before the big Christmas shopping blitz. From board games to video games to toys of all sorts... Everything is fair game. But to do this I need your help. Email me at if you have the perfect, off the wall geek wet dream of gifts. If you're working at a big toy or game developer and want me to check out some upcoming products (say... the entire catelogue of SIDESHOW/WETA) that you think fit into the GEEK category, you can email me at as well.  

I'll be back soon, squirts. Until that day, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.  


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