Monday, November 10, 2003

Revolutions Bytes: Unplug The Matrix

Originally published in The Vanguard, the student newspaper of The University of South Alabama

With a tagline like "Everything that has a beginning has an end" fans of "The Matrix" trilogy expected more from the final installment, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss.

With an absolutely spectacular first installment ("The Matrix") and a less-than-stellar second ("Reloaded"), the trilogy had two directions it could go. "Revolutions" could either redeem the trilogy from the mess that was "Reloaded," or it could go spiraling down into a flaming pit of destruction. Unfortunately, it went the way of the pit.

"The Matrix" was a spectacular bit of filmmaking with technological advances no one had seen before its debut in 1999. Its bullet-time technology was introduced and became an industry standard. After realizing their awesome bit of technology was being used on everything from the latest "Charlie's Angels" movie to a (fabulous) episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" a couple of years ago, no doubt the Wachowski brothers decided to try for newer and more exciting technology.
This obviously meant more fight scenes and giving Neo more super powers, even in the real world. This is where the movie lost me. This whole time I was thinking the rules did not apply within the matrix because it was not the real world. So why could Neo do things in the real world that a normal person would not be able to do?

The messiah image was made even clearer in this film, and there is a moment when Neo is lying on the floor, arms stretched out and legs together in a familiar way. The fight for Zion was much too long and drawn out, as was the final confrontation with agent Smith and Neo. It was almost as if the filmmakers were screaming to the audience, "Look what I can do with my computers!"

To be fair, the special effects were great, but they just were not spectacular like the first Matrix. There were also some moments in the film when I actually laughed out loud, a response you wouldn't expect from a film such as this. Admittedly, one of these times was when the characters were trying to figure out how Neo seemed to be in the matrix when he wasn't plugged in and my friend leaned over and whispered, "He's gone wireless."

The ending was completely unsatisfactory and seemed to be leaving the story open for more. So, I guess everything that has a beginning doesn't have an end after all.

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