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‘Matrix Revolutions’ spins in place

GLAD TRILOGY IS FINALLY OVER

Gary Moskowitz is the education reporter for the News-Press, the

Leader’s sister publication.

The tagline for the final movie in “The Matrix” series,

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“Everything that has a beginning must have an end,” hits the nail on

the head.

Having now seen all three films in “The Matrix” trilogy, I

couldn’t be happier that the end is here, and the cinematic torture

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is now over.

The third installment in the series, “The Matrix Revolutions,”

culminates a biblical tale of “The One” -- Neo, played by Keanu

Reeves -- who must save the people of Zion from a ridiculously large

population of octopus-shaped machines and bring salvation to

humanity.

The film has very little dialogue of real substance, except for a

few scenes in The Oracle’s jazz-filled kitchen and during Zion City

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Council meetings, and very little in the film is explained or

discussed in full conversations or dialogue.

Instead, viewers get updates and information through a chain of

overly dramatic one-liners and laughable, prophetic soliloquies that

don’t make much sense. The film is jam-packed with more

computer-generated excitement than I thought was ever possible. And

between the layers of special effects, there are remnants of love,

passion, idealism, evil, hatred, violence and death.

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I loved the fact that the supernatural force that Neo faces at the

climax of the film is a huge image of a face that looks like a mix of

the evil force behind Disney’s “Tron” and the face of the dancing

baby in television’s “Ally McBeal.”

The ripple effect of the film on pop culture is more interesting

than the movie itself. An Internet search on the film will produce

sites like “What Matrix personality are you?” “Matrix Hairstyles” and

“What is ‘The Matrix’ telling us about the kingdom of God?”

If I ever do find myself in the Matrix for some reason, I know

where I’m going --straight to the Oracle’s house for some chocolate

chip cookies, jazz music and some conversation about Karma, Zen and

the Christ figure.

Visually more stunning than the first two

Ryan Carter is the business and politics reporter for the

News-Press and the Burbank Leader.

If you can get past its epistemological baggage, a gazillion

sentinels, overwhelming special effects and a clone world of Agent

Smiths, the latest of Larry and Andy Wachowski’s “Matrix”

installments succeeds in fulfilling the promise of its truly

revolutionary original. “The Matrix Revolutions” is not as

consistently satisfying as the first. It is darker than the second.

And it is visually more stunning than both.

In “The Matrix Revolutions,” we find Agent Smith, played

brilliantly by Hugo Weaving -- once again, the villain steals the

show -- able to infiltrate Zion and on the verge of taking over the

Matrix program, which for human beings unwittingly in the program, is

the world. Neo, the story’s once-reluctant hero, has attained almost

Jedi-status. The two meet again in “Revolutions,” only this time, the

real human race is at stake as battle rages on a scorched Earth and

our hero finds himself in a race against time to get to the source of

the Matrix program.

“Revolutions” is a hodgepodge of what made the first movie in the

trilogy great. The first quarter of the movie has the edgy, more

philosophical, minimalist qualities that we saw in the first movie.

Scenes set in the Oracle’s kitchen, in subway stations that were

halfway points between the real world and a computer program, in

rooms that went nowhere and featuring stunning martial arts

choreography made this one look more like the first film. The middle

of the film takes us back to Zion. Here, it gets a little slow as the

movie begins to rely more on huge digital effects and lots of extras.

The film picks up again in an epic battle for the defense of Zion.

Even with its sluggish moments, the movie moves Neo’s journey

along. The plot takes him to a place only he can go in order to save

humanity. A more tentative Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne,

holds on to strands of faith that Neo truly is “The One.”

And perhaps that is what this trilogy is all about. With a

backdrop of technological turmoil, what resonated in this film was

the idea of faith. In the end, that is what separated humanity from a

computer program. “Revolutions” did not lose sight of that, even

though you had to sift through a lot of bullets and a lot of machines

to get there.

* “The Matrix Revolutions” is rated R for sci-fi violence and

brief sexual content.


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