Saw The Matrix: Revolutions yesterday after hearing almost nothing but bad press. We went in expecting nothing, so except for the crappy dialogue, it wasn’t bad at all while we were watching it. Afterward, though, once there was time to digest everything in the context of a single movie as well as a trilogy, it was a different story. I’m not bashing it Kenneth-Turan style, but as a person who appreciates both style and substance, I found myself retrospectively disappointed.
Those of you who’ve seen Evangelion will know exactly what the title is referring to. I’m not big on religious symbolism for its own sake, but if it serves a purpose, as it does in Evangelion, I’ll go with it. There wasn’t really a purpose in this beyond being messianic. I guess what ticks me off the most is that I can’t stand the idea of Keanu Reeves as Jesus. Especially when the Trinity is out of the picture and what we’ve got left of the original advertised triad is an ancient Greek concept. Hell, even Niobe is pre-Christian, and so’s the Oracle. If the Wachowskis were trying to preach, they could’ve picked a better way to do it.
So we’ve covered the cross imagery and the sacrifice for the sake of the world stuff, the giant robots, and the “WTF just happened?” (Go see Evangelion. It’s got better substance and you might get to see your watching companion’s head explode.) But there’s more about The Matrix: No Resolution that’s galling. Much of it adds nice touches, but there’s nothing to touch up and no ultimate point. Tying together the human-interest story and the opening of the gate is cool, except that we get the feeling of “You again?” that accompanied Jar-Jar’s every step when whatshisface kid announces Zion’s salvation. The bit of resolution they try to put in, with the old saw about the world being a chessboard for God and Satan (or yin and yang, or the Architect and the Oracle), just makes the whole preceding story seem pointless. “We did all that to give a bunch of computer programs a sunrise? Well, shit.”
As for blinding Neo, pardon the pun, but I don’t see the point in that either. It seems to be just for showing one more thing he can do, which is silly at this juncture. It accomplishes two things: cool special effects, and the inability to see Trinity die. This last would have been enough if Keanu could act, but we seem to have used up our miracle already.
But the most pointless thing of all is that after all that drivel about love, it is the lack of love, or an object thereof, that makes Neo’s path definite. If he had a Trinity to come back to, he would have had a choice on his hands, and he may not have done what he came to do. As it happens, even though it’s nicely set up to end the World as We Know It, he can’t see (NPI) that there is any choice, which invalidates yet another central theme.
If this is love, I’ll take the blue pill.