We’re right where we left off in the last film: Neo (Reeves) is in a coma, Bane (Ian Bliss) has somehow gotten Agent Smith (Weaving) inside of him, Zion is about to get its tits shot off, and Morpheus (Fishburne) is feeling like a dumbass because, seemingly, the Oracle (now played by Alice after the untimely death of Gloria Foster) lied. Now Neo’s lost somewhere between worlds and if he doesn’t get back soon, then the human race is toast.
Congratulations, Brothers Wachowski! You’ve given us the worst third movie in a series since Superman III. Or, since you’re comic fans, I’ll put it another way: you’ve given us the cinematic equivalent of Secret Wars II. After the completely brilliant setup of the second film, the brothers manage to fumble the ball in a spectacular, tragic way. The first film set up everything, the second debunked the first film and the third film manages to disappoint almost from jump: after a completely pointless opening sequence, the highlight of which is people running upside down and shooting, we’re treated to an endless series of missed opportunities. All of those neat questions you conceived from the enigmas in the second film? None of them are answered. And they’re not even not-answered in that, “Ooh, we’re being mysterious and mystical and cheerily obtuse” way–you know, the one that can be endearing and thought-provoking. No, no. They’re just not addressed. At all. Which is amazing, considering that this film is even “talkier” than the second–the difference being the second film’s dialogue had meat to it. This time around, we’re given nothing but third-rate overwrought “heart felt” garbage, with none of the philosophy or banter that makes the series function.
Reeves is given nothing to do but play the suffering savior and fight. Fishburne is given even less to do, since he’s reduced to playing second fiddle to Jada Pinkett Smith, who does step up (and steps up well). Moss does have some nice moments, but thanks to the subpar script, all three leads are reduced nearly to caricature. Instead, the standout is Weaving, who gets even more maniacal than before, with an honorable mention to Bliss, who apes Weaving so well it’s uncanny.
If the film’s that bad, you might be wondering why I still gave it two and a half cups. Well, I figure I gave Pearl Harbor two cups, and the FX here was better than that film, so there you have it. Like that Michael Bay mistake, where the actual attack was amazing, the highpoint of this film is the battle for Zion sequence towards the middle. Even it, though, is marred by the fact that it goes on too damn long, when any editor worth a damn would have done some intercutting between Zion and the other two plotlines that were going on at the time. Three plotlines, overlong movie–where I saw providence, the editor…well, must have fallen asleep. If you want to see the FX, wait for the DVD, advance to the middle sequence, watch it, and then return the damn thing to Blockbuster.
If I sound pissed off, it’s because I am. And I’m warning you: don’t see this film–because whatever third movie you envisioned in your head, no matter how lame, has got to be better than this. Let’s hope if there is another movie (and there will be), they get better filmmakers than these two to helm it–or at the very least, the filmmakers from the first two Matrix flicks. Don’t know where those two went, but they sure weren’t here.