11.12.2003

Space City Likes a Revolution

Texas critics seem divided on Revolutions... I'm surprised that one of the major papers, The Houston Chronicle, rated it higher than any other paper in Texas. Way to go, Space City. As usual, I disagree with Austin's Chris Garcia. I guess Niobe is right after all. Some things change, and some things never change.

In The Matrix Revolutions, the Architect, thankfully, keeps his muttering to a minimum, but everyone else takes up the slack. These characters love to talk. Still, so much of Reloaded was devoted to setting up Revolutions that the new movie is able to move more swiftly, relatively unburdened by explication. The catch, however, is that you need not only to have understood Reloaded's mumbo jumbo to make sense of this, but you also need to have retained it.
[...]
Revolution brings the saga to a close with a bang. But while it's an honorable effort and provides closure, it isn't an entirely satisfying conclusion. For one thing, I'm not sure what it means.


- Houston Chronicle A-

Oh, the tedium. The plot is at once convoluted and cliches, an exhausting morass of backflips and claptrap telling the oldest story in the world with the newest computer effects. It galvanizes as it narcotizes, drones as it dazzles.
[...]
"Revolutions" finds rote means to a rote end. Whatever was special about the original "Matrix" has curdled into tired convention. The narrative vigilance and visual elegance of the first "Matrix" has been bargained away. The new movie glistens with the sweat of filmmakers whose sole goal is to top their previous enchantments. But they have nowhere to go that hasn't been visited by them or their acolytes.


-Austin American Statesman (1/4 Stars)

The final installment in the genre-shattering behemoth collectively known as The Matrix finds Neo (Reeves), Morpheus (Fishburne), and Trinity (Moss) hunkered down in the subterranean city of Zion, last bastion of nonenslaved humanity and apparent home of Seattle's cast-off cotton grungewear. The machines, by this point, are only some 24 hours away from breaking through and wiping out this pocket of human resistance to their strangely metaphysical anti-life above;
[...]
(B)ut for all its bluster and jaw-dropping computer graphics, Revolutions never quite manages to live up to the unexpected brilliance of the original outing. There's love and sacrifice galore, yes, and the hand-to-hand combat set-pieces choreographed by legendary martial artist Yuen Wo Ping remain peerless, but all this action very nearly overwhelms the trilogy's inherent intellectual pursuits. Still and all, it's an impressive closing to the cycle, and, frankly, one that arrives not a moment too soon.


-Austin Chronicle (3/4 Stars)

But the series has reached a level of joylessness, a ponderous self-seriousness and labyrinthine mythology that now elicits laughs where they're not intended. If you walked into this movie without having studied the first two, you would probably end up shouting at the screen in frustration.
Dallas News C-

Ignore the fact that we're basically watching one set of computer-generated images fight with another set of computer-generated images. Ignore the fact that the robots look like marauding vegetables -- the attack of the portobello mushrooms. The real mystery here is why Neo drops out of the movie -- along with Trinity and Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) -- for nearly 30 minutes. What kind of movie leaves its three main characters out of the centerpiece? An inept one.
Fort Worth Star Telegram D

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