Friday, November 14, 2003
The Blue Pill, or the Red Pill? Anything for a Headache 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
We finally went to see The Matrix Revolutions last night, but I still haven't decided whether I like the movie or not; maybe I'll stay ambivalent for a while. It's very flashy and very, very loud - but not much more.

The first few minutes are occupied with sadly-edited attempts at character development and visual wit, which eventually leads us to the obligatory Matrix "club" scene: this time around, we're treated to a sickly green-lit cavern filled with hundreds of extras in bondage gear, doing the jungle-boogie against a killer techno vibe. In the balcony? Who else but the smarmy Merovingian lounging in a blood-red smoking jacket, sipping a martini and munching on a pair of jumbo olives impaled on a twisted steel skewer.

"Bring me the eyes of the Oracle," he oozes. He never gets the cyber-seer's orbs, but he does get a King Louis XIV-sized asswhupping from Trinity that's almost worth the price of admission.

Throughout most of the Zion Battle action I found myself asking, "what the hell is up with all these squids/Sentinels/calamari?" - or whatever those mechanical Octopi of Death are called. Little or no exaggeration: half the film is consumed by overcrowded CGI shots of explosions and roiling murder-by-a-million-metal-arms. I enjoy action and special effects as much as the next geek, but here it reaches the point of psychic barrage, past where a human brain can safely take in that much information. It's so busy, it's boring.

This movie just about hit my video-game tolerance limit. Sitting dead-center about five rows back from the big screen was like getting a nut-and-bolt brain enema. Okay, I'm not ambivalent, just stunned and floating like a telephoned fish.

In short, too much CGI, not enough cool, as if Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and Company were no longer swell enough to chill out the screen. I missed most the cold, broadly-referenced intelligence and groundbreaking style that defined the first Matrix.

...Revolutions will go down as the lemon on the Matrix slot machine, but did we honestly expect anything different? Well, yes, actually we did. We expected a movie on par with The Matrix Reloaded - was that too much to ask? It's really a "kitchen sink film": the Wachowskis threw just about everything else into each hyperactive scene, and I'm pretty certain I spotted a wayward Kohler™ Deluxe in the corner somewhere.