And so, it comes to this.
The final chapter of the cinema released Matrix films completes the trilogy even as it opens doors to the next series of interactive, fan-based continuations.
For those who came in lateÖ
Neo is trapped in a weigh-station inside the Matrix after the second chapter, Matrix Reloaded. Here in this world between worlds, he waits unable to escape, while his girlfriend Trinity and his mentor Morpheus attempt to rescue him.
After he is freed he learns he must venture to the Machine City and confront the leader of the Machines even as the underground city of Zion prepares for the arrival of the Machine Army. Meanwhile, the Agent Smith program has grown all-powerful; absorbing all programs around him including the Oracle and other rogue programs allied against the Machines.
|"One way or another, this war is going to endÖ tonight"|
In Zion, the battle begins as the robots infiltrate the cityís walls with heavy fatalities on both sides and itís just a matter of time before the crumbling defences of the Humans collapse under the immense tide of robot warriors. The entire success of the Humans against the Machines comes down to Neo and Trinity in the Machine City to end the war, but first Agent Smith has to be stopped at all costs.
For anyone feeling slightly put out by the confusion and rigmarole of Reloaded, the solution is here in the second or third viewing. In the cinema I was kinda baffled but in revisiting the film on DVD it became much clearer. The trouble with Reloaded is that it fell into the usual pitfall of the middle film of a trilogy; the explosive setup has occurred and the huge finalť is yet to come, so the middle film must bridge the two. This usually comes with a more cerebral approach and the sacrifice of action scenes. However, after the freeway chase of Reloaded, who can say there were so many sacrifices?
The action is frenetic here in Revolutions with some absolutely jaw-dropping special effects that have been treated a bit better than some of the more video game elements of Reloaded. The final brawl between Agent Smith and Neo must be seen to be believed as the Wachowskis have made a realistic fight exist in a cinematic manner never before rendered with such depth and force. (Except maybe General Zod vs. Superman in Superman 2. Yes, thatís a joke). The siege of Zion sequence is an extraordinary achievement, seamlessly blending real footage with CG animation to create a vast and expansive war sequence of exquisite detail. (As one of the extras notes, the film used more than 100,000 Gigabytes of hard-drive storage space!)
While some claimed the series limped home here, I found the film exhilarating and well played out even on the second viewing when I knew the outcomes. As a final chapter it has without doubt saved the most explosive and vast imaginings for the end.
Sure the first film was great and an instant classic that has transpired the Hollywood mainframe, with homage and parody appearing in everything from childrenís animation to adult cinema. Revolutions draws the series to a fitting conclusion, even if that conclusion seems to appear very swiftly in the end. However, it has also delivered that most important Hollywood angle of all; the return option. In effect the door isnít closed Ė both in the film series and in our reality. The video game is to be launched online which continues the adventures of Zion and its inhabitants after the filmís conclusion; devoid of a closed environment like previous video games based on films.
So will the series return? Will we see more Matrix inspired lunacy with even greater challenges to be created, met and vanquished?
Imagine if you will, that you have the key to a massive money-making machine. Would you take that key, pitch it away and close the machine up in a vast warehouse to collect dust and spiderwebs?
Extraordinary doesnít begin to describe the transfer here. In essence it is perfect with very little by way of flaw. The only thing I noticed about the film were some minor moments of green-screen residue affecting blacks here and there. And really, with the amount of greenery already embodied in this series, who cares?
No artefacts, perfect colour saturation and flesh tones natural. Makeup at times is remarkable and incredibly realistic and looks great here. The image is razor sharp and well defined, leaving very little by way of questioning whatís going on amidst the crowded details. A majority of excellently framed shots add the emphasis on a comic book Ďaugmented realityí that contributes brilliantly to the overall larger-than-life approach. The layer change comes in as a slight pause between scenes at 55:08 and doesnít affect the filmís narrative at all.
In short, the film has gone beyond visual expectations to create a super-film of images not seen before in a unique world environment we arenít likely to see again for quite some time to come (or at least until the next blockbuster incarnate).
Better strap yourself in good and tight before engaging this one. Half the DVDnet offices now lie in smoking ruin after cranking this baby up. I could actually feel air being forced out of the subwoofer by the incredible sound emanating from it. Then it fell over and died twitching Ė but not before delivering an awesome sound experience that is the equal of the amazing visuals. The surrounds carry everything from fight scenes to the music to the pitter-patter of little raindrops in the final explosive moments of the film.
Dialogue is all fine and classically written to incorporate plenty of comic book one-liners and catchphrases. Thankfully brooding Morpheus has been dispensed with and he doesnít add all that unnecessary and overly dramatic delivery that so annoyed us in Matrix 1+2. (Plus, he never once folds his arms behind his back).
Music by Don Davis (amid multiple levels of hardcore metal tracks and techno beats) is suitably operatic for this epic piece and full of choral orchestrations and rousing double beat drums. Itís a perfectly fitted suit to the film and makes it sound oh so sweet (while looking so good).
Well, the final in the widely acclaimed and well-loved series is finally on DVD and the transfer is nothing short of perfect. Fans are gonna lap it up, even if the asking price is a little higher than we have grown accustomed to. The film is spectacular, the action intense and the computer animation faultless. Itís always annoying when you can pick out the CG in a film, but here we can revel in the fact it is convincing. Sure, we know itís fake, but it kicks arse regardless because it looks convincing.
Lucky us in Australia. The DVD is being released on sell through here in Australia before America for a change (albeit by only 12 hours or so, but itís still a win).
Iím impressed. Iím blown away. The speakers and subwoofer are blown away and the TV is still trying to catch its breath. This film brings us to the next level of Matrix commitment and is a visual feast and aural dynamite. A fitting conclusion, but perhaps an even more enticing doorway to the next chapter.