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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 12:41 GMT
Matrix end is no revelation
by Darren Waters
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Revolutions is the final part in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, which has proved a global hit.

Towards the end of The Matrix Revolutions, one of the film's minor characters expresses precisely what many in the audience are feeling.

Keanu Reeves
Reeves returns as Neo
"It doesn't make any sense," he says.

And he is right. The third and final part of the Matrix trilogy concludes in a blaze of obfuscatory special effects, leaving the audience dazed and dulled.

No-one really expects sequels to be better than the original, but Matrix Revolutions is a crushing disappointment in almost every way.

Disagree with the review? Send us your opinion

As a member of the film's target audience would say: "This sucks."

There are reportedly more than 800 separate special effects in the film but if the film's directors and writers, the Wachowski brothers, had devoted as much energy to the script then the trilogy might well have concluded on a high note.

But the final film is so poor that it leaves a permanent stain on the well-regarded original.

The problem is that the script feels like it was written about 10 minutes before the actors walked on the set, with two types of dialogue: clunky action-film clichés and spiritual babble.

Hugo Weaving
Expect plenty of fist fights
Revolutions essentially is a two-hander - as the human race fights to save the last human city from obliteration by the machines, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) must journey to the Machine City on a pseudo spiritual quest to try and save humanity and battle the powerful Agent Smith.

The Wachowskis, in attempting to give the trilogy a broader, more epic feel - something George Lucas did with Star Wars - have managed to bury some of the film's more interesting ideas and themes beneath a layer of pure bombast and irrelevance.

The film is littered with scenes featuring minor characters who only serve to clog the film up and slow the action down.

The revelations we were promised for the concluding movie turn out to be little more than a re-working of a well-known religious teaching.

Minor characters clog up the action
The original Matrix was praised for its originality and it is a shame that so much of the final film is lifted from other science fiction movies.

The final sequence from Aliens appears, multiplied by a hundred fold, while a famous scene in Star Wars is also used.

Incredibly, the film also seems to steal ideas from itself with one scene a carbon copy of the now-famous Lobby Scene from The Matrix.

The tagline for the film is Everything That Has a Beginning Has An End, but sadly the film has been left open ended.

The prospect of a fourth Matrix film will leave many fans of the original saddened - hasn't enough damage been done already?

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Here is a selection of your reviews - but beware as they may contain plot spoilers.

Revelations is a good film with amazing action sequences. The problem for Revelations is it had to follow the diabolical Reloaded. Despite the visuals the holes in the Matrix concepts couldn't suspend your disbelief for long enough.

So many people, after watching the original Matrix, wanted the second and third films looking to findanswers to spiritual and religious questions that they felt the first film offered up. They forget that the primary function of the films are as entertainment, not as an answer to the hollow feelings they have inside, answers that neither their own religion or materialistic lifestyles are not providing them- as the two latest films are suggesting - there are no answers to the big questions.

We should celebrate the fact that the filmakers are trying to create a world and the films do have ideas and great action - some other films insult your intelligence. Just enjoy the ride, stop worrying about desired effects on your soul.

Not since the Highlander 'trilogy' have I seen such an appalling hatchet job on a great original movie. Hollywood drops the ball again and are any of us really surprised after the gratuitous self aggrandisement that was Reloaded?

Were they fighting or was it some kind of formation dance - come back Busby Berkeley!
Simon Mallett,UK Maidstone

This will go down as one of the worst movies ever. Keanu stars as a combination of Moses and Jesus in this modern adaptation of a 1950's biblical tale?? I think the words "dear god" are appropriate, I could have written a better script on a single trip to the can.... in short, this was a disaster

Visually stunning as ever, but it still left me a little confused, and, for me, the ending was something of an anticlimax. But some fantastic sequences and I'm glad that I saw it. I hesitate to say more, as I'd hate to spoil the film for anyone who's not seen it yet.
Karen Bryan,UK

If you dont pay attention think about the underlying story, just stare at the "guns, lots of guns" why should you not the films? Special effects afterall only add so much. The deeply-set story in Reloaded left several possible endings that will be presented in Revolutions. Pay attention and you might just appreciate these films !

You mean it doesn't end with Keanu Reeves waking up, turning to Alex Winter and saying "Bill, I just had a most excellent dream!"? Shame.

I watched this film and sat cringing in my seat the whole way through. They really have ruined the whole Matrix story line by feeding us some boring American rubbish.

Please, no more! I just can't understand where it all went wrong! And so very, very wrong. If you must see this, and you have seen the other too, get someone to induce amnesia in you afterwards, because you really will want to forget you have ever seen it!
Gareth James, Finland

I disagree with all that I have read on this site. I really enjoyed every minute, the plot had me glued to the screen, I totally forgot where I was, it is one of the best films I a have seen in many years, and is equally as good as the previous two films. I would highly recommend it.
Tom Daley, England

If you've seen the first two you probably have to see the this one... well... because you'll want to know what happens. However, it'll have to go some to beat the disappointment I felt watching Highlander II. Now there was a REAL travesty.
Rod, UK

Instead of complaining that sequels suck, when you like any original film simply decide not to see the following episodes. Nobody paying, nobody filming. Too difficult?
Andrea, Italy

You have to wonder how they could get it so wrong. I mean whilst the first film had good plot and minimal special effects, used very effectively it came off well. Looks like they have lost the plot and just wasted money on special effects... oh yeah and lots of stupid speeches they make no sense.
Andrew Chrich, UK

This appears to be pretty much the stock response trotted out by the media whenever a sequel is released. It's yet another testament to the fact that, in this country in particular, we love to build something up then shoot it down in flames. I wonder what would have been written about Star Wars V and VI if they'd were released now.
Tom, UK

Oh dear... confused is all I can say. Anyone know/confirm the existence of a plot? If you're into special effects and religious clap trap this is brill. If you want a thought provoking thriller (like the first one) don't bother.
Vodkaman, Ireland

I can't believe this got past the script editors, never mind the money men at Warners. Yes it looks cool, but you can get all of that from an issue of Skin Two...

Save your money for Kill Bill vol 2 instead!
Dbeefy, UK

What a bad film. My lord, this was terrible, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was quite horrendous and then I nearly cried because I felt that it wasn't the most spectacular film.
John Arnoldson, New Zealand

I shall be sending a bill to the Wachowskis, as I feel like I've been mugged.
Arvinder Mangat, UK

"...but the emperor's got no clothes on!" About time too.
James, Ipswich, UK

Haven't seen the latest one, but i saw the sequel Reloaded back in June, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. i think the brothers overdid it, would still like to see the Revolutions, i guess because i love movies, especially fight scenes.
Emeka, Nigeria

I think it's a sad to see how a great original film and idea is ruined by the greed of making as much money as possible from it. It shouldn't be a surprise however, because that's the society we live in.
Seppe Buyse, Belgium

I think the third film in the trilogy is hard to understand if you haven't been following every film very carefully. There's tons of religious/spiritual and philosophical parts to the film/trilogy that need to be really thought about. But it's unfair to this say this isn't a masterpiece, because it is in every little detail. "Spiritual babble.", no. Clever and intellectual babble, yes.
Zac Prosser, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

I have to agree, a sobering experience to say the least. I just hope and expect that the final episode of Lord of the Rings is not as bad as Revolutions.

If a movie stands out on its own (like The Matrix is) you know that it will be difficult to beat it. Under pressure from the industry, directors are required to make a follow-up to bring in more cash, most of the time producing mediocre follow-ups at best. Unfortunately Revolutions falls into this category.

Anyone that has not seen it yet and has not bought tickets yet should for Revolutions to come out on DVD/VHS and then rent it.

A saddened fan.
John Dean Albeight, Australia

"The revelations we were promised for the concluding movie turn out to be little more than a re-working of the Christ story, complete with a pseudo-crucifixion at the end."

Poor journalism at its best... Name one film or book that isn't a re-working. Don't you think that the story of Christ is quite amazing, if it's true or not.
Paul Walton, UK

I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Matrix' but was so disappointed and let down by the 'The Matrix Reloaded' that I said I wouldn't even bother watching the third film. It looks like I made the right choice.
Mark Shipley, Leyland, Lancashire, UK

Why should we complain all the time? Lets just enjoy it for what it really is - a science fiction film which touches on many issues surrounding our society and future of the world. Nobody complained about Bladerunner being confusing - people just enjoyed it for what it was...
Hesan Yousif, UK

The original Matrix was a great film, ruined by the second, and going by the reports, I wont even bother with Revelations.

Always sad to see truly great originals made to look shoddy as trilogies. Or trilogies that were great and ruined by money grabbing second trilogies full of nothing other than special effects, do I even need to name that saga?

The only one that is a perfect trilogy, has a story, has consistency in its effects, characters, appearance and originality is Lord of the Rings, the be all and end all of all trilogies!
Vinny, London, UK

The first time I saw The Matrix, I was stunned. The first time I saw Reloaded, I was confused. God knows what will happen when I see this...
James, UK

The first movie was stunning. The second carried the idea on quite well but Revolutions is oh so very disappointing, though to be fair Agent Smith was great and the sentinels were done very well. After a very slow start, occasionally I thought "here we go!" but nothing happened. The dialogue was abysmal and the ending was weak.

I was a huge fan of the original and forgiving of the second film. I defended it against my colleagues and their onslaught, all the while secretly hoping that the third would somehow explain the second films bizarre departure from the original films genius, but alas the third just left me thinking "what have they done?" I sat in disbelief till the end of the credits, wanting some further explanation of what I had just seen to come on the screen, but alas nothing. The film was visually amazing, the Wachowski brothers' cinematography skills are impeccable, but they got lost in their own world when it came to the storyline and dialogue. They lost the whole essence that made the Matrix great-the matrix itself! The Matrix should have been a single film, at least then I could have worshipped the Wachowski brothers¿ genius fusing a great innovative storyline with amazing cinematography, using never before conceived filming techniques. But instead I¿m left questioning¿what was it that I saw last night?
Mark E,England

When I first saw Reloaded I thought it was too long and over the top on special effects. Since then I've played the game, watched the animated stories in AniMatrix, and then watched Re-Loaded again - and wow! They're is so much going on I didn't see the first time round.. I haven't seen Revolutions yet, but I suspect that negative comments on the plot are partly down to taking the film at face value and not delving into the whole Matrix experience.
Marcus,London, UK

The film was such a dreadful disappointment! Lots of Yankee cliches. The few martial arts fight scenes were horrible. Not to mention those quite out of place Star Wars or Star Trek battle scenes. No meaning in the plot whatsoever, no philosophy or theology to spice it up. Apart from some hints of being free anyway, whether in the Matrix or not, but to no avail, since even the freed and charismatic One simply accomplishes a role and nothing more, being a part of the System. This was not a Matrix movie: it was merely a Hollywood stereotype. I think I'll wait for the Return of the King. Thank god, for J.R.R. Tolkien! ;-) Cheers
Kyriakos,Thessalonica, Hellas (Greece)

For me this was a good (not great) ending of the triology. Revolutions proved to be a good title, hence everything went back to the almost same begining, like in our solar system. I like the tempo in the movie, narrative aspect and effect, but brothers Wachowski left us short of expected philosophical aspects.

I came, I saw, I despised.

I do not understand why people complain so much about the film! Come on! The film is great! Are you not satisfied with it because of its lack of "happy end"? It has indeed a sort of "sad" end, but also the idea of "ultimate sacrifice" may appear scandalous and "bother" some people. And that's not news! Christianity, also, has been regarded as scandalous for two thousand years because of its main figure dying to save humanity. I don't say more because I don't want to spoil the movie for those who have not seen it yet! Still, I think it's a great movie!

I was forewarned about this movie, and enjoyed it more as a result. If people expect too much from this movie, then they have forgotten the previous sequel. Put simply, the first 20 minutes will remind yo uof the last ones terrible ponderous dialogue, then it kicks off into an hour of mind bending visuals and set-ups on a scale never seen before on screen before turning into a pastiche of stereotypes in battlezone before an unsatisfying ending. The Matrix series shouldn't be mocked too much - it never was original ("Metropolis" was the first Man V machine concept) nor too deep (referencing religon in a movie is old as the movies themselves). What was unique about the first was it's execution, and in this it certainly delivers. Take your brain out, halve your expectations and you might see it for what it is - a dumb, fun movie.

The Matrix franchise has just gown down hill with these two terrible sequels. Reloaded was confusing and had too many needless speeches that didnt mean anything. But revolutions was possibly the worst thing i have ever seen. confusing and not enough real action.
Sam Saleh,england

I too was very disappointed when leaving the cinema. So many unanswered questions; so many minor characters playing "bit" parts just to fill the 2 hr timeslot; so many poxy one-liners. I expected a great deal more and the W brothers didn't deliver. Very disappointing, but I may see again - just to be sure....... O.
Owen,Melbourne, Australia

Sequels are a tough act to follow anyways, exceptions like Aliens and Terminator 2 are rare. Didn't go in with any high expectations but still ended up feeling betrayed. "Tank" disappearing in Reloaded was bad enough. But why replace the Oracle with a whowazthat who looked totally out of place??? The machines still rule the world but the constructor will now let people exit the Matrix... By telling them what the Matrix is??? The weak points of just the storyline. The kung-fu sucked, everybody was sleepwalking, the action pieces were average. I've got a strong urge to strangle somebody.

The problem with the whole Matrix thing is that, with the first one, a first-layer plot was presented, details weren't filled in and viewers could come to their own conclusion on many points. But with the sequels, the writers had to go to a deeper level and try to creat links and provide more explanations for what was presented in the previous film(s). It is evident that the writers had produced a story initially that that was never meant to make sense and 'come together' completely. It's very difficult, then, to provide sequels that are meant to do exactly that.
Laura, Germany,Germany

Unlike most people, I enjoyed ONLY the special effects from the first film. The story felt like so much rehashed plot lines from so many other sci-fi stories. And the plot only insulted me further with gaping holes that totally destroyed the suspension of disbelief. And contrary to popular belief, the original Matrix film did not invent the "bullet time" effect. I walked away from the first film with a firm anti-Matrix stance. Enter the second and third installments in the trilogy. It has become quite fashionable to belittle the second and third movie's lack of plot and endless psycho babble, but therein lies your "missing plot." I am insulted when a film must spell out every little detail for me and gives me no actual credit. These films, on the other hand, give a basic overview of the concepts in play, and allow you to extrapolate what is going on and the scope of the story being told. And to top it all off, the film oozes eye candy. In short, every person that complains about the lack of a story will also complain about all that "pointless philosophical drivel" that "didn't make any sense." Just because YOU didn't understand it, does not mean that it is a poor film. Endlessly degrading these films speaks more about you than it does the film.

The Matrix was (and still is) the father of all movies. Reloaded needed some script reloading. It seems I may need to visit the Oracle before watching Revalations.... she might save me the cash & time.
Albert Hashweh,Jordan

The local cinema ran a complete screening of the whole trilogy yesterday. This created a real buzz in the audience, with a lot of cheering when they rolled Revolutions. Clearly an audience that was going to try to enjoy the film whatever. But as the credits rolled, the audience shuffled out in disappointed silence.

Revolutions is ambitious. It is an elaborate synthesis of philosophy, world religion, psychology and physical action into an elaborate epic form--- as well as a love story. Its vastness is what makes it confusing, alongside its visual compostion which is a world unto itself. Time will show that The Matrix Trilogy is a unique creative vision, and the true cosmology of our time.

Had they made Revolutions first it would have been a huge flop, and withdrawn from all cinemas within a couple of weeks. Presented as the final part of a trilogy, Revolutions will survive a bit longer purely on the fond memories people have of the first film.
Bill Baker,UK

Oh brother this really sucked. The action sequences are so over the top it's silly. What really irritated me was all the religious psycho-babble. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I definately won't be buying either the second or third films on DVD. I left the cinema asking myself what the hell that was all about. Worst than the Hulk if you can believe that.
Wickus Martin,Cape Town, SA

So many films are 'no-brainers' but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Matrix trilogy and found them to be very thought provoking and not at all confusing. Instead of providing all the answers and a definitive ending, you are left to make up your own mind...
Rich Thornell,England

This would have been a great film if it weren't for the script - somehow, between the first and second films, the Wachowski's forgot how to write. The dialogue was awful, the love story unbelievable and the ending confusing. So many unnecessary characters, so much unclear and circular dialogue... What a disappointment

the movie left me confused and with many questions! Special affects and stunts were top notch but the ending sucked, I am sorry to say...
Jeremy Jansen,Pretoria, South Africa

Machines, machines and more machines. You feel machines around after even after you have seen it. Great visuals or effects weren't the things fans were looking for, they did want to see some meaning to what has been going since the first matrix movie. It was a let down. I wish it had been more sensible than just putting long actin sequences.
Ajay Mathur,US

YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!!!! The only reason you didnt like it is because you didnt understand it.... This Trilogy is the most indepth, symbolic movie ever created. Everything in this movie is symbolic of a spirtual myth or premise. I have never seen a movie since Star wars that has tackled the epic genre and managed to pull it off so convincingly. Your just watching the movie excpecting some big awnsr like "And the murderer is...." But know, this movie was designed to make you think, theorize and ponder, its a refreshing change to have a movie that lets you think for youreslf, You idiots go watch Bad Boys 2

I watched the film last night, it had me pretty gripped all the way through whether or not it was a great plot or not. I do however hope it's left there and not another made.
Tery,Leicester, UK

Just enjoy it for what it is. A grand spectacle and totally immersive experience. If I wanted a good story I would read a good book. This trilogy of movies are more about a total assault on the senses than a top storyline.

Mmmm...Why did they ever make follow ups on the original matrix? Reloaded and Revolutions should have been discussions late into the night about what the fist Matrix meant. Some things are better left alone.
Etienne,South Africa

In my opinion the brothers owe us all an apology!
Tejas Moogimane,India

What the....?
selene ,Singapore

I saw "Revolutions" yesterday, and man, was it a blast!!! I admit, some of the dialogues were boring, but otherwise the movie was amazingly good, and has a good, simple ending- one which left me thinking, "Now why din't I think of that??" because it was suggested in the Animatrix series. But people who haven't seen the Animatrix series, and not played the Game(this one's not abslutely necessary, but still it fills in some holes from "Reloaded") will be disappointed by the ending.

It was so bad i almost fell asleep twice. The "W" brothers have simply raked in more cash by releasing it in three parts instead of condensing the overall story into two, which would have been a winner.

I am stunned having just read the comments from Hesan Yusof, Zac Prosser and Tom Daley. "Clever and intellectual", "plot had me glued to the screen"?. I challenge anyone to find anything clever (apart from the sfx) about the film, and as for plot...what plot. The film was ponderous, pompous and full of it's own self importance. The references to hinduism and mysticism where laboured and obvious. The attention to characters of no consequence (Link et al) added nothing and detracted much. Even the homage to Anime (such as the obvious lift from Akira (city blast scene)) was poor and laboured. I felt like a horse being led to water and forced to drink - terrible. Please god don't make a fourth film. Any further ideas would be better served in a graphic novel - storyboarded by the Wachowskis and then sanitised by someone like alan moore or kurasawa
Neil Burton,Singapore

Matrix Revolutions is an excuse for a movie. The entire effort of the Wachowski Brothers is in vain.
Amol Hatwar,India

I have just seen Revolutions and I think it was a pretty good movie. It represented all that a movie should be: Entertainment. It made me go back to when I was a kid watching Indian Jones movies albeit without the catchy phrases or humor. The biggest problem most people have is not with the movie itself, its with the hope they have about the movie; the need for validation. We need to know what happened and why? The truth is there is no real answer. We think therefore we are. If you can understand that statement then you understand. Its really a fun movie that raises questions about our existence and why we exist; to what purpose? You will not find that answer in Revolutions but you will be entertained for sure!

I have to agree with the majority of the reviews here. I kept looking at my watch thinking "hmmmm 2 hours in, the plot/story must be on the way?!?!?" And what was with the whole gung ho "you want to be in my corps" thing? They tried to hard to make an action love-story that reaffirms your faith in mankind and humanity while helping you to find religion. Bottom line, I want my money back!
Marc ,Japan

What a disappointment! The stunning originality of the first Matrix is only matched by the yawn-inducing boredom of revolutions. I thought Hollywood had learnt a lesson when the low budget Matrix rocked the film world. Throwing lots of cash at a movie doesn't necessarily make it better. When it comes out on DVD, I think I will rent out Titanic instead.

I liked the previous Matrix Movies, but I am not planning to watch Matrix Revolution. It sucks!
Dirk Uskarsi,Washinton DC, USA

Keanu Reeves cannot fight and should probably be banned from doing any films with fight scenes in it. Throughout Reloaded he had always looked more like he was dancing than fighting - compare his movements to those of the man who protects the Oracle. KR is an insult to the great ancient Chinese art.
A Wong,Hong Kong

Please, for those that have seen this film DO NOT giveaway the storyline, no matter how poor you think it is! Have a little respect for those who are yet to see it! By the way, after reading the comments, I think the intellectual content of these films are a little hard for you people to understand, try sticking to films that dont require you to think, you will all be much happier!

As we were leaving, my friend and I just looked at eachother and agreed to simply not talk about it. The first movie was was it was, and we all agree. The second one was like cathing a fish and dragging it through the water along the side of the boat just for kicks... but I don't know what this movie was. I think they jumped in the water and try to seduce the fish into the boat. The movie generated lots of intelligent discussion and allowed us to be very creative and imaginative in how we inturpret the ideas contained within it... but these last two, I feel like I'm being treated like an idiot, like I was too dumb to comprehend the original, and so everything needs to fed to me like a child, but was was this, I spit it out! I know why we didn't speak after the movie now, I'm as confused trying to talk about it, as i was trying to watch it. Liked the scene when the shooting began on the dock... at least that was kind'a cool. ROTK in a month...save us.
Jason Abbott,Ottawa, Canada

I saw this film tonight and felt like they overdid the action and skimped on the philosophical questions. Thankfully, Morpheus was void of his didactic monologues, but this film felt much "smaller" than the other two.

I thoroughly enjoyed Revolutions after the action picked up. True, there are some aspects that could have been better, but the things that they do well are really done WELL. I appreciated the masterful storytelling of this highly entertaining, emotionally intense film.

I just got back from seeing The Matrix Revolutions and am surprised to read what Mr. Waters has to say about a great film. Did this guy even watch the originals, or understand the story? Probably not. Had he been a real Matrix fan, he would have seen The Animatrix, Matrix, and Matrix Reloaded, and probably played the game, too. Had he, he'd know that this is a stunning ending to a great trilogy which is, in the opinion of a hardcore Matrix fan, better than Reloaded, and close to being as good as the original. Reloaded, I must say, was not nearly as impressive as the original, nor Revolutions. But with less action and much more content, Revolutions was a masterpiece which will not soon be forgotten in my mind.

What were you expecting? Were you expecting Neo and Smith getting out from the screen and fighting in front of your noses? For me, it was a great movie.
Ruben Pulgarin,Colombia

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