THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (vt MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, THE MATRIX 3 — [2001, USA: working title; THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE, 2003, USA: IMAX version). Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, dir., script, exec. prod. USA: NPV Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures [Australia], Warner, Silver Pictures (prod.) / Warner, IMAX Corp. (US dist.), Nov. 2003. Owen Paterson, prod. design. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, featured players. 129 min., with credits; ca. 120, for film itself. (Filmographic info. mostly from IMDb.)
Third movie in MATRIX trilogy. See for imaging of human/machine interactions in final sequences of film. The huge drilling bit breaching Zion and the squid-like sentinels attacking that last human refuge are met by double-barrel bazookas and other small arms, but also large, machine-gun-armed, Hulk-like machines controlled by partially-enclosed human operators (cf. and contrast Ripley in the loader in ALIENS, the elegant killer-robots in the future world of the TERMINATOR films, and E.D.-209 in ROBOCOP, listed in this section, and the fighting suits in R. Heinlein's Starship Troopers and J. Haldeman's Forever War and Forever Peace, listed under Fiction). The large sentinels come in large swarms, appearing from a distance insect-like; cf. and contrast S. Lem's "synsects" in "The Upside-Down Evolution" and The Invincible (listed under Fiction). Also note Neo in the Machine City, surrounded by monumental machines (including those holding humans in pods), accompanied by crab-like machines (cf. RUNAWAY, listed below), and confronting the Oz of the machine city (the Architect in a nonVR incarnation?)—given form as a huge face by a swarm of apparently small sentinel-machines. It is also of interest that the Agent Smith program can not only replicate him/itself without limit, but can now clearly take over at least one body in the human world—seen but not made fully clear in MATRIX 2—even as Agent programs can take over virtual humans in the Matrix. The mise-en-scene in REVOLUTIONS is occasionally modern (train station, train) but mostly po-mo; still, the philosophical upshot seems sturdily humanist, centrally Existentialist (stressing choosing), and mildly religious (stressing belief [in Neo as savior—cf. and contrast John Connor in TERMINATOR series—and survival and other good things]). This might be evidence that postmodernism as a style remains popular, while po-mo philosophy wanes. On the other hand, Neo saves the Matrix, so perhaps the series asserts that virtual life isn't so bad after all—if one has a real choice to leave it. CAUTION: Perhaps as part of an anti-po-mo theme (making explicit the sources of much po-mo philosophy and fashion), perhaps as useful extrapolation of racial mixtures, and the influence of Cornel West, perhaps (for good and for ill) gratuitously—the 2nd and 3rd MATRIX movies celebrate diversity, but diversity strongly excluding the French, albino, and some variations of kink, with the Merovingian in REVOLUTIONS seeming to be a pointless villain associated with a virtual railroad and an S&M club that may allude to Metropolis (novel more than film), and/or to reported aspects of the life of Larry Wachowski. NOTE: A Director's Cut longer than 120 minutes of actual footage might resolve some ambiguities of plot, character, and theme; see also ANIMATRIX.
5. DRAMA, RDE, Jeff Vlasak, Jason Ferrell, Andrew Gordon 09/XI/03