The Matrix Revolutions

The most interesting thing I can tell you about The Matrix Revolutions is that I heard a rumor that co-creator Larry Wachowski is planning to have a sex change.

Anyway, Revolutions picks up where The Matrix Reloaded leaves off, almost to the second, but if you missed the previous outing then I imagine you'd have no interest in hearing about this one anyway, so there's no need to fill in the blanks. Suffice it to say that, as expected, like its predecessor (but unlike 1999's original Matrix, which is so solid compared to its messy sequels that I miss it now more than ever), Revolutions is a mishmash of cool ideas, flashy special effects, and cyberschlock.

The Wachowskis have outdone themselves only in writing dialogue that consists of wall-to-wall cliches. Really, I'm amazed. Every line is trite. As are the heroics of all the tiresome supporting characters that were introduced in Reloaded. In fact, Laurence Fishburne barely registers, and Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves himself disappear for great lengths of time.

Never trust any filmmakers who claim they always envisioned their work as a "trilogy". I suspect neither Wachowski really knew where to take their story after The Matrix made it big. So a lot of the ideas presented in the film were negated by its sequel, and now a lot of the ideas presented in that film are negated by this sequel. Which is especially shocking, since the latter two were made at the same time! But the subplots about the "Merovingian" and the "Key Maker" are quickly thrown out, as is the whole idea that it is The Matrix itself that must be stopped.

This time out, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving, the only person involved in the franchise who seems to realize how goofy it is), who has replicated himself into such a huge virus that he literally takes over The Matrix, and may soon invade the "real" world as well, is the greatest threat to humanity. It's a little like George Orwell making the ultimate villain in 1984 not Big Brother but a government goon. The Wachowskis lose their own point, so we're left with nothing to think about – none of those "what if?" questions about the reality of existence, which was what turned on audiences in the first place. Even the kung fu seems like an afterthought.

The effects are better this time around than in the rushed Reloaded (the fight scene between the human survivors of Zion and the frightening Sentinels is great action), but see the movie only so you can cross The Matrix series off your to-do list, thankful that you don't have to wait until 2005 like with Star Wars.