Everything that has a beginning has an end. After the first Matrix movie came out, it developed a fervent following in geekdom, in which I am a proud member. But the second installment, The Matrix Reloaded, geekdom was split. There was a feeling that the Wachowski brothers had succumbed to the pressure to top the first movie and tried to make everything, particularly the slow-mo fight scenes, bigger and longer. I am happy to report that the Wachowski brothers seem to have calmed down and concentrated on the story in the third and "last " part of the Matrix trilogy. Maybe, like The Two Towers, it is just hard making the middle part of a trilogy where there is no beginning and no end. Although I have to say that, The Empire Strikes Back was by far the best of the first Star Wars trilogy.
The action in Matrix Revolutions picks up right where the end of Matrix Reloaded left off. I won't say much about the plot but the sentinels continue to close in on Zion and the residents led by Lock (Harry Lennix) and Mifune (Nathaniel Lees) prepare to defend the city. Meanwhile, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) continues to take over the matrix. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) assisted by the Oracle (Mary Alice) and her bodyguard (Sing Ngai) try to help Zion hang on while Neo (Keanu Reeves) attempts to save the day. More I will not say except that my favorite character, the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), is back along with the Architect (Helmut Bakaitis) and a new character, the Trainman (Bruce Spence).
The pace and the narrative flow of Matrix Revolutions is much better than Matrix Reloaded which got a bit bogged down with the Zion orgy and especially with the endless freeway fight scene. Matrix Revolutions starts off slowly. It's nice but almost a shock. The fight scenes are few and briefer, and fit the flow of the story better. There are no agents except for our favorite Agent Smith. Also, the story builds nicely to the climactic fight for Zion. Everyone gets to do some acting rather than just kicking heads. In particular, Pinkett Smith as Captain Niobe gets to shine and show that she is cooler and tougher than than the boys. Mary Alice ably takes over the role of the Oracle. Gloria Foster, who played the Oracle in the first two movies, died before the third was filmed. Watch for Bruce Spence as the Trainman. You may recognize him from The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Reeves, Moss and Fishburne are now Neo, Trinity and Morpheus for the rest of their lives. I hope they can deal with it. The Wachowski brothers have said over and over that there will be no more Matrix movies. But I have to say that the ending of Matrix Revolutions certainly leaves open the possibility of another sequel. The story itself, like the first two movies is full of reworked myth and legend, and gets a bit Arthurian in the end. Mostly, I am very relieved. I didn't know what to expect but Matrix Revolutions turned out to be a good story that you can sit back and enjoy. Most of you were probably going to go anyway just to see how the Matrix saga comes out but I think you'll find it a fun experience. Or later you can say, as usual, that my rating is nuts! See it and decide for yourself.