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The Matrix Franchise

matrixgrindhouse

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I'll type up a spoiler-tagged review sometime. Not a fan. It wasn't Batman v Superman levels of disappointing, but I can't in good conscience say that was a good movie. And this is coming from someone that likes (most of) Revolutions. I look forward to using it for editing purposes, but that's about all I got out of it.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I wrote a review in the A Few Reviews thread. Suffice to say, the first hour I wasn’t sure if this was a joke being played on the audience slash criticism of the audience for not liking any of the Sisters work save for the first Matrix. Then the second half is so clunky and so poorly executed that I kept watching the way one must keep looking at a car crash. I found this movie to be next level bad.

Edit: Here’s the spoiler tagged review.

I love the original Matrix. I really wanted this one to be a return to form. But I admit I was worried by the trailers. It’s not Neo as Keanu Reeves, an actor who starred in a “movie” called the Matrix 20 years ago, but it’s close. Just because you acknowledge that you’re repeating something doesn’t make it cool to rehash things. In fact the meta nature of it makes it decidedly less cool in my opinion. I had a hard time during the first hour deciding if this was intentionally a joke; a parody where the joke is on the audience. And then this movie, just like the first two sequels, gets bogged down in its own complexities and spends way too much time with characters simply spewing exposition. There’s no show and all tell. There’s a seed of an idea about the current culture of social media and conspiracy theories that is interesting but is so inconsequential to the plot as to be pretty much a throwaway. The original movie’s strength was in its simplicity, its finding a unique way to tell a familiar story. This sequel, like its two predecessors, is needlessly complex and often downright silly. A hard pan from me.
 

matrixgrindhouse

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Suffice to say, the first hour I wasn’t sure if this was a joke being played on the audience slash criticism of the audience for not liking any of the Sisters work save for the first Matrix.

It goes deeper than that.

A character who claims that his life was changed by Neo's videogame is not only comic relief, but set up as someone meant to control or even kill him - his name is even close to being Judas! Upon awakening, Neo finds the idea that his life was reduced to being a videogame - something I believe the dialogue describes as "banal" and "mundane" - repugnant. I have to admit. That hurt. The MMO was created to be the true sequel to the trilogy, with the Wachowskis having significant oversight over the story. The Matrix Online provided not only some of my fondest memories - but led to some of the most lasting and meaningful frendships of my entire life. If Lana wasn't happy with how it turned out, if she wanted to take full control of her universe again, that's her right as creator. But to dismiss the idea that it was devoid of artistic value or any meaningful human emotions is ridiculously spiteful. The new movie's backstory is another thing that threw me for a loop.

The following things are said to have happened in the time between Revolutions and Resurrections:

Rama Kandra revived Neo and Trinity through special devices on their necks.
Neo was reinserted with false memories and visage, and kept in a prison on the surface.
Morpheus died and was replaced by a program.
Rebellious human hovercraft crews operate in defiance of orders, who believe in Neo and Trinity's legacy and explore the possibility of their survival.
There was a brief period of Machine on Machine violence.
Old Zion was destroyed, and replaced by a newer, better city.
Smith returned, but in a severely weakened capacity.
Oracle died.

Every single one of those things happened (or was implied to have happened) in The Matrix Online - yet the movie's version of events contradict what was presented in the game. Why did Lana go so far out of her way to retcon that story, only to replace it with a similar one? Is it just spite for the medium? I don't get it.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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It goes deeper than that.

A character who claims that his life was changed by Neo's videogame is not only comic relief, but set up as someone meant to control or even kill him - his name is even close to being Judas! Upon awakening, Neo finds the idea that his life was reduced to being a videogame - something I believe the dialogue describes as "banal" and "mundane" - repugnant. I have to admit. That hurt. The MMO was created to be the true sequel to the trilogy, with the Wachowskis having significant oversight over the story. The Matrix Online provided not only some of my fondest memories - but led to some of the most lasting and meaningful frendships of my entire life. If Lana wasn't happy with how it turned out, if she wanted to take full control of her universe again, that's her right as creator. But to dismiss the idea that it was devoid of artistic value or any meaningful human emotions is ridiculously spiteful. The new movie's backstory is another thing that threw me for a loop.

The following things are said to have happened in the time between Revolutions and Resurrections:

Rama Kandra revived Neo and Trinity through special devices on their necks.
Neo was reinserted with false memories and visage, and kept in a prison on the surface.
Morpheus died and was replaced by a program.
Rebellious human hovercraft crews operate in defiance of orders, who believe in Neo and Trinity's legacy and explore the possibility of their survival.
There was a brief period of Machine on Machine violence.
Old Zion was destroyed, and replaced by a newer, better city.
Smith returned, but in a severely weakened capacity.
Oracle died.

Every single one of those things happened (or was implied to have happened) in The Matrix Online - yet the movie's version of events contradict what was presented in the game. Why did Lana go so far out of her way to retcon that story, only to replace it with a similar one? Is it just spite for the medium? I don't get it.
I don’t know any about the game. But it truly felt as if she was saying, “you don’t like any of our other movies and that’s your fault not ours” to the audience. For example, …

Maybe there’s an in-universe reason that they have more than 20 years pass, but yet keep almost everyone looking young. But the aging make-up for Jada Pinkett-Smith seemed like it could’ve been a response to the poor reception to the aging make-up used in Cloud Atlas. And there were lots of times where I felt that way; where I questioned whether what was on screen could be reduced to simply spite.
 

matrixgrindhouse

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You may be on to something.

The new human city is called Io. As in... one of Jupiter's moons. Jupiter Ascending got panned pretty hard, as I recall.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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There’s just an overall feeling of spitefulness that made it feel not just like a bad movie, but a mean-spirited bad movie.
 

matrixgrindhouse

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If I ever do a "fan fix" for this one, I know one change that would be an easy and substantial improvement.

The movie ends with a terrible cover of Wake Up. Which I guess is meta-commentary on what this movie was - a lesser retread of the original trilogy. But hear me out. At the start, at Neo's lowest point, they play White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane - fitting. In my version, it would end with Miracles by Jefferson Starship. It fits the meta narrative - a band composed of some members of the former iteration, much like the mix of old and new cast and crew. The song's lyrics are about love and belief leading to flight. Which is... kind of the entire arc of Neo and Trinity in the movie, right?
 

Racerx1969

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I'm not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I kind of enjoyed just sitting and going with the ride. On the other, I see all the points made above and there does seem to be a feeling of spitefulness to it--more in the early part of the movie than the later. I don't get it. It almost feels like Lana flipping the fanbase the bird, and why would she do that?
 

matrixgrindhouse

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I think she just straight up did not want to make another Matrix. She also did want to make a movie dealing with the grief she felt for her parents - and believe me, my criticisms of the movie are not leveled at her personally. If this was cathartic to her, by all means, I am happy she did what she did. The part of the movie that does connect to that element is actually really good. I think the movie could best be described as a beautiful 40 minutes' worth of compelling character drama, interspersed amid a poorly executed 2 hour blockbuster. It isn't a Zero. It's not Terminator Dark Fate or whatever. There's elements that do work, ideas that are interesting. But her heart wasn't in it beyond anything that directly involved Neo and Trinity.

The other main missing ingredients: Bill Pope (cinematography was inconsistent - sometimes nice, sometimes downright ugly) - Yuen Woo Ping (bad action scenes), Don Davis (new music monotonous, old music not used effectively - Neo and Trinity's love theme was absent!), Lily Wachowski. I know she wanted even less to do with this one, but maybe Lana should have waited until she was truly ready to come back. I don't know who had which ideas, but they worked together so much better than they do apart, clearly.


Also, bummer about Daniel "Guy from Future War" Bernhardt , who played Agent Johnson. He was in the movie as of test screenings and cast interviews last month,but was completely excised from the final cut. You can kind of see a gap in one action scene where he was meant to show up. Not exactly my favorite character or anything, but he seemed so happy to be back.
 
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revel911

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I agree that the action is lacking, but I still want to start with a cut without all of the flashbacks before I can really tell how I felt about it.
 

TMBTM

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I liked Matrix 4 a lot. There I said it, lol.

It's visualy the worst (yet okay) and it's the kind of movie that did not need to be made, BUT...
boy I loved how it's an auteur's movie in the shape of a blockbuster. Like the first movie.
This is Lana telling the audience how she feels about returning to the Matrix and trying to find a way out (and find love again).
The important thing is not mind blows or incredible action, the important thing in this movie is the love between Neo and Trinity cause it's the love of the auteur for his creation that is to be found again.
It's also funny to watch the progression of the story going from a criticism of Hollywood to basically ending like any big blockbuster.
It's like Lana saying that escaping the Matrix is an illusion cause in the very end she's remaking The Matrix AGAIN, but the important thing is doing it with love.

I don't know, that's what I got from it thinking about it one day after I saw the movie. Maybe it's not at all the intention behind the movie.
And even if this is it, I totaly understand people feeling that the "meta" side of this movie took them out of it.
 

jerick

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My 2 cents for what it’s worth:

This movie could have been good if the writers had began with, focused on, and centered the whole thing around Trinity. It was the perfect time to tell her story from the very beginning, it was the perfect time for a new female led hero movie, and the most interesting thing everyone wanted to know is how Trinity survived. Why the writers couldn’t make this work, I’ll never understand. The choice to focus on Neo and repeat his whole arc and never expand on it at all was just an embarrassment of writing and caused the whole movie to feel unnecessary.
 
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