Scott Hardie | November 13, 2003
I'm interested in learning what you thought of The Matrix Revolutions, and of the series as a whole now that it is complete. Please leave a comment here or talkback to my TMR. Obviously, there are major spoilers below, including the end of the film, so beware.

I talked to a friend today who was disappointed by two contradictory elements: He was upset that the hero was killed (he doesn't like movies that end that way), and he was upset that "it was left open for another sequel." Me, I don't see what in the hell kind of sequel could be made with the remaining characters, or would even be tolerated by the moviegoing public, but I concede that it's a possibility, especially where Joel Silver is involved. The story is obviously complete, however.

When I watched it with Matthew and discussed it afterwards, we realized we had two different theories as to exactly how Smith is defeated at the end, and since the movie is far from definitive, there are likely to be many competing theories out there. When I saw the scene of Smith turning white and exploding (great nod to the first film), I interpreted it as a kind of yin-meets-yang effect: Neo realized that since he and Smith were opposites, the only way to destroy Smith was to give his own life force to cancel him out. Cheesy, sure, but that's what ran through my head at the time. Matt's impression was that the machines had finally located Smith (as with his earplug, he'd been "disconnected" from the machines for some time), and when Smith finally combined with Neo, he didn't realize that Neo was jacked in through the machines. The machines then destroyed Smith using Neo's IP address, or whatever.

Writing this, I realize it's rather silly that the machines don't know where a being is within the Matrix, given that the Matrix exists entirely within the machines. How in the hell could the Keymaker hide out for so long, anyway? That's my biggest quibble with the sequels, that they treat the programs like people. That's just silly; it's too big for the film's one allotted conceit. It finally truly got on my nerves early in Revolutions when the program in the subway station explained having a wife and daughter who were also programs. Even given the conceit that the machines are creative enough to devise sentient AI such as agents, there's no reason whatsoever for the machines to give them lives like the human beings inside the Matrix. Furthermore, why should we care about them? That's like playing The Sims and having to listen to one of the Townies drone on about his wife and kid.

I do have to say, I'm very worried for American audiences when intelligent blockbusters like Hulk and the Matrix sequels are so loudly and virulently rejected by the general public. The studios have no doubt listened, and we are probably condemned to several summers of idiocy such as Terminator 3 and Charlie's Angels. You can almost feel Warner Brothers wringing every miniscule sign of intellect or ambition out of next summer's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, after they went and hired one of the rising stars of intelligent art-house cinema to direct it. I suppose audiences get the films that they deserve, but I want the films that I deserve, too.

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