A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that as with the first two Matrix films, The Matrix Revolutions, the final installment of the trilogy, contains a great deal of battle violence between the humans and machines, and lots of pretentious dialogue. Characters are wounded and killed and there are some grisly graphic images, with with lots of blood spurting in fight scenes and Octopus-like mechanical sentinels chasing humans. Characters swear a lot, mostly "s--t."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE MATRIX RELOADED is the third installment of the Matrix trilogy and focuses on two storylines. First, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) has to pilot a ship through some very tricky situations while guys in huge robot things fight off zillions of cool flying octopus-like machines. Meanwhile, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), on another ship, are heading straight for a city occupied by the machines for a Dorothy-and-the-wizard-in-Emerald City-style confrontation. There's a brief encounter with the Frenchman and Persephone (Monica Belluci) in a nightclub that appears to be occupied with writhing bondage-and-discipline freaks. Neo visits the Oracle (now played by Mary Alice, replacing the late Gloria Foster) in her cozy kitchen and has a strange conversation about love and karma in an antiseptic train station.
Is it any good?
Instead of taking us to the next level, this film all seems like a tired rehash. The Matrix Reloaded ended with the rebel forces of Zion preparing for the imminent invasion of the machines. Whatever script problems it had were more than made up for by the spectacular action sequences and the promise of a third chapter that would bring everything together. But that promise has been broken. Revolutions has the weakest script of the three, with pretentious dialogue that provoked laughter from the audience and a muddled structure that removes a lot of narrative tension. Worst of all, it has nothing to compare with the innovative "bullet time" effects of the first film or the sensational highway chase scene and combat between Neo and dozens of Smiths of the second.
The dialogue thuds, a mishmash of barked orders and cardboard heroics. But some of the performers manage to inject some life and dignity. Jada Pinkett Smith is The Matrix's Han Solo, a charming rogue who can pilot a ship better than anyone else. Nona Gaye (Zee) makes her brief time onscreen memorable as a woman who overcomes her fear to give everything she has to the revolution. Though Mary Alice does her best, she cannot replace Foster, whose Oracle was the anchor of the other two movies. Hugo Weaving remains superb as Agent Smith. But it takes too long to get to the big final confrontation between Neo and Smith and the fight is not worth the wait. The scariest moment in the movie is when it intimates that there might yet be another episode.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the character names, a veritable encyclopedia of mythological references. Have you heard the stories of Morpheus and Persephone?
How do you think The Matirx Revolutions compares with the first two installments in the series?
What do the discussions of balance and choice mean? Of love and karma? Who is the Oracle? Who is the Architect? What is the train?
- In theaters: November 5, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: April 5, 2004
- Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne
- Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 128 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sci-fi violence and brief sexual content
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