The Matrix trilogy has been the most hyped franchise since Back to the Future in the ’80s.
Sure, the last few years have seen the resurgence of trilogies in everything from kid movies (the Spy Kids trilogy by Robert Rodriguez) and fantasy classics (Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and George Lucas’ Star Wars — the latter is really two trilogies), to action sequels (the El Mariachi series again by Rodriguez).
But all these franchises have been either introduced as trilogies or were created from the logical sense of continuing the story.
The Matrix sequels, on the other hand, came out of nowhere. Somehow, the Wachowski brothers caught on to the idea that their film gathered a cult following and decided to either continue the saga or cash in on the experience. Which one was it? The audiences may never know.
But this best kept secret in Hollywood comes off as the latter because the conclusion of the trilogy trivializes the entire series.
The Matrix: Revolutions, just like Reloaded, has been long awaited by fans of the series.
Just like Back to the Future, the first part of the trilogy was the most influential and the latter two merely imitated the prototype.
Whereas the original Matrix was a meaningful film and an influential piece of art, the two follow-up segments are nothing more than popcorn flicks.
While Reloaded was excusably propelling, the plot of the series without much meaning behind the surface, Revolutions shamelessly falls into the same category and goes as far as to milk its biblical references for all they are worth. Sure, it has previously been pointed out that Neo is clearly based on a Jesus-like character, but Revolution exploits this similarity without end.
The banality of the ending doesn’t come from the weakness of the story. After all, there is only so much you can do with the plot after The One is finally convinced that he is in fact the chosen savior of human kind. Rather, it’s the thorough abuse of what used to be a carefully disguised biblical reference that ruins the delicate philosophy of the series by spoon-feeding the audiences an overripe metaphor.
While the first part of the series was a standalone classic, the second and especially the third part of the trilogy prove something good can easily become bad by way of unnecessary additions.
The Matrix will remain an influence over an entire genre of films, but its continuation is just like parts two and three of Back to the Future — merely low quality carbon copies of a classic.