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Everything that has a begining has an end

Curious isn't it. Thousands saw Part Two and like me swore they'd never go back for Part Three, but there we all were last weekend lining up in the millions right across the globe to see Matrix Revolutions and lo and behold (sticking with a biblical theme) Neo is risen and it was Matrix Redemption, at last. It may not have broken records in the USA, but in Europe, South Africa, Australia and Japan it's bigger than God. The Lord of the Rings has a lot to beat.

There's no need to review it. If you don't know or don't care you aren't going to read this and if you have been to see it, you already know it is great. (More a great relief than great, but at least we were there when it counted (the audience I mean) and participated in breaking world-wide box office records.

Neo is the Christ symbol. A sixth coming if I recall rightly. Myth, fear, an implacable enemy, survival of the human species making one last stand. This is pure cinema. There are supermen in battle and mysterious oracles who don't actually know the future. It's Ryder Haggard dressed up in high-tech, but who cares, it's a great sweeping human life-affirming story that has just had an enormous amount of talent lavished on the project. This may be the cinema of the comic strip and the batttle between Neo and Smith may have been unwinnable by either, but this is the future and it is, as it ever was, a battle between the individual versus the corporate monolith. (I shall not reveal the outcome, but it was visually thrilling, almost beautiful as they flew in great arcs around the cityscape in the endless rain.) At last computer effects are equal to, if not surpassing, the imagination.

Sure there are quibbles. Why do the French get to run leather bars in the Matrix, why doesn't Monica Bellucci say anything. Just how many theoretical texts and iconographic signs can be crammed into one triology - but in the end we are going to root for the dyke with the rocket pack, we are going to cheer for Neo because he is blind, yet can see, we are going to weep for Carrie-Ann Moss because she bled to death and because it was a journey that took so long, we felt we had made it along with the cast to the bitter end. Always stunning, Part Three is much more coherent and satisfying. No more car chases, it is much more about humanity versus the machine. Keanu is as expresionless as ever, but it is our emotion that counts here, what we feel as we watch the spectacle. This is, after all, a gladiatorial experience. The moment when the awful second surge of sentinels pour through Zion's roof is one of pure astonishment and terror; you know at once that all is lost and you are one with them in being overwhelmed.

Is Neo dead? Will anyone ever set the pods free? Can they ever get a decent plumber to fix up Zion and will there be a fourth film? I hope not. Just as the Star Wars series have turned into poor replicas of themselves with cartoon acting, I'd hate for 'another vision' to come in and just grab our dollars for a sequel too far. Let it go, let us forever speculate on what happens next, until the machines arrive and hook us up to the grid for real. There are Smiths in our own world, endless replicating, creating paperwork wherever they go, crushing us with their will and dedication to elimination of all imagination and creativity. Let there be one movie where Smith is beaten.

If you haven't seen The Matrix, start at the beginning for every begining has an end, but do start, it is worth the journey after all.

Directed by Andy Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers) Larry Wachowski
Mary Alice .... The Oracle
Monica Bellucci .... Persephone
Laurence Fishburne .... Morpheus
Nona M. Gaye .... Zee (as Nona Gaye)
Nathaniel Lees .... Mifune
Carrie-Anne Moss .... Trinity
Jada Pinkett Smith .... Niobe
Keanu Reeves .... Neo
Anthony Zerbe .... Councillor Hamann
Produced by Bruce Berman
producer Joel Silver
producer Andy Wachowski
executive producer Larry Wachowski
Original Music by Don Davis
Ben Watkins (original music)

© Sam North November 11th
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