Matrix Revolutions

Saw it. Makes "Lord of the Rings" look good, and I don't like "Lord of the Rings." 

The Wachowskis (you might not want to read this if you haven't seen the movie, or plan to see it) go the LOTR route, with a big battle up front and a Hail Mary pass going in the back (only the Frodo on secret mission here packs a liddle more firepower). 

The battles SHOULD be impressive, if only we could see for ourselves, clearly, the importance of that dock there in Zion or whatever it is, the capabilities of Machine City's sentinels or whatever they are, and the abilities of the APUs, or whoever was manning them.  And if we could see, clearly, what was going on.  But no, it's all CGI, and the Wachowskis are too much in love with that damned roller-coaster type shot, where the camera goes up and down and swishes right and left, and you FEEL like you're in a coaster.  Which is pretty exciting--back when it was first done, years ago (I can't even remember the first time I've seen this shot, it's been done so many times).  Entire batles, several of them, take that kind of point-of-view, enough to put you to sleep several times over.

It makes you appreciate what Peter Jackson did with "Lord of the Rings."  There, he kept the coaster shots to a minimum and the camera well back, the better to see the lay of the land and general situation. If I were to sum up the difference between the Wachowski's visual strategy and Jackson's when it comes to heavily CGI'd battles, Jackson uses the camera as if he were filming old-fashioned battle sequences, with real extras crawling over real landscapes, while the Wachowskis tie their camera to a (virtual) high-tech train track and watch it go chugging round and round. 

(This may sound as if I actually like LOTR but Jackson's sins are on a different level--a lack of irreverence that takes any surprise or freshness out of a remarkably unsophisticated story some half a century old.)

The ending is what Richard Fleischer might have done with the Superman sequel if he had the budget and techonology, but not the breezy, lighthearted wit.  Give me wit over budget and technology anytime.

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