Written & Directed by The Brothers Wachowski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harold Perrineau
My Advice: Don't Miss It.
In the latest installment, Neo (Reeves), having recently found out that he's the savior of the human race (no pressure!), is having troubles sleeping. He keeps having dreams that his girlfriend and fellow asskicker, Trinity (Moss), is meeting her demise at the hands of Agents. Still with Morpheus (Fishburne) and now new crew member, Link (Perrineau), they're all waiting for word from the Oracle (Gloria Foster) as to what the hell it is they're supposed to do next. However, they're going to be given some trouble by a rival captain in the human resistance (Harry Lennix) and also the return of Agent Smith (Weaving), who's learned some new and deadly tricks.
I was afraid of this film; I admit it. I was afraid mostly because so much time had elapsed since the first film and so much had changed in the cinema, that the Wachowskis would miss their window of opportunity. Instead, I'm pleased to report, they pulled it off. One half of it, anyway. And the testicular fortitude required to pull off the film I've just seen boggles the mind. They knew the standard had been raised and they met it and leapt right over it.
How? Well, by creating a film that was as much as ride as Terminator 2, but with a bunch of philosophy thrown into the mix as well. The cast are all back, along with some additions--we always love to see Needcoffee fave Perrineau and huge geek points to the Wachowskis for casting Omega Man alum Anthony Zerbe. The fight sequences are tremendous even without the Neo vs. 100 Smiths "Burly Brawl"--which, admittedly wasn't the best CGI I had ever seen, but considering the great lengths to which they went to make it believable and the fact it was taking place in a virtual reality locale to begin with, I'll cut them some slack.
Writing-wise, the film teetered dangerously close to talking the audience into oblivion in a couple of places. However, they saved themselves by both making the dialogue extremely important to what comes later in the film (and damn fascinating to boot) as well as making the action sequences that came between said talkfests some of the most kickass sequences you will see this year. The characters have grown, the world has evolved, and the Wachowskis have delivered an ending that will make your eyelashes hurt, it's so damn brilliant.
Six months from the conclusion of the trilogy and I'm re-hooked. Bring on Revolutions, please.
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