The characters review The Matrix Revolutions: "This is asinine"; "It doesn't make sense"; "I can't believe we spent so much time and money on the pseudo-spiritual, dumb, videogame drooling of two guys who've read Derrida and think anime is profound."
OK. Maybe not that last one. Multiple meanie Agent Smith does, however, echo the sentiments of desperate, disappointed audience members when he asks, "Is it over?"
"GOSH, IS THAT THE TIME?"
The third and, please Lord, final part of the Wachowski brothers' sci-fi series starts where Reloaded left off, ie. with confusion battling boredom. The so-called saviour of the machine-dominated world, Neo (Keanu Reeves), is in a coma-style state, as is some bloke who popped up for about five minutes in part two (Ian Bliss). Meanwhile, humanity's homeland is threatened, by hoards of eeevil, squid-like sentinels tunnelling towards Zion.
"Will Neo wake up?" "Will humanity survive?" "What's for tea tonight?" "Gosh, is that the time?" are all questions you may ask during the first mind-numbing 40 minutes, with its rambling conversations and snoreful philosophical noodlings.
"YOU ROOT FOR THE MACHINES"
Best sink a couple of pints and turn up late, to "ooh" and "aah" over the big battle scene, which perks things up somewhat, even if you do start to root for the machines. Reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen epics, with its convincingly otherworldly effects, it's also heavily influenced by Aliens and The Terminator, without equalling either.
The main issue is that nothing is at stake. By extending Neo's powers to 'the real world' and overplaying the resurrection theme in Reloaded, the makers have removed all sense of danger, and, in fact, all sense at all...
The death of a major character elicits no emotion, the blinding of another brings sighs (you've read your Greek myths, lads - well done!). The more thought you give the film, the less it deserves, and when the (anti)climax rolls round, Smith's nihilistic diatribe sounds endearing. Thus, a would-be paean to the power of belief ends up meaning nothing at all.