Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski. Release Date: October 27, 2003. DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004.
The Matrix was ground-breakingly epic. It redefined science fiction in much the same way Avatar would do again some 13 years later. It didn't gain the non-geek notoriety of Avatar, a problem I suspect was in the casting more than anything else. The original film of this trilogy showed an interesting, if not unique premise (hasta la vista, Neo) and TONS of promise. That promise fell flat in later installments of the franchise. Matrix Reloaded felt heavy and awkward; focusing less on the survival of its interesting human characters and more on the machine culture that pervaded the Matrix. It failed pretty miserably as a bridge between the first and third installments, and for this guy, nearly killed any interest I had in seeing the third when it came out six months later.
A friend talked me in to seeing this opening day, waaay back in my first year of duty in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta wasn't the best place I've ever lived, and despite the flack from residents, it wasn't the worst place, either. It had one thing going for it: a massive, modern Regal Cinemas located fairly close to the center of the town's sprawl. I'm not sure if there were other theaters in Augusta, because I never saw the inside (or outside) of one. We saw this movie in that awesome theater and Revolutions returned my faith in the Matrix trilogy.
Revolutions was all about humanity's grip on survival. It was gritty and raw, showing humans at their very best. The latter half of the movie is one big entry in to how great humanity could become, and highlights how far we have to go before we can tap in to that internal greatness. Does the movie provide us with the basic things we would expect to see in a Matrix film? You bet. The special effects both inside and outside The Matrix were phenomenal and the humanity's final stand is both horrific and awesome. For the first time in the trilogy, I was actively rooting for humanity, even though I suspected that since humanity was outnumbered and outgunned, there wasn't much hope in it.
I even, wait for it, liked Keanu Reeves. Apparently the way to make him shine is blindfold him for half the film. This marks the only time I've seen him play a major role where he doesn't channel his inner Bill & Ted. Did I get tired of the supermanning going on between Neo and Agent Smith? A little, but I thought the effects surrounding them, particularly the interaction between actors and droplets of water were pretty slick.