Steve and I went and saw it last night, at the invitation of two other couples. And...OK...I know a lot of you are big Matrix fans, so I'll try to be kind. But this movie, to all of us in the group, was unintentionally funny in quite a lot of places, and that's not good. It was fun, yes, and I had a good time watching it, and there were some really cool or entertaining moments. (My favorite was the dozen or so Agent Smiths standing around and slowly dissipating with various looks of boredom after Neo flies away from the fight. Hee. Hugo Weaving is so charismatic.) But overall...well, it's just screaming for parody. No, it already is a parody.
Let's see if I can sum up in a snarky little review...
It begins much like The Two Towers: There's a fight in progress. The good guy/gal falls from a great height. Suddenly our hero awakens: What is it, Mr. Neo? "Nothing...just a dream."
Neo spends a lot of time wandering around in one of Morticia Addams' more modestly-cut dresses. They take great care in slow-mo to show us how nicely it twirls when he jumps in the air during fight scenes (such scenes happen, incidentally, roughly every seven minutes and tend to last about ten minutes).
Neo is late for church, so he goes running into this cave-temple that looks a lot like Moria from the outside. As it turns out, this is the Church of the Almighty Rave. As if to demonstrate how cool it is to be a fleshly human, we get special closeups of nameless people's nipples, sweat flicking through the air from some guy's dreadlocks, and a string of saliva joining Neo and Trinity's mouths. Thank you, filmmakers; I needed to see that in order to understand the passion.
Throughout, I have no idea where we physically are in the world. It doesn't really matter, because "the real world" isn't the real world; or rather, it is, but it's not what people think it is; or something like that.
Five or six times, Neo gets into a conversation about Destiny with someone. These conversations always go roughly like:
Sage Person: You know why you are here.
Neo: No I don't. Tell me.
Sage Person: Yes you do. You merely have to understand.
Neo: What do you mean?
Sage Person: You already know, because you have already chosen.
Neo: Then why are you offering me this choice?
Sage Person: I'm not. You are just here so you can grasp your purpose in life.
Neo: My path is hidden from me.
Sage Person: No, your path is laid before your feet.
(Oh, no, wait, that last part was also from The Two Towers.)
Anyway, they never come to a solid conclusion about this issue.
Neo has a fight with three dozen replicas of Agent Smith. All the time, I'm thinking, "You can fly, you moron. Why are you sticking around, when you obviously can't even knock out one of them?" Ten long minutes later, he takes my advice and bounds off into the stratosphere. Doi.
Neo is told that he needs to find someone called the Keymaker. This sent Steve and me into suppressed hysterics, because we both instantly thought of Ghostbusters, with the disheveled Rick Moranis running around saying, "I am the Keymaster! Are you the Gatekeeper?"
They endure an apparently pointless dinner with a wanker with a French accent, who is holding the Keymaster – er, Keymaker – prisoner. Frenchie's disillusioned mistress is named Persephone (wow, subtle allusion!). Persephone, in a scene which also had me in suppressed hysterics because it looked like something a romance-fanfic writer would have conjured up, asks Neo to kiss her like he really means it, in return for letting them have the Keymaker. He does. Trinity is jealous. We move on.
In leading them to the Keymaker, Persephone tugs at a book and the whole shelf revolves, revealing a hidden passageway. New giggles from me: did this remind anyone else of Young Frankenstein? "Put...ze candle...back!"
There's an extended chase scene in the world as we know it, on Highway 101 as we know it. "Never go on the freeway – it's suicide," Trinity has been warned. California natives chuckle: "Haha, the freeway is suicide; it's funny because it's true!" Heh...hah...hm...ahem. Anyway...
Our heroes callously blow up a perfectly nice nuclear power plant in order to knock out the power in this one building they just told us about, just now. It doesn't exactly work, though. Chaos ensues. Neo gets into this room with The Architect, and I don't know who wrote The Architect's speeches, but they should be fired. I can't even parody them because I have no idea what the gist of it was. But the ultimatum was, Neo has to choose between saving Trinity and saving all of Zion. (Even though, naturally, This Choice Has Already Been Made Because Of Destiny Or Something.)
Well, Neo saves Trinity 'cause he loves her "too damn much." (Oh, Keanu. You delivered some lines pretty well, but not that one.) But there are mechanized jellyfish swarming their way down to Zion, so our band of rebels runs away further into the caves or somewhere. Truly, I have no idea where they were going, or even where they were to start out with. And chances are they'll save the world in the next installment, but by then it will be one little month till Return of the King, and I guarantee you I will not be caring much about our friends in the sunglasses and black latex.
I guess I'll watch it, though. If someone invites us out and we have nothing better to do.