The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith.
"Everything that has a beginning has an end." Yes, thank God — or Neo, or the One, or the Source, or the Oracle, or the Architect, or whoever it was who set this metaphysical action trilogy in motion. "Reloaded," the second installment, was overstuffed and ungainly; this concluding chapter feels padded, with a long, grinding battle sequence in the middle and a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo at the end. Keanu Reeves, perhaps worried that he was showing too much range, has purged himself of all expression apart from a worried frown and a sorrowful grimace, which is mirrored in the face of Carrie-Anne Moss, who returns as Trinity. The salient distinction of the human remnants in Zion, apart from their earth-toned natural-fiber fashions, has been the capacity for love, a word much spoken in this movie. But their ranks, in spite of the presence of fine actors like Laurence Fishburne, Harry Lennix and Harold Perrineau, become more robotic with every passing scene. The sole exception is Jada Pinkett Smith as the daredevil pilot Niobe, who brings a touch of bad-girl B-movie attitude into the humorless subterranean gloom. It is not altogether worthless: the Wachowski Brothers still know how to stage an action sequence, and there are some scenes that have a quiet, mysterious beauty. If they would only let go of their grandiose theological pretensions, they might once again be interesting filmmakers. — A. O. Scott
2003-11-05 | A. O. SCOTT | Read the New York Times Review of The Matrix Revolutions