Keanu Reeves reportedly told a class at the London International School of Performing Arts that the Wachowski Brothers had already plotted out scenarios for a couple of new "Matrix" movies to be made in 3-D. Do we really need another "Matrix" movie?
Sure, the first was dynamic and endlessly intriguing. But didn't the second and third ones prove that some sci-fi pop fables are better left cryptic and unexplained?
"Ologies" are as risky for sci-fi fantasy movies as "isms" are for politics. "The Matrix Reloaded" wasted much of the goodwill of the first movie in gaseous speeches about theology, ontology, mythology - oh, just name an ology.
The allure of "The Matrix" resided in its mix of teen-rebel attitude, ominous yet sexy black-leather style, thinking-adolescent's gravity, and amazing chop socky. But "The Matrix Reloaded" sunk under abstract dialogue that went in one ear and disappeared before it could go out the other. So forgive my possible lapse of memory, but weren't there endless groaners like "We can never see past a choice we don't understand?"
On the bright side, "The Matrix Revolutions" blended feather-brained, starry-eyed camp and rock-'em-sock'-em spectacle - so at least (for my money) it was more entertaining than the second Matrix film, which hung in the air like a noxious cloud. But that's not saying much.
In the third film we learned that underneath the philosophic folderol, the Matrix franchise had a motto akin to the old New York Mets' "You Gotta Believe" and identical to the City of Baltimore's one-word clean-up-the-streets slogan "Believe."When the pedal hit the tons of metal contained in "The Matrix Revolutions," humanity's last stand depended on whether men and women believed in each other and in their potential savior, Neo (Keanu Reeves). You began to hear "believe" as often as you do "forgive me" in an Ingmar Berman movie.
At least in "Matrix 3" the Wachowskis often used their four eyes to great advantage -- the battlefield and Machine City images had swirling depths that drew you in. Yet those were the only depths of any kind on display.
The climactic brawl between Reeves' Neo and Agent Smith was technically adroit, conceptually hollow. Basically, it played for keeps what Barry Levinson played for laughs in "Diner" when Timothy Daly threatened, "I'll hit you so hard, I'll kill your whole family." The message here was "I'll hit you so hard, I'll kill your whole species."
Nothing spelled out in "The Matrix Revolutions" or "The Matrix Reloaded" was as potent as everything kept hidden in "The Matrix." As a whole, this trilogy paid a backhanded salute to the power of suggestion. Where can the Wachowskis go with it?