June 28, 2012
Just finished watching it. First let me say ‘you did it’. You made a Matrix sequels fan edit the way I had always wanted to see it. A while back, after having watched all of the other Matrix sequels fan edits, I had planned on making one that combines both into one film, and most importantly moves the fight against the machines in the real world to the same time in the story as the end of Reloaded. So for doing that, I say ‘thank you’.
My first impression when I started watching this was “Wow, BOTH films condensed into only an hour and 47 minutes? Impossible!!” But, you proved me wrong, for the most part. If anything, my only suggestion to improve this fan edit is that I feel the narrative should be fleshed out a little more. I like how everything you did changes the plot, but I feel like I’m watching an edited for tv version that condenses it down for time. What I mean is, it feels rushed and over-edited. To me this edit would be perfect if you added back in roughly 30 minutes of footage, making the run-time 2 hours 15 minutes. Granted, I’m NOT saying I want you to add back in characterization for characters that don’t need it (like Link, his wife, the kid, the general, or the little girl and her family), but I feel that we should’ve had a little more just to give us a better idea of who some of these characters are (like Lock and Niobe). A little bit more of Smith never hurts either, but I do like how the first time we see him use his “duplicating powers” is on the agent, and DEFINITELY prefer seeing him do that to Neo only once at the end. Adding back in a little bit would also help with the ending, which is very feel good and uplifting. I would’ve used the dance party scene as a way to show Zion celebrating their victory, but I wonder if you cut that out because you didn’t care for the scene.
Also, I would’ve liked to see more of the fight/battle scenes (though you edited them better than all the other Reloaded/Revolutions edits. Remember, I’ve seen them all. None of them ever edited the fight scenes right, mostly due to the music). However, I understand that since we’re seeing this all in one movie, pacing is important and too much of the fighting scenes can be overkill. Though one scene in particular that I wish you hadn’t edited so much was the chase scene in Revolutions when Niobe is outrunning the sentinels, as I felt it was the funnest scene in the theatrical version. The other captain’s line of “I had no idea this ship could do that” makes me laugh every time. I can tell you don’t care for CGI Neo and Smith during the first Burly Brawl. That’s why we only see a little bit of them in CGI at the end of the scene, correct?
No reason for me to go into detail about these points, but I’m glad your edit doesn’t have any sub-plots of Neo having power outside of the Matrix, no sub plot of there being other “ones”, no sub plot of system shut down and resetting the Matrix, no Neo premonitions of the future, no dude who is Smith in the real world, no train station guy, no Trinity deaths, no council elder talking to Neo with his pseudo-psychology 101 rhetoric, no time wasted on characters that appear out of nowhere (and/or add nothing to the plot), and not much of the little girl and none of her family. In fact to me, in your edit it seems more like she will be the next Oracle, and not the next “one”. Which works better IMO.
Ok, onto my nitpicks. I didn’t like the Oracle’s sudden change in appearance or Neo’s outfit, but that can’t be helped. The edit of Sariph and Neo switching places in the small house (since they don’t fight) kinda threw me off. Lastly, I personally didn’t care for the opening 5 minute flashback. Everyone has seen the first film, so we all know what’s going on. It was edited perfectly though.
Anyway, for now the “Hacked” edits are my “go to” edits when I’m in the mood for some Matrix, but you’ve laid the groundwork for that changing. Consider some of my ideas and your edit will de-throne them from my collection. However, do not let this deter you, as after the “Hacked” edits, yours is WITHOUT A DOUBT the next best edit (and very close to being better than them). Remember, I’ve seen all the edits so I know which ones are good. When I planned on making my own edit of these films I re-watched ALL the fan edits of the Matrix sequels and took notes of each of what I liked and disliked about each one so that my edit would be perfect. You’ve basically done it for me. And that really, really means a lot.
As for a rating: 9 out of 10.