Matrix Revolutions Decoded, TheHot
Decoded 2.0 released August 2016 creates an improved ending as well as a quick trip to Zion to explain many points that were left out of the original Decoded.
This edit completely replaces 2013's 'The Matrix Revolutions Reprogrammed'.
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
Opening of the movie following title sequence picks up immediately after "The Animatrix: The Last Transmission of the Osiris" ends using live action scenes from the "Enter the Matrix" video game. All added scene from "Enter the Matrix" have been upconverted to 1080p, color corrected, sharpened, and had a custom 5.1 surround sound mix added.
Neo's dream of Trinity dying has been removed
Removed scenes of Morpheus, Link, Neo, and Trinity on the Neb at the beginning of the film
Neo no longer visits the home of The Oracle
Much of the footage from Zion has been removed, a quick introduction is given to the important characters. There is no rave scene, no Bane subplot, etc.
Neo and Sereph's fight has been removed
Neo and The Oracle's conversation is altered to remove his concerns about Trinity and to add an overall concern about what he's supposed to do next. The theme of "difference between knowing the path and walking the path" has been emphasized in this edit to better match the original Matrix
Agent Smith's first meeting with Neo has been shortened slightly for pacing
The burly brawl has been shortened in several places for pacing
Several of burly brawl's silly sound fx "bowling pins" have been removed
No shot of Trinity at the end of The Burly Brawl this shot has been saved for the ending
Lock's first meeting with The Zion Council has been reduced to remove Bane and Lock's reaction to Niobe choosing to leave
Cut Neo seeing Rama-Kandra in the Merovingian's restaurant
The Merovingian doesn't tout the virtues of the French
Much of The Merovingian's speech has been reduced for pacing
Persephone kiss scene has been removed as well as her killing the random henchman
Many cuts have been to the highway chase for pacing
The tower to the source sequence has been dramatically changed, no Smith, no Trinity entering The Matrix, no bomb, no rooftop save, the meeting with the Architect is heavily reworked as well as the Architects motivations. and Neo's reaction to them. Some new visual fx work makes some of these cuts possible.
"The prophecy was a lie" conversation has been relocated to later in the film
Neo doesn't have to save the crew from the sentinels, he has no power over machines in the outside world in this edit
The next several scenes play out completely differently in this edit. The first hour of The Matrix Revolutions is completely removed
Added and re-edited a scene from later in the film where Lock and the Zion Council meet to discuss the coming doom
Revolutions scenes that show the train station, The Merovingian, The Oracle, Satii, etc have all been removed completely and you'd never miss them
Scenes are completely restructured so that the Hammer crew, the Logos crew, and the Neb crew can all regroup quickly after the Neb is destroyed
The prophecy is a lie conversation has been moved here
The scene where Zee makes shells has been eliminated and she is removed from the battle for Zion
Neo has a vision of Smith assimilating the Oracle and taking over The Matrix, this is his reason for going to the machine city in this edit
The slow pan of the oracle's apartment has been reinserted from the beginning of the movie to serve this edit
Gloria Foster is restored briefly from "The Matrix" so that Smith can assimilate her. This edit was inspired by "The Matrix Hacked Reloaded". Mary Alice's face is not seen in this edit. This scene has been recolored to better match the coloring of Reloaded and Revolutions
Some of the conversation in the next several scenes have been eliminated or changed to better fit the events and themes of the edit
Bane has been completely removed
Countless edits were made to the battle for Zion including but not limited to: all scenes with Zee and most of the infantry have been removed, Captain Mifune saves the day and opens the gate instead of Kid, action has been kept tight and intense, the battle quickly gets out of hand for humanity. This is my favorite sequence of edits and I hope you enjoy it!
Removed Councilor Hamann's reference to Niobe speaking to The Oracle
Cut several scenes building up hopelessness for the finale.
Neo and Trinity's flight to the machine city has been completely reworked, this is where Neo gets his eye injury in this edit. Most of the instances in which Neo is seen wearning eye bandages have been removed or replaced of shots from earlier in the movie.
The cut on Trinity's neck has been recolored to look like a smudge or a piece of her hair.
Neo doesn't use telekinetic powers to stop the machines during their flight to the machine city
Neo doesn't instruct Trinity how to restart The Logos
The shot of Trinity lying on the floor of The Logos has been flipped
Trinity is alive?!?
Several cuts made to Neo's walk to Deus Ex Machina for pacing
Several cuts made to the final Smith Neo battle. In my edit Neo wins out of his sheer force of will not to give up. He chooses to keep getting up and fighting which infuriates Smith into making his final mistake. Additional edits have been made to reduce unnecessary air flipping and silly effects
Trinity is seen watching Neo in The Matrix and later repairing the ship
The ending is completely reworked, a montage of scenes roll behind the credits. Closure for Morpheus, Niobe, The Architect, Trinity, Zion celebrates.
Trinity recovers Neo's body as her final act of love for him.
I too, long ignored the Matrix sequels for their infinite bloat, so opposite to the timeless and abundant first iteration - which I still esteem as a personal all-time movie favorite. Jerick's Decoded, however, expands so gloriously on everything the first one set in motion on action and worldbuilding, that in most merits it could be considered not only the greatest sequel ever but maybe even better than the original.
Its beyond amazing how the narrative from the back-to-back sequels is tied neatly into a single story rather than a two-part, a direct follow-up of The One's path that takes us along from the hidden doors in the Matrix to the steel-cold reality of Zion. The war with the machines is now the same personal conflict Neo faces in his epiphany, his journey for enlightenment is the choice in which the fate of humankind depends upon. There are no sideplots, no detours, no distractions. No frame or second is wasted, and all the characters have their place and role made crystal clear to move the story forwards. They do what they were made to do, and they know what they must know. It's so thematically fulfilling now, that the movie (edit) follows the mantra of purpose with the same devotion as its system inhabitants do. People are not having rave parties, crafting ammo, making love or getting stranded in train station limbo. The generous runtime of the edit actually spans a mere few hours to life or death of the human race. The stakes are high and there's a gripping sense of urgency throughout, and yet the pace is just perfect and the rush of events is only determined by their natural resolution.
The increased stakes, like so, inject a high-octane dose of adrenaline to keep one on the edge of the seat. The battle for Zion, particularly, has always been the most redeemable spectacle in Revolutions, but seeing it again by Jerick's point of view, its just breathtaking. I usually loathe the now widespread use of swarming drones CGI as a cheap trick to fake a sense of scale, but in the form of the relentless Sentinels against the whole of Zion's military might is truly a sight to behold. It remains a SciFi powerhouse hallmark that really shines in Decoded. The overall shift in focus when compared to the first movie is a clear narrative direction that sidelines the encounters inside the Matrix to highlight what is at stake in the real world. That unfortunately, is proportional to how good the sequences in these different realms look. Don't get me wrong, the practical and choreographed Reloaded sequences of the Burly Brawl and the Highway Chase are still stunt paradise, but honestly I expected them to be completely excised of the cringeworhty digi-doubles (ie. brawl Neo and Highway Agents). Whereas the Zion pieces remain impressive, the digital FX in the Matrix are still very fake-looking and could have been further trimmed.
It goes without saying by now that the editing is masterful, and while I have no gripes with seamlessness, there are some few bits that do feel contrived. Specifically when Smith confronts the Oracle and she barely reacts (to avoid changing actresses, I understand), and by the ending when Neo and Trinity travel to the Machine City. I thought Neo's lost sight was nicely handled, but there's an unsettling feeling that Trinity does not belong in the scenes that follow (rightfully so).
Lastly, I think the implied retrieval of Neo is a nice touch, but that last shot of the ship's winch should linger a bit longer before the credits roll, or... it should end with some scenes inside the Matrix explaining what actually changed there after Smith. We know that Zion is still standing but what does it mean for the machines? What is next for the humanity still plugged in the system? That's something that worked in the first movie before anyone imagined of watching a sequel, and I think it would do wonders for the edit instead of it ending so abruptly in the real world. There are, of course, some unused shots shown during the credits, including one with Sati, but since she plays no part on the edit, it makes no sense to show her whatsoever (or other scenes cut, for that merit). Also, the rave footage would be really badass if it kicked in along with Juno Reactor's beat during Navras, instead of making the whole of the end titles. Talking about titles, I'd love to have called it just "The Matrix Revolution" (in singular, yes).
I didn't think I needed Decoded before, but it lives up to its legendary status amongst fanedits.
While some of the Enter the Matrix scenes are a noticeable dip in visual quality, and some of the editing choices surrounding the more bold decisions made in the last act of the film aren't totally seamless, this is far and away my absolute favorite Matrix sequel edit I've seen. It does so much right, especially when it comes to the transition between Reloaded and Revolutions (THANK GOD THOSE STUPID TRAIN SCENES ARE GONE). I'm also a fan of the new ending, though I can understand some not being entirely enamored with it. Excellent work!
Loved the original Matrix and the Animatrix. Reloaded was good, but really hinged on resolving so much in Revolutions....which totally disappointed. For me, it's been easier to pretend there are no Matrix sequels than to deal with 'taking the good with the bad' in the sequels.
Watched this edit with my girlfriend, who had only ever seen the original. So she was a useful barometer to me of what worked. The intro was good and the Reloaded fight scenes are a crowd-pleaser still. Figuring out what was going on with Smith and what his role was amongst all these programs, old programs, rogue programs, viruses, etc....well, that was pretty confusing for GF, but I remember it not being super easy watching the originals either, so maybe that's not the fault of this edit.
A lot of the small removals in Reloaded were fine, and not missed. The integrations from the videogame are so seamless that GF couldn't guess which ones they were. I personally found the continual checking in with these various crewmembers on other ships to be needless distractions. The acting/dialogue was often kind of cheesy and while I appreciate the attempt to flesh out this world, better to trim the fat. OTOH, I missed Seraph's fights (how are you gonna have Colin Chou in but not fight?!) and a few more bits showing Smith's progression would've been helpful.
When you get into Revolutions is where the edits really make or break the cut. I always hated the whole sub-plot of Bane betraying Neo, and he is thankfully excised from the film cleanly and perfectly. Also, the ending of Reloaded wherein Neo starts to exhibit real-world superpowers is confusing and messy and never fully explained... this edit attempts to get rid of all that, though a bit imperfectly. We're still left with a suddenly-different-looking yellow energy flash machine colliding with the ship at the end, blinding Neo out of nowhere. GF was absolutely confused by this. We're also both watching the parallels of Niobe and crew fighting like hell to get into Zion while Neo and Trinity head into the heart of the Machine City with zero guns and somehow inexplicably make it past blasts, bombs, and missles. There's no real explanation in the edit. And Neo's suddenly blind in the end and we're like...."Okaaaay. I guess that's symbolic...or something?" It really has little impact or meaning here.
As far as the Oracle, the Architect, Agent Smith, and the Machine God.... well, there's a nightmare of dense ideas to sift through here, so I totally sympathize. Coming up with a cohesive, focused narrative must be murder. In Jerick's edit, it basically comes down to those who insist they have choice (Free Will) versus those who think there is a master plan, or fate (Determinism). It's an interesting conflict, and plenty on it's own to base the argument on. It's problematic though, because characters like Smith and Morpheus make comments or act in ways that seem to flip flop from what their core beliefs are. Morpheus believes in prophecy and fate, and Smith seems to believe in that as well (adhering to a master plan/program) but then they both act against those interests at times.
This edit cuts so much of Revolutions that it becomes hard to trace how characters know things and what their motivations for doing things are. For example, I totally missed what Locke's great plan was (a huge EMP blast?) or why it failed. Seems like the kind of thing that shouldn't play out off-screen and then just be summed up in a sentence. I also missed how Neo knew to go to the Machine City or what his motivation was. GF did catch both of these, though even though the 'vision' implication of Neo's was clear, she didn't get why the Machine God would need Neo. Neither of us understood the exact dynamic of Oracle/Architect, and how Smith knew to go after Oracle, or how he found her, or how he got so powerful. Then the ending itself leaving Trinity alive worked very well with all the cuts, but for us, retrieving Neo in that weird fade seemed to hint that maybe he hadn't died? It was an ambiguous ending. Cut to Zion rave, but still playing very ominous music at first. It wasn't clear that everyone was about to celebrate, it felt quite at-odds. Also, wouldn't they first be rebuilding and mourning all their dead? Wouldn't they be making a shrine to their savior or staying at his bedside? It just didn't work for us as a wrap-up.
Ok, so most of the main narrative issues aside, I think this does replace the original 2 films. If you're looking for that. Yes, there are parts that don't really work, but if you try to do them differently, it'll probably make some other narrative aspect worse. So I don't know that there's a way to get a whole lot better than this. OTOH, that kind of just convinces me that the sequels aren't for me. I have no problem stopping with just The Animatrix and pretending R & R don't exist. There are so many repetitive cheesy bits in Revolutions especially (everyone doing the hand 'come on' gesture, "You did it!"- "No, WE did it.", sunglasses off- now this fight is serious, "Arrrggh! Arrggh! Come on!", etc) that it just really highlights how rough the material was to work with, no matter the edit. Great effort by Jerick, but I just don't think you can make a worthy sequel out of the originals. This is an enjoyable watch if you keep your expectations low, though.
Unlike the majority of audiences, I've personally never hated the Matrix sequels. I dug the hell out of Reloaded, and while Revolutions was a disappointing conclusion, it's more of a mixed bag than it is an outright bad movie. This edit, which combines the two films while also adding in elements from Enter the Matrix and making necessary changes, is phenomenally impressive. Everything's incredibly engaging and focused, the editing's off-the-charts, and the end result not only makes for a wonderful Matrix sequel that's on par with the first but also a much more satisfying conclusion to the overall story. Really, really great stuff.
I should clarify immediately that I have not revisited Reloaded and Revolutions in their entirety since their respective opening weekends, so take my review as you will. Memory is not perfect, and I took advantage of the situation by making my viewing of the Matrix conclusion a "fresh" one.
As far as visceral experience is concerned, I have enjoyed re-watching the Matrix sequels in this format. I will highlight one outstanding improvement, and that is narrative pacing. 'Decoded' brings the Matrix conclusion to a succinctness that was severely lacking from my Reloaded/Revolutions viewing from yesteryear.
The overall quality of the picture and sound compared to the original was excellent; quite negligible as far as technical differences are concerned. Considering that HD releases for 'Decoded' and the original films are contemporary, I think expounding upon this further is moot (and, frankly, not my strong suit at the time of writing this review).
The overall quality of the visual editing was great; seamless for the most part. There were genuine moments of awe where I had to re-watch clips of the original movies to figure out if a certain sequence of events were actually Jerick's doing. From a technical standpoint, there were very few cuts that personally stood out. Luckily, the cuts that were obvious were not immersion-breaking. Off the top of my head, there were only 2-4 transitions that were acutely jarring but not bad enough to sully my savor of the film, but cute enough to make me smirk and think, "Obvious cut". The visual editing was a success.
The overall quality of the audio editing was smooth. As far as my perception brought me, audio pieces blended in well, and nothing was rough, abrupt, and obviously cut to my ears. Like in Visual Editing, similar criticisms apply, such as 2-4 transitions being acutely jarring but not bad enough etc. The audio editing was a success.
THIS is the one that gets me every time. There is only one plot-point in this cut that is extremely jarring, and that is
SPOILER ALERT (skip next paragraph for spoiler-free conclusion)
when Neo and Trinity pilot the Logos into 01, i.e. Machine City, and Neo loses his eyes thanks to a "Ghost Sentinel"(???). I understand that Smith-Bane was intended to be removed from 'Decoded' as much as possible, and I honestly would not know how to re-cut the blind Neo situation, but seeing what I saw was jarring enough to break my suspension of disbelief and result in a fit of laughter. That being said, 'Decoded' did the best it could with the cards dealt.
SPOILERS END HERE
The re-structuring of the overall sequel(s) narrative was a success, despite the aforementioned quirk, and, as emphasized earlier, 'Decoded' brings the Matrix conclusion to a succinctness that was severely lacking from its source material.
I'm really not that picky. Even the few jarring cuts spliced here and there coupled with the plot-point mentioned above left me feeling an innocent sense of comic relief rather than immersion-breaking disappointment. I enjoyed the Matrix Trilogy as a whole when it first came out, and, with time, 'Decoded' reinvigorated my love for the Matrix more than the two original sequels ever could. I'm a huge fan of the original Matrix (1999), and 'Decoded' brought a satisfying conclusion to the series.
I recommend this cut even to the most hardcore of Reloaded/Revolutions critics, just on the off chance of bringing some much needed closure. ~9/10