The first Matrix was an actual experience. It made cinema history and for good reason. I remember seeing it for the first time like it was yesterday. And I'm really happy that it was also a complete film, no cliffhangers, no wink wink for sequels. Unfortunately this wasn't the case for the two, now three, sequels. The first sequel was just one big, cgi-fest filler, with constant action and very little substance and the second one was just a flat out disappointment. But I was ok with it because I could just watch the first one and ignore that the sequels were ever made. The last few days I delved deep into fanedits, searching high and low for any movie that I wished was good but it wasn't, or perfected and I stumbled into this. And I thought, why not give it a shot!
Technical wise, although this is heavily edited as you can tell from the new runtime, it was pretty great! The only scenes where you could tell something has been tampered with, was the third act. But still, it doesn't retract from the narrative or confuse the viewer, you just "feel" something is cut out. But still, I don't think anything better could be done, since we needed so many changes for it to make it work. So job well done here!!
On the narrative side, I can safely say that the editor saved the films for me. I mean, if I want to have a closure for the Matrix in future rewatch, this is the way to go! My only issue is that, since this fanedit was released in 2016 so the editor knows how painfully outdated the cgi is, he could trim the bad cgi from action sequences. Which actually brings me to my next negative point, that now there is again too much action. 3-4 action sequences one longer than the other. So if you trimmed the bad cgi from the action sequences, you could kill two birds with one stone, reduce bad cgi aaand trim down the too long action sequences.
So I definitely recommend this to anyone who didn't like the sequels! I mean, if you don't like this fanedit, then the sequels are not salvageable for you in any way.
Thank you Jerick and thanks to anyone who read my review!
This was an excellent edit that overall worked very well as a sequel to The Matrix. While I did recall a few missing elements, it's been awhile since I last saw the sequels and I was unable to recognize where the missing parts would have been. The technical elements of the edit are top-notch, and I didn't notice any glaring or jarring transitions. As a story following Neo's journey this edit worked wonderfully. After watching, I did realize that a few of the subplots and side characters felt a little incomplete as times. A few examples are the ships that were supposed be defending Zion are nowhere to be found until Niobe flies in, and when they use the keymaker to get to the source it's a little unclear who's where doing what just before Neo gets in. Also, Trinity's role at the end in machine city is a little unclear but it was easy to assume she stayed with the ship while Neo completed his mission. While these minor shortcomings do create a few plot holes or questions, the strength of this edit is its focus on Neo which made it easy to overlook any omissions. I actually had to look up the original plots to see what had been removed and realized I had completely forgotten about Trinity's death(s) and Bane. Neither of these were missed, and I feel like the story would be unnecessarily bogged down by them. The only parts of this edit I actually didn't enjoy were in some of the fight sequences, specifically the later Neo v Smiths fights when the CGI took over too much and it starting to look like mediocre video game footage. I'll definitely be keeping this edit for next time!
I am quite impressed by how well this works as one film! Having the warning of incoming sentinels to Zion at the beginning and the battle happening at the end, rather than those two things in two separate films, really adds to the weight of it all (and the anxiety!). And I really don't miss anything that was cut EXCEPT for Trinity's badass bike flip explosion scene.
I think what's crucial from my experience is that my girlfriend, who has not seen Reloaded or Revolutions, did not notice anything missing as far as the narrative goes. So, for someone's first watch, it works! Yes, during the last third, when the most aggressive edits are made to Revolutions, she noticed some abrupt shifts where clearly something was cut out, but she was not left confused or wanting anything else. Also, with these edits, Niobe's character really feels much more crucial as the amount of time between her scenes is reduced. One thing that did leave my girlfriend asking questions was when Niobe's ship comes crashing in just in time and they hit the EMP... earlier in the film they mentioned needing all the ships to stick around, but where are all the other ships? I couldn't remember what happened in the full movies, so we looked it up and it turns out it was part of the Bane narrative - he destroyed or disabled them. So the question of "why didn't they plan on having an EMP ready to go in Zion?!" becomes a glaring thing and makes the whole argument against "should we let ships go look for the Nebuchadnezzar" more valid. Other than that, I missed Trinity in the last half of the movie. Seems like she wasn't around much after the highway chase scene - though I'm glad so much of that scene was in this edit.
Anyway, I will def return to this! And I'm glad I watched this in preparation for the new one as I don't think I'm missing anything.
This is an incredibly ambitious edit that I enjoyed a lot. The narrative restructuring is, in theory, very impressive.
I didn't notice any major audio or visual issues and everything looked great to me.
Unfortunately, I think Jerick's ambition may have slightly exceeded what is actually possible given the existing footage. Specifically toward the end, some of the cutting is noticeable and feels forced in order to bend the film into what the editor is trying to do. They aren't technically bad cuts, but they can be felt. You can feel the movie straining against the concept. Things like not using the second actress for the Oracle or hiding Neo's blindness are really difficult to pull off, and they just feel a bit off, like it's not as smooth as it would be in a traditional film.
However, I think Jerick did the best job possible getting the movies where they wanted to, and it's a very interesting and different take on the sequels, especially Revolutions. Though this edit wouldn't necessarily replace the originals for me (not even my personal edit does that, these films are really weird and difficult to mess with) I am happy that I watched it, and would recommend checking it out to most Matrix fans.
I'm one of many people who liked the matrix original movie and the animatrix but got lost with the 2 sequels. The Matrix Revolution Decoded is a great conclusion to the matrix narrative showing the relevant aspects of the scrip and goes right to the point. Good job.