Matrix Revolutions Decoded, The

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8.9
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9.0
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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.

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Overall rating
 
8.1
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
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7.0
I must say at almost half the runtime of the two movies it combines, there isn't a whole lot I found myself missing in this edit. There are a couple things that were cut out here that I wish were left in though. I like Agent Smith discovering the ability to jump into an unplugged body, I like Neo in the train station, and I kind of like Neo discovering he can affect the sentinels in the real world. As for additional cuts I wish were made, I was hoping that the Neo vs 100 Agent Smiths fight would be a little trimmed down. I absolutely hate when Neo becomes a smooth CGI creation and the fight becomes cartoonish and uninteresting. The fight starts out good, but I think some of the sillier elements of this could still be cut out to keep it more in line with the original movie's aesthetic.

Of course, the problem with this is that there are SO MANY moments in these sequels that dive into bad CGI that it would be impossible to cut them all so maybe why bother in the Agent Smiths fight? I feel like almost every action sequence in these movies starts out great, but at some point gets too big for its britches and goes full CGI and just sucks you out of it. If it wasn't such a jarring transition and the effects were better and more subtle, it wouldn't be a problem. But that's no fault of the editor here. Jerick can only work with the footage available.

So while I would say it's worth watching this just to save some time with the prequels, it can't fix some foundational problems with the sequels themselves. In the first movie, everybody was scared of one Agent Smith and 5 Sentinels. It was a huge plot point in the movie. In these sequels, Neo leisurely fends off dozens of Agent Smiths and Zion battles millions of Sentinels. It's much too far of a stakes/danger leap to expect the audience to care about it. There are ways of upping the ante without just multiplying it by a thousand.

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(Updated: July 07, 2019)
Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
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.



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Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
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.

Audio/Video Quality.
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).

Visual Editing.
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.

Audio Editing.
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.

Narrative.
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.

Enjoyment.
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

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(Updated: October 20, 2018)
Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
WOW. I'm impressed. I have recently tried to watch several edits that combine Reloaded & Revolutions together. For me, this was the one that really worked. This edit keeps only the important material to keeps the movie flowing, engaging and focused.
I like that the choice Neo has to make is not between 'rebooting' Zion or saving Trinity but between 'Rebooting' Zion or fighting for Zion. This made the whole conversation with the Architect so much clearer, more focused. It's all about Zion. I understand that this shifts the focus away from Trinity, making her a secondary character. She is now just Neo's girlfriend who assists him with his mission. So the fact that she, through her love, made Neo the one loses it's significance. But, despite this change - I liked the narrative this edit was going for.

In this edit Neo's real life super powers are no more. Smith-Bane is no more. Sure, it results in some cuts look abrupt; Cuts such as Neo and Trinity entering the machine city, bombs exploding before they reach their ship and Neo losing his eyes. Also, there's no emotional response from Trinity to the death of Neo at the end. She just operates some machinery. I think, perhaps Trinity's death should have stayed in the finished edit somehow.

Bottom line, This edit has shown me an alternative vision for a good and worthy sequel to 'The Matrix'. When the end credits (which were extremely well done) rolled, I had a smile on my face.

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