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'Matrix': The final chapter

'Revolutions' finishes off the saga

Matrix
A familiar sight: Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne, left) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss, right) walk down a hall in full leather armor. They're accompanied by Seraph (Collin Chou).

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LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Finally, after a six-month intermission and $735 million in global ticket sales, fans of the "Matrix" movies get what they have been waiting for: The End.

When "The Matrix Reloaded" unspooled in theaters in May, Joel Silver, one of Hollywood's top producers and a master of media spin, was careful to tell reporters the movie was only one-half of the total sequel to 1999's smash hit "The Matrix."

The second half, Silver said, comes later, as in Wednesday, when "The Matrix Revolutions" debuts simultaneously in 107 markets worldwide, including China and India, with about 10,000 film prints being distributed in the largest global film release ever.

But if "Matrix" fans think Hollywood will come up with another two-part, effects-filled thriller costing $300 million, about humans being nearly annihilated by machines before a savior named Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, escapes his software simulated world to lead an uprising, they should think again.

"This is the end of the story," Silver told Reuters in a recent interview. "The story of this 'Matrix' saga is over."

Fans can take some solace in the fact that "Revolutions" is a big movie: faster-paced, more action-packed and with greater battles and grander special effects than they have seen.

"Revolutions" is a little lighter on all the "Matrix" philosophy, although to give one little hint at what's to come, the yin and yang of life do merge in the software simulated world of the matrix just as they do here on Earth.

Battling machines

Neo
In the concluding battle, Neo takes on Agent Smith in a drenching rain.

In "Reloaded," Neo grappled internally with being the savior of the human race. In "Revolutions," he kicks a lot more machine butt, as do Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) in a final battle to save the last human city of Zion.

As real world computer users saw with this summer's Sobig.F virus, "Matrix" bug Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) can exist in many variants -- so many, in fact, he is unstoppable.

"Revolutions" picks up exactly where "Reloaded" left off. The machines are tunneling toward Zion in a final effort to destroy the human race and claim Earth as their own.

Two human ships with the central characters aboard have been dispatched in a last-ditch effort to shatter the machine-created matrix and, thus, thwart their adversaries.

But before they can, in "Revolutions" Neo becomes lost in a purgatory (which looks a lot like a Manhattan subway station) between the real world and the software-created matrix.

Meanwhile, the machines have reached the outer regions of Zion, where the humans put up a defiant, yet ultimately unwinnable battle. As the real world saying goes, however, the battle may be lost, but the war's not over.

Neo, along with Trinity, voyage to the heart of the Machine City, where the final -- yes, final -- truth is revealed. But is that enough to save Zion? Not if Agent Smith has his way.

"I've always felt that "Revolutions" would be a much more satisfying and entertaining experience," Silver said, because it is the final chapter. He likened it to the third act of a three-act play, where all is resolved.

There will be no more "Matrix" movies, he swears, yet the characters -- some of them -- will carry on with their search for truth and meaning to live in an Internet game, in video games, in a book of "Matrix" comics and in DVDs, he added.

"Everything that has a beginning, has an end," goes the "Revolutions" ad campaign slogan, which only prompts the notion that every end is also a beginning. That is the way of life -- the yin and yang. It is that way in Hollywood, and it is that way with "The Matrix" movies.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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