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Old 11-06-2003
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Why Revolutions Sucked

Take it or leave it; my impression of "The Matrix Revolutions." Please give feedback.

Grade: C+

Fans will be in denial long after the first viewing of "The Matrix Revolutions," the final (thankfully) chapter of the "Matrix" saga. It's nice to think the original concept is still fresh after five years and that all of the lose-ends will find a spouse before it's all over. Faithful reader, I ask you to see this film and then report back to me if you can think of one war-movie cliché that doesn't surface in "Revolutions," and just try to tell me that the Zion command center doesn't scream STAR TREK!

I enthusiastically embraced "The Matrix Reloaded," the second film and the one that took the original concept and stretched it with mind-blowing special effects and story progression that truly showed the maturity of the Wachowski brothers. I awarded it an "A-" and proudly defended it against moviegoers who didn't understand it. I enjoyed preaching to the dissenters how brilliant the 'rave scene' was; how we were given this concept of inevitable destruction; impending doom, and the only thing that the citizens could do to get it off their minds was to celebrate in a massive orgy. It proved how risky the Wachowskis were willing to go. "Reloaded" introduced us to marvelous new characters and endless possibilities. "Revolutions" has none of that.

By now, those of us following the trilogy understand the basics of the plot. Neo (Keanu Reeves) and his sidekick Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are still trying to save Zion from its destruction that is only 20 hours away, and they are still led by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), the patient leader who seems to have less to say this time around, although Neo continues to question everything. "Why?" he ponders, over and over again.

It would be no revelation of mine to inform you that Keanu Reeves isn't the best of actors, and his portrayal of Neo has gotten more mundane since we last saw him. Or maybe it's his character that is getting stupider. Granted he has a lot to learn and the fate of all civilization rests on his shoulders, but how long after we figured it out does it take for him to realize that Agent Smith has occupied the body of one of the human crew members? Apparently the "Mr. Anderson" phrase doesn't ring any bells, nor does the fact that his former partner has just threatened to slice open Trinity's throat.

Neo is still after Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), the rogue villain who gets a little stronger every time we see him. Now that we know he's a human and not a program, we anticipate closure to his story. Please don't ask what that is because I along with everyone else have never learned it. Link (Harold Perrineau) and his wife Zee (Nona Gaye) are still having marriage problems as the possibility of Link dying in battle (cliché #12) is never good for their relationship.

"Revolutions" has two acts; the first is the city of Zion's preparation and eventual defense against the nasty machines. Seeing the sentinels breach Zion's outer wall is one of the better parts of the film. This is where the humans operate their machine-like androids and try to blast the sentinels out of the sky. But this is also when "The Matrix" becomes a war movie and the clichés kick in. And they hurt. The captain can't go two sentences without sounding like a drill sergeant; Jesus this, damn that. "This is my ship!" he yells after refusing to listen to the returning Niobe's (Jada Pinkett Smith) winning strategy. While he's out with his crew, the command center back on Zion looks like the Star Trek getup, complete with flashing monitors and a commander who stands with his hands folded behind his back.

When the leader of the ground troops gets sliced up by the penetrating sentinels, he stutters his last directive (cliché #08) before falling limp to the rookie supply technician who has just proven himself worthy by fixing his jammed ammunition cartridge (cliché #15). While this dialogue exchange is going on, the hectic war going on in the background freezes (cliché #29) because we know that characters taking part in crucial dialogue must never be disrupted. Only "Saving Private Ryan" avoids #29. The rookie will then takeover as the pilot of the machine and charge with full force while yelling a heroic one-liner (cliché #32) or two.

The second act is the material we're all familiar with; the infamous duels between Neo and Smith. What leads up to the final battle, after four years of waiting, can only be described as a copout; Neo confronts the machines and actually negotiates the end of the war with the machine leader. This is not a spoiler; telling you if the contract holds or falls through would be a spoiler.

The action is separated by scenes of dialogue that fails to scratch the surface of our imaginations. Whereas at least "Reloaded" confused the hell out of you if you didn't follow the jargon, "Revolutions" just throws out high-school-level philosophy like the idea that love is not an emotion, it is just a word.

And the dialogue-bug affects everyone. Even the once loved Agent Smith can't shut-up in his moments of glory. Then again maybe he's just patient enough to explain everything out to Neo who is still--if you can believe it--clueless about everything. In his defense, it doesn't help when the Oracle (Mary Alice, replacing the late Gloria Foster) offers little wisdom because she must first explain her new physical appearance, which sort of goes to the tune of "I made a choice, and had to give up more than I wanted." OK, but what about the matrix? That kind of goes like "I don't know what I don't understand. Thanks for stopping by."

After each major battle, the leaders of the Zion army face court-martialing in front of the wise counsel (cliché #18) of a dozen or so elders. Hearing them question the controversial decisions like the one to allow Neo to fly one of the vessels into the Machine City reminded me of "Star Wars," and I scanned the panel of judges expecting to find Jar Jar Binks, or at least Samuel L. Jackson offering his wisdom.

"Revolutions" introduces a few new concepts to us but fails to expand. We learn of the Trainman (Bruce Spence), but he fades from the picture as soon as he becomes interesting. I wish to divulge more information about his character, but doing so would spoil one of the few positive aspects of the film.

Remember in "Reloaded" how we were introduced to The Twins? Remember looking in awe at how they could disappear and fly through solid objects? Remember how they self-healed their flesh wounds through instant regeneration? Instead of those guys showing up for this party, we get the return of Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), the arrogant Frenchman whose only progression to the story is that he owns the Trainman's design. Had the Trainman's story been more developed then there might have actually been a need for Merovingian. Also back is Persephone's cleavage (Monica Bellucci's cleavage) whose only progression to the story is that her outfit is smaller, tighter, and consequently more revealing.

The final duel between Neo and Agent Smith falls well short of triumph, despite the technical beauty of its setup; Neo and Smith emerge in the pouring rainfall as thousands of Agent Smiths (completely defunct) look on as spectators. Then they clash. They punch. They kick. They fly back when punched. Now repeat the process…a few dozen times. They fight in the air and their movements create an impressive wake of water as they dance and tumble against the forces of gravity. But then the special effects begin assaulting our senses and we are soon presented with a clash of computer effects that make it hard for us to follow what's happening. It was not nearly as good as either the 'burly brawl' or 'highway chase' in "Reloaded." And if you thought you saw glitches in "Reloaded," then prepare to tear apart the special effects in "Revolutions," as it couldn't be any more clear that the mid-air shots were done in front of a blue-screen.

A slow-motion shot of Smith getting decked in the face looks cool. It's slow enough for us to see the raindrops that divide Neo's hand and Smith's face. This is the money shot; the one time when the movie comes to a standstill so we can marvel at this accomplishment. And when it's finally executed, we think back to the more impressive scene when Agent Smith crushes a car traveling on the highway as he lands on the hood in slow-motion back in "Reloaded."

I give the Wachowskis much respect for what they've done, but their accomplishments end with the "Reloaded" credits. It's been five years since the release of "The Matrix," and after such time has passed little has been answered. As bad as "Revolutions" may be, my criticisms end with the understanding that the entire trilogy was a revolutionary rebirth of science fiction. In a collective set, the "Matrix" trilogy is brilliant. And even though the final film is weak, it is necessary to bring "The Matrix" to an end, and thankfully it came not too long after the last installment.

Simply put, "Reloaded" was worth the four year wait. If you disagree, then you're in for a disappointment with "Revolutions." Everything gets worse. The acting is so noticeably bad that I wondered if Keanu and his pals figured that what they set out to do was accomplished two films ago. The special effects, which should have at least been at par with the last film, actually get worse, and I think it's because the Wachowskis wanted to do too much. They wanted to do better than "Reloaded," and wound up blowing a fuse in the process. Had we waited four years for this, the fans would have rioted.
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Old 11-06-2003
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I just saw it. Oh. My. Will write more latah! Im hungry! A stupid kid knocked my tub of popcorn out of my hands & I starved durin the movie. GAHH!
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Old 11-06-2003
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Well after you replenish yourself I expect to get your opinions.
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Old 11-06-2003
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Quote:
It would be no revelation of mine to inform you that Keanu Reeves isn't the best of actors, and his portrayal of Neo has gotten more mundane since we last saw him. Or maybe it's his character that is getting stupider. Granted he has a lot to learn and the fate of all civilization rests on his shoulders, but how long after we figured it out does it take for him to realize that Agent Smith has occupied the body of one of the human crew members? Apparently the "Mr. Anderson" phrase doesn't ring any bells, nor does the fact that his former partner has just threatened to slice open Trinity's throat.
This is what I sent Quint over at Aint-Cool-News.com who had the same complaint:

I had the same feeling about the conversation between Bane and Neo as you did. But what I realized is that Neo can't really grab the concept that Smith can be in the real world. Or, quite possibly, he is like he was in Reloaded and (like the conversation with the Merovingian where M mentions the other "Ones" but Neo "chooses" to ignore those statements) he refuses to accept the truth. Only when he loses his sight does he gain the insight to see his full powers as "The One" (aka seeing the fire Smith and the lights).

I understand this got annoying but it wasn't such a big deal as many are making it out to be.

Quote:
When the leader of the ground troops gets sliced up by the penetrating sentinels, he stutters his last directive (cliché #08) before falling limp to the rookie supply technician who has just proven himself worthy by fixing his jammed ammunition cartridge (cliché #15). While this dialogue exchange is going on, the hectic war going on in the background freezes (cliché #29) because we know that characters taking part in crucial dialogue must never be disrupted. Only "Saving Private Ryan" avoids #29. The rookie will then takeover as the pilot of the machine and charge with full force while yelling a heroic one-liner (cliché #32) or two.
Once again .... Not a big deal. Cliché #08 happened in Reloaded but did you mention it in your review? Did you? I didn't read other then the fact that you liked it. Many films have done this and it has just become a staple in sci-fi features.

Quote:
The action is separated by scenes of dialogue that fails to scratch the surface of our imaginations. Whereas at least "Reloaded" confused the hell out of you if you didn't follow the jargon, "Revolutions" just throws out high-school-level philosophy like the idea that love is not an emotion, it is just a word.
I believe what they were saying was this .... Love is simple a word. It is the actions behind the word that justify the emotions. The problem with the two sequels is nobody wants to make up their damn minds! Either it is too confusing or too obvious! Make up your minds people!

Quote:
The final duel between Neo and Agent Smith falls well short of triumph, despite the technical beauty of its setup; Neo and Smith emerge in the pouring rainfall as thousands of Agent Smiths (completely defunct) look on as spectators. Then they clash. They punch. They kick. They fly back when punched. Now repeat the process…a few dozen times. They fight in the air and their movements create an impressive wake of water as they dance and tumble against the forces of gravity. But then the special effects begin assaulting our senses and we are soon presented with a clash of computer effects that make it hard for us to follow what's happening. It was not nearly as good as either the 'burly brawl' or 'highway chase' in "Reloaded." And if you thought you saw glitches in "Reloaded," then prepare to tear apart the special effects in "Revolutions," as it couldn't be any more clear that the mid-air shots were done in front of a blue-screen.
You have to be kidding me!

This takes the emphasis of pride to a whole new level. Why does Super-Smith (aka Smith who took over The Oracle) take on Neo alone? Did you not listen to the dialogue?

Neo: "It ends tonight."
Smith: "I know! I've seen it! That's why the rest of me is just going to enjoy the show because we already know that I'm the one that beats us."

He knows that he beats Neo. He knows what is going to happen but (like the Oracle said before being taken over) he can't really see past the choices he doesn't understand. He thinks he knows but he doesn't. Same thing happened to Neo in the original film and Reloaded.

The special effects were absolutely amazing and were much better then the "Burly Brawl" in Reloaded. In Reloaded, a lot of it looked fact. This doesn't and the darkness helps in the effect.

In my opinion, Neo basically gets the crap beat out of him but it had to pan out this way. Since Neo is the positive and Smith is the negative, the equation must be balanced.

Quote:
"Revolutions" introduces a few new concepts to us but fails to expand. We learn of the Trainman (Bruce Spence), but he fades from the picture as soon as he becomes interesting. I wish to divulge more information about his character, but doing so would spoil one of the few positive aspects of the film.
I think there may be more in Enter the Matrix video game but I can not be sure. I agree he seemed a little pointless considering he isn't shown much but it would stupid considering this is the final film. Should have added him in Reloaded.

Quote:
Remember in "Reloaded" how we were introduced to The Twins? Remember looking in awe at how they could disappear and fly through solid objects? Remember how they self-healed their flesh wounds through instant regeneration? Instead of those guys showing up for this party, we get the return of Merovingian (Lambert Wilson), the arrogant Frenchman whose only progression to the story is that he owns the Trainman's design. Had the Trainman's story been more developed then there might have actually been a need for Merovingian. Also back is Persephone's cleavage (Monica Bellucci's cleavage) whose only progression to the story is that her outfit is smaller, tighter, and consequently more revealing.
The Twins don't control anything. They are just M's henchmen. Programs he saved that serve him. Who cares if they aren't here? I didn't. I totally agree with you on Persephone. Her character does absolutely nothing in this film and barely did anything in Reloaded. Could have had film without her easily.

Quote:
A slow-motion shot of Smith getting decked in the face looks cool. It's slow enough for us to see the raindrops that divide Neo's hand and Smith's face. This is the money shot; the one time when the movie comes to a standstill so we can marvel at this accomplishment. And when it's finally executed, we think back to the more impressive scene when Agent Smith crushes a car traveling on the highway as he lands on the hood in slow-motion back in "Reloaded."
First off, Agent Johnson crushes the car, not Smith.

I thought this was one of the worst effects.

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I give the Wachowskis much respect for what they've done, but their accomplishments end with the "Reloaded" credits. It's been five years since the release of "The Matrix," and after such time has passed little has been answered.
What wasn't answered?

What I stated in my review is this:

Does the final film answer all the questions? Thankfully, No. Would anybody really be satisfied if all the answers were given to them on a silver platter with no thought put into divulging the film series’ secrets for themselves? No.

Quote:
The acting is so noticeably bad that I wondered if Keanu and his pals figured that what they set out to do was accomplished two films ago.
I don't understand how you could determine that the acting was worse in Revolutions then it was in Reloaded. How so?

If you thought the film was so absolutely horrible then why give it a C+? Why not a D? Or a F?
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Old 11-06-2003
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Wow, talk about feedback. Thanks a lot Moose for all your input.

To start off, I didn't think "Revolutions" was horrible, maybe the title of ths thread is a little misleading. I came close to liking it, but was ultimately dissatisfied with the conclusion. Because my overall opinion was "thumbs down," I spent most of the review defending my position.

I can't see how you find the special effects in "Revolutions" to be any better than "Reloaded." I just watched the Reloaded trailer again I still got excited even though I've seen the film. Smith crushing the car, the trucks crunching into each other, the battle between Neo and all the Smiths. All of it was superior to anything in "Revolutions." I thought the scene where one of the Twins flew into his brother's car looked better than almost anything in "Revolutions." I don't know how you didn't miss the Twins.

The final fight between Neo and Smith was nothing more than a punching match. Neo kept falling which would inspire a short monologue, then he'd get up and the process started again.

I didn't hate "Revolutions" but if I had to wait four years for it I know I would have. Thanks again for the comments Moose.
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Old 11-07-2003
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Hokay, PLites Impressions of MATRIX REVOLUTIONS! Waah!
SPOILERS, Eeeek!


dont look if you want to be unspoilt ...




I saw this movie in a very full cinema crowded wid more than a few Bwitish twits in wraparound sunglasses. It wuz a pretty quiet audience, I must say although there wuz much giggling during Trinitys endless death scene. OW, Die already, you old bat! a cruel lad yelled at the screen. (I know whut youre thinkin, It wasnt ME, I swearsss!) Afterwords, as the movie ended & the programs gazed upon the lovely rainbow, there wuz some cussing -- Whut the f*** is that it Jesus Christ F*** Me Whuts wid this Sh*t! I wuz saddened by the crudeness of my companions but blame it on our faltering public school system.

Anyway, here are the Good Things I Took Away!

1. Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. Waah, he even had a great Evool Laugh! The movie just lights up like a CHrismus tree when Smith appears.

2. Mr & Mrs Merovignians Pervy Ball. Wowie! If it wuz a choice between the Grungy Reality of Zion & Persephones tight tight dress, leave me plugged into the Matrix forever please.

3. Neo & Agents Smith Duel in the Rain. Well, I guess this is one thing the Wachowskis learned from Kurosawa -- everrything looks better in the rain.

4. The Weird Baby Head in Machine City! I dunno, it just looked funny.

5. The Oracle mournfully lookin down at her cookies & sayin, Ill miss their smell or somethin like that. Awwww, that wuz so sad.


Oooof, time for me next class. THINGS I HATE Coming Soon! A much Longer List, believe me.
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Old 11-09-2003
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Here It IS! I just came from church so I am still fulll of The Holy Ghost!

THINGS I DISLIKLED ABOUT MATRIX REVOLUTIONS!

1. If Neo is the One, why couldnt he figure out quicker who Bane is? God, whut a dumbass! In the cinema, I heard people shriek, YOU IDIOT NEO! Eeeek. That wuz sad. But I guess people forgot whut the Oracle said in the first movie to Neo, You arent too bright, are you? heh.

2. This constant handholding between Neo & Trinity during battle.
Or did they think they were watchin LOVE ACTUALLY?

3. The Kid carting ammo in the wheelbarrow! WTF! They didnt even use wheelbarrows in World War 2! Also whut Scott said about the hoary war movie cliche of the leader dying & the little postal clerk taking over the controls.

4. The Siege of Zion really bored me in the same way the Battle of HELMS DEEP started boring me after a while. Altho Zion wuz worse becuz it went on much longer & I got tired of watchin squiddies & ships & those robot things that were ripped off from ALIENS. And Zion didnt even haf a Haldir type I could empathize wid.

5. Twinitys protracted death. It wuz hokay in the first minoot (altho Tooly kept squealin, THEYRE ONLY SHOWIN HER NECK, I BETCHA HER BODYS SQUISHED LIKE A GRAPEFRUIT!) & then I started squirming becuz I missed my popcorn. It wuz sooo long. But I wuz kinda touched when she finally saw the sky.

6. Why is Love only a Word? SPLAIN!

7. Pigsnie saw this movie wid us but he didnt like it much. However, he told us there wuz a lot of Hindu mythology mumbo jumbo which he wasnt interested in explaining either. He said if the sanwich wuz any good, then you shouldnt haf to peek in between the slices of bread to examine the ingredients under a microscope. Or somethin like that.

8. If the situation at the End of REVOLUTIONS wuz that Machine & Human must co-exist (wid some Humans allowed to leave the MATRIX), isnt this the exact same situation in the first movie? Whuts changed?

9. Shouldnt they haf explained who the Other Earlier NEOS were & why wuz this Neo different? Did he really make his own choices or did he just do whut the Oracle told him?

10. Why wuz Merv so weak in this movie? And why wuz Persephone still wid him? She betrayed him, didnt she? SHouldnt he be pissed & had his chef make her an upsetting French pastry? Or wuz it all part of a *cunning plan* that is so cunning, no one can explain how cunning it is.


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Old 11-09-2003
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11. And whut happened to Morpheus? Sheesh! I tink I saw a puddy tat.

Oh & cann anyone explain to me who were the CHildrun in the Oracles waiting room in the first movie? Are they childrun of programmes like the little girl in the Train Station? Waah, Im so confusled.
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Old 11-09-2003
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Originally posted by PigsnieLite
1. If Neo is the One, why couldnt he figure out quicker who Bane is? God, whut a dumbass! In the cinema, I heard people shriek, YOU IDIOT NEO! Eeeek. That wuz sad. But I guess people forgot whut the Oracle said in the first movie to Neo, You arent too bright, are you? heh.
Ah, but you have to remember a shocking 80% of the population didn't know that was Smith at the end of Reloaded, and they friggin' SAW it happen to Bane.

Quote:
2. This constant handholding between Neo & Trinity during battle.
Or did they think they were watchin LOVE ACTUALLY?
Girls like to hold hands. Ask around.

Quote:
3. The Kid carting ammo in the wheelbarrow! WTF! They didnt even use wheelbarrows in World War 2! Also whut Scott said about the hoary war movie cliche of the leader dying & the little postal clerk taking over the controls.
As for the Kid running ammo on wheelbarrow, what else did they have? They have no cars, what, are they suppossed to carry them? The people of Zion are ragtag at best; look at the places they live in. Almost all the technology they have was already there when they got there (probably even the mechs), it's not like they had anything else. Would you have preffered that the mechs never ran out of ammo? Betcha would've compained about that too.

Quote:
4. The Siege of Zion really bored me in the same way the Battle of HELMS DEEP started boring me after a while. Altho Zion wuz worse becuz it went on much longer & I got tired of watchin squiddies & ships & those robot things that were ripped off from ALIENS. And Zion didnt even haf a Haldir type I could empathize wid.
Minfue rocked and you're in denial if you say otherwise. :p

Quote:
5. Twinitys protracted death. It wuz hokay in the first minoot (altho Tooly kept squealin, THEYRE ONLY SHOWIN HER NECK, I BETCHA HER BODYS SQUISHED LIKE A GRAPEFRUIT!) & then I started squirming becuz I missed my popcorn. It wuz sooo long. But I wuz kinda touched when she finally saw the sky.
Matter of opinion. I liked it, you didn't. Moving on...

Quote:
6. Why is Love only a Word? SPLAIN!
THEY EXPALINED IN THE MOVIE! Sheesh! Love is only a word, it's the meaning of the feeling behind it that matters. To put it in plainspeak, Love is universal.

Quote:
7. Pigsnie saw this movie wid us but he didnt like it much. However, he told us there wuz a lot of Hindu mythology mumbo jumbo which he wasnt interested in explaining either. He said if the sanwich wuz any good, then you shouldnt haf to peek in between the slices of bread to examine the ingredients under a microscope. Or somethin like that.
Or sometimes you have to stick Cheetos into the sandwich to fully enjoy it. Or something like that.

Quote:
8. If the situation at the End of REVOLUTIONS wuz that Machine & Human must co-exist (wid some Humans allowed to leave the MATRIX), isnt this the exact same situation in the first movie? Whuts changed?
What changed is now people have the freedom of choice. The Architect stated that 99% of the time, people chose The Matrix, however, when someone rejected it, those were the loners, the people who were sure the world wasn't right, and eventually became the rebels in Zion. The rebels were fighting for the destruction of the Matrix, however, they don't take into consideration that the Earth's current state is uninhabitable by that many people. And now, instead of having to reload the Matrix every hundred years due to the problem caused by forcing people to accept the Matrix, the machines have no need to re-play the cycle, as now when humans do not choose the Matrix, they are freed. The freed ones go to live in Zion or wherever, the ones that accept the Matrix go about whistling a happy tune on the way to their job at Metacorx.

Quote:
9. Shouldnt they haf explained who the Other Earlier NEOS were & why wuz this Neo different? Did he really make his own choices or did he just do whut the Oracle told him?
This was explained by the Architect in Reloaded. The previous Ones reached the Source and, when told they had to choose between Reloading the Matrix and deserting Zion to extermination, or fighting Zion and at the same time killing everyone in the Matrix because of the system crash. The previous Ones chose to Reload the Matrix, and what made Neo the anamolly of the anamolly is that he chose to fight, he chose the future rather than repetition.

Quote:
10. Why wuz Merv so weak in this movie? And why wuz Persephone still wid him? She betrayed him, didnt she? SHouldnt he be pissed & had his chef make her an upsetting French pastry? Or wuz it all part of a *cunning plan* that is so cunning, no one can explain how cunning it is.

Persephone can't leave Hades. Whether she likes it or not, she's stuck with him. And, like he said in Reloaded, "it's only a game!" No harm, no foul. Besides, would you ever leave Monica Bellucci?
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