The ending to The Matrix is so freaking awesome.
We go full circle from the beginning. Call backs to the opening scene can be a cheap narrative device but not here. Neo completes his character arc, but the conflict of the story is not fully resolved. The war isn’t won yet. The human race is still enslaved by the robots. But as he takes off in the air, we know that he’s going to do it. He’ll save everyone because anything is possible if Neo can fly.
Here’s what it looked like on paper.
It’s executed more effectively on the screen. The decision to cut the dialogue of the boy and his mom is a perfect example of less meaning more. “Men don’t fly.” was a good final line, but the music is a better fit. I wonder if this scene was filmed and then changed later because it didn’t work.
I love this ending because the concept of The Matrix is fully realized. Neo can do anything. He’s gone from another guy trapped in the Matrix to the One. I love this ending so much I wish that there weren’t sequels to The Matrix.
The sequels have some intriguing concepts, but do not live up to the original. Seeing Neo flying around and fighting was not a thing I needed to see. I wouldn’t say the two other films were flat out garbage, but they leave a lot to be desired. Sometimes it’s best for films to stand alone.