"Everything that has a beginning has an end," thunders the tagline for the third and final instalment in The Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi epic. Thank God for that, cos this lazy third entry in the ground-pummelling series is enough to make you shred your fanboy anorak in disgust. It's not even the oodles of chin-stroking geek-speak and reams of pseudo-religious twaddle - we've come to expect that even as we've tired of it. No, the real problem is that our hero vanishes off the screen for half the movie and, even more puzzling, the set-pieces go with him.
Okay, so Reloaded's plot was riddled with as many holes as a sponge in a colander, but at least it pushed FX boundaries and offered super-kinetic set-pieces. Revolutions, shot back-to-back with its predecessor, is dull, feeling more like a particularly tedious war movie than a sleek, imaginative sci-fier.
Picking up where Reloaded left off, it continues the epic man-versus-machines battle, with Neo (Keanu Reeves) leaving Zion behind in order to save it from Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). Zion's inhabitants, meanwhile, prepare to stand their ground against the tunnelling sentinels...
Which leads to one of Revolutions' two notable set-pieces, all hell breaking loose in Zion's docking bay when the mechwarriors finally smash their way through. The other is Neo's neverending superbrawl with Agent Smith, our foes taking to the skies for an almighty scrap. They clash together. And fly apart. And clash together. And fly apart... Great effects, maybe, but it soon gets boring.
Minus the wow-factor, we're left with little to do but ponder the kind of arse-puckering direlogue that would make George Lucas blush ("Illusions. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect..."). And, when you get fed up of sniggering at the clunky lines, your mind can wander to the bigger questions: how did the glorious cyber-noir mind games of the original turn into this superhero dross? Whatever happened to the initial concept of the brain-slurped pod people? And have we really sat through six hours of bumpy journeying to arrive at a climax this weak? This... Anti-climactic?
Memo to Andy and Larry: three strikes and you're out, guys. You should have quit while you were ahead and left it at The One.