True, the final instalment in The Matrix trilogy suffers from the same Repetitive Action Syndrome with its overly familiar choreographed punch- ups and CGI battle scenes. But at least, ‘thank God, the Oracle and the One’, there are far fewer scenes in which the characters sit around tediously explaining the mythology and inner workings of the matrix to one another.

Comatose at the end of Reloaded, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is now stranded in limbo between the human and machine worlds. But he’s not jacked-in - he is somehow able to access both dimensions simultaneously. More dangerously, renegade computer program Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) has assumed human form, broken free of the machines that once controlled him, and is now pursuing a private, nihilistic agenda of his own. There are just 12 hours to save humanity from complete annihilation. The machine army’s remorseless assault on the humans’ subterranean city of Zion continues unabated. Worm-like drills having pierced its outer defences, the city’s soldiers and citizens must fend off attacks by seething shoals of squid-like

ADgLESCENTA csr N IALBIN I (15) 92min cu

NOi (TOmas Lemarquisl is an albino. More importantly he is a teenager. the disturbed offspring of an alcoholic taxi driver and a missing mother. NOi's fav0urite pastimes seem to be Wllldlllg up his school teachers With his all too obvious truancy and jigging the fruit machines in his local petrol station so that he can afford a bottle of Super Malt. And then he sees her. Iris (Elin Hanstttii'). the new girl in the petrol station and he begins to dream of escape.

Filmmaker and musician Dagur Kari c0uld hardly have chosen a less original theme for his debut feature. Young people going nutty in a small town enVironment have been a yawn inspiring mainstay Since Marlon Brando and James Dean discovered white Ts. But what Kari. as both writer and dlfGClDf. is striving for here is something more ramshackle. aimless and less assured than your average coming-of-age drama. He is dealt a massive helping hand by the setting he has chosen. a remote community on the outer peninsulas of rural Iceland. a place so desolate they have to pOur hot water on the ground before they can dig the graves.

Kari‘s respective nods and winks to the Cinema of Jarmusch (Ghost Dog) and Kaurismaki (Leningrad Cowboys Go America) can get tiresome. but there is just enough unsettling originality here to keep you watching. Also Rasmus Videbaek's cinematography and the soundtrack by Kari's group slowblow humorously capture a life lived on the margins of madness. despair and natural disaster. (Paul Dalei I Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 74 Nov. GFT. Glasgow from Fri 28 Nov. See preview. page 22.

Kooky tales from the avalanche zone

24 THE LIST 13—27 Nov 2003

sentinels. Meanwhile, Neo (Keanu Reeves) with his true love Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) blindly pursues his unknown destiny, piloting a hover-ship into the dark, crackling heart of Machine City.

As a conclusion to the trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions delivers enough familiar stuff to partially erase one’s memory of the abysmal second segment. And to remind us of what we loved about the original. As before, the most arresting scenes take place in the shiny, digital, Alice in Wonderland environment of the

Surely the Revolution has not been finalised

matrix, while the grungy underground world of Zion is so unappealing that one wonders why anyone would want to save it. Especially as it is populated entirely by unwashed New Age types who lack only a dog on a bit of string. The ambiguous/ enigmatic/confusing ending provides ample fodder for post-film arguments about the meaning of Neo’s messianic quest, the ultimate fate of his arch nemesis, Smith, and the bizarrely unreliable predictions of the Oracle. (Nigel Floyd)

I Out now on general release.

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Potter revisited with mixed results


A schizophrenic artist lies in a hOSpital bed on a cocktail of drugs. struggling to tell the difference between reality and fiction. Hell. it could be the life story of Robert Downey Jnr. the troubled actor who plays Dan Dark. the man with Cornflakes on his face (psoriasis actually) in this ill-thought out remake of the Dennis Potter classic.

The BBC's original series told the powerful tale of a writer who comes to terms with a rare skin disease by imagining himself as a gallant. charming and handsome hero in a musical pulp detective stow. It is fondly remembered as a landmark in British TV history. Director Keith Gordon's adaptation from Potter's Original screenplay highlights the weaknesses in Potter's frenetic structure and without the luxury of time (over six hours in the original series) this film seems confused to the point that it is impossible to come to grips with the intriguing study of one man's fetid pSyche which the film is supposed to essay.

The movie certainly has its moments. thOugh: Downey's slow Iidded aura is easily matched by a well chosen cast (Robin Penn Wright. Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes and Adrien Brody). But the film ultimately belongs to Mel Gibson as Dr Gibbons. the one man who is willing to take on Dark's tortured mind. In his dotage Gibson is certainiy becoming a character actor to be reckoned with. (Kaleem Aftab)

I General release from Fri 74 Nov.


(15) 90min 0.

Poor Madeleine Stowe. She used to be an actress of some credibility: remember The Last of the Mohicans, Twelve Monkeys and Short Cuts? She must have been desperate to make the trip across the Pond to pledge her allegiance to British director Marcus Adams (Long Time Dead). Stowe looks unhappy and well she might. marooned in a road horror movie of sorts shot in Luxemb0urg - about a wilful adolescent daughter (Mischa Barton) who runs off with hitchhiker , Bijou Phillips and a i caravan full of unsavoury hippie-style backpackers. The

reason for her strop is that mum won't let her go to a music festival.

Hippie vampires high on Octane

The backpackers turn E out to be members of a strange. blood-drinking cult. lorded over by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (all quivering lips and rolling eyes). Only the perspicacious Stowe manages to work out what they're really about causing car accidents so that they can drain the life out of their victims. all to an accompaniment of really bad techno music. The only way to survive is with a perpetual snigger. although it's not really bad enough to be perverser enjoyable.

Oh. and Stowe's

character is called

Senga. which really doesn't help.

(Richard Mowe) , I General release from g Fri 74 Nov.